Critical Experiences of Being Humbled in Psychotherapy Training: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Date of Award
P. Bruce Uhrmacher
William E. Cross
Therapists’ cultural humility has shown promise for being a “trait like” quality that improves psychotherapy treatment for marginalized populations (Hook et al., 2016, Owen et al., 2016). However, researchers have emphasized that it is important to establish whether cultural humility can be fostered or developed through training (Davis et al., 2016). The purpose of this study was to understand the phenomenon of trainees being humbled in session during graduate school training and its potential relationship to trainee development. This is the first study to specifically examine the experience of being humbled by clients in session or that explores the potential connection between being humbled and therapists’ humility, perceived cultural opportunities, and cultural comfort. Seven clinical and counseling psychology trainees were asked to describe their experience of being humbled in session by a client, which of their clients’ and/or their own characteristics influenced their experience of being humbled, and whether they view being humbled as influencing their development. The findings suggest that experiences of being humbled instigated shifts away from a “way of doing” therapy and participants’ focusing on themselves, to participants’ developing a “way of being” with clients and focusing on clients’ unique experiences. Given that cultural humility has demonstrated potential for improving psychotherapy relationships and outcomes with clients who have marginalized identities, it is beneficial to study precipitants that might increase trainees’ cultural humility. Increasing the effectiveness of psychotherapy with marginalized populations is worthwhile for increasing equity and for helping those in society who are traditionally underserved. It is hoped that this study will encourage further research into whether cultural humility is a quality that can be trained, and if so, how.
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Jessen, Mackenzie White, "Critical Experiences of Being Humbled in Psychotherapy Training: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2122.
Received from ProQuest
Mackenzie White Jessen
Counseling Psychology Commons, Education Commons, Multicultural Psychology Commons, Other Psychology Commons