Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Jesse Owen

Second Advisor

Trisha L. Raque-Bogdan

Third Advisor

Patten O. Garriott

Fourth Advisor

Jayson W. Richardson


Aversive racism, Cultural humility, Cultural ruptures, Implicit bias, Psychotherapy


In the field of counseling and clinical psychology, the last several decades have been characterized by a strengthened recognition of the importance of cultural factors in psychotherapy. While this has been impactful, there is evidence that cultural ruptures, microaggressions, and racial/ethnic disparities in psychotherapy outcomes persist. Aversive racism theory, which provides explanations for the racist tendencies typically associated with progressive White individuals, postulates that a conflict between explicit egalitarian beliefs and implicit negative racial biases impedes White individuals from adequately addressing and acknowledging underlying biases. Therefore, it was hypothesized that psychological factors, such as defense mechanisms, professional selfdoubt and self-compassion, may play a role in impeding or enhancing therapists’ ability to identify and resolve cultural ruptures in therapy. The present study sought to test these hypotheses by asking White therapists-in-training to respond to video vignettes portraying cultural ruptures. These vignettes were then coded to assess the level of cultural comfort, cultural humility and cultural opportunities demonstrated by participants. Results revealed that self-compassion was positively associated with White trainees’ cultural humility and overall effectiveness, specifically in the vignette that included a client-confrontation response. Implications, limitations and future directions are discussed.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Emma Freetly Porter


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

112 pgs


Counseling psychology