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An Investigation of Cultural Competency in the Experiences of Therapists Newly Trained to Deliver Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

By Suki Bassey


Background: Policies and guidance on the provision of mental health services to the diverse UK population acknowledge the need for therapists to be able to deliver psychological interventions in a culturally sensitive way to meet the needs of Black and Minority Ethnic groups. The requirements are highly relevant to Cognitive-Behavioural Therapists employed under the national Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme which was introduced to address common mental health problems. \ud Research rationale: Literature contains a wealth of material relevant to the cultural competency required of psychological practitioners, however writers have tended to focus on different facets of competency. A framework based on the guidance dispersed throughout the literature would serve as useful tool to investigate whether therapists emerging from IAPT training work in a way that is consistent with cultural competency practice guidance. A study could also explore how cultural competency, if evident, is acquired and how training contributes. \ud Method: A narrative review of the literature was conducted to generate a thematic template that could be contrasted with the views and practices of therapists who had recently undergone IAPT training. Focus group interviews were conducted with participants at three IAPT services and the captured data was thematically analysed using Template Analysis whereby the themes from the review could be incorporated into the template used for the analysis. \ud Findings: Participants demonstrated a range of perspectives and practices that were consistent with cultural competency guidance in the literature. Abilities were attributed to personal and professional experience, and to personal motivation to develop the capacity to work sensitively. Training was not considered to have significantly contributed to cultural competency and suggestions for how it may be improved were presented. It was concluded that it was possible for therapists to work in a culturally sensitive way without a comprehensive training based on cultural competency guidance, but that improvements for training could be drawn from the study

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:

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