Navigating cultural contexts: exploring the experience of cultural difference for South Asian women in psychological therapy

DCPsych thesis


Jheeta, C. 2023. Navigating cultural contexts: exploring the experience of cultural difference for South Asian women in psychological therapy. DCPsych thesis Middlesex University / Metanoia Institute Psychology
TypeDCPsych thesis
TitleNavigating cultural contexts: exploring the experience of cultural difference for South Asian women in psychological therapy
AuthorsJheeta, C.
Abstract

This study aimed to explore the experience of cultural difference for South Asian women in psychological therapy. Specifically, it was to explore the contextual experience of having therapy derived from a western, individualistic discipline and navigating this with the interplay of South Asian women’s everyday collectivist lives. Previous research in this area and on South Asian women in the field of psychological therapy has been significantly lacking.

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was the chosen methodology for this research. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven UK-based South Asian women who had had at least 12 sessions of exploratory, psychological therapy with a qualified, non-South Asian therapist. The analysis reaped five superordinate themes each with their own set of subthemes: (1) ‘Negotiating Self and Other’ looks at participants negotiating South Asian cultural expectation and responsibility with focusing on their developed individual sense of selves; (2) ‘The Challenge of Power Dynamics’ describes how the experience of power and powerlessness both within therapy and in participants’ everyday lives influenced degree of change; (3) ‘Finding a Sense of Belonging’ describes participants experiencing a reassessment of their identity and cultural belonging; (4) ‘Breaking Barriers’ demonstrates participants challenging stigmatised views to create a greater degree of integration between therapy and South Asian culture; and (5) ‘To Share or Not to Share’ portrays how stigma and judgement contributed to participants negotiating openness both in therapy and in their everyday lives.

The findings are discussed mainly in terms of the way South Asian women negotiate both the therapeutic and collective contexts with consideration of both themselves and their culture. This research invites therapists to be aware of and tailor their work to support these negotiations that clients from more collectivist cultures may face in order to facilitate creating suitably desired, meaningful change in their everyday lives.

Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
LanguageEnglish
Department namePsychology
Science and Technology
Institution nameMiddlesex University / Metanoia Institute
Collaborating institutionMetanoia Institute
PublisherMiddlesex University Research Repository
Publication dates
Online21 Mar 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted18 Nov 2023
Deposited21 Mar 2024
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open
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https://repository.mdx.ac.uk/item/112z91

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Accepted author manuscript
CKJheeta thesis.pdf
File access level: Open

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