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*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.

Saturday, March 7 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
Recent Immigrant Therapists: Lived Experiences, Divergent Voices

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As immigration and globalization continue to alter the ethnocultural landscape in the United States of America, it becomes increasingly important to understand how these phenomena impact psychology, and specifically the psychotherapeutic situation, from both the therapist’s and patient’s perspectives. To date, there have been very few qualitative inquiries into the experience of being a non-native or recent immigrant psychotherapist practicing in the United States of America with predominantly native clients (Iwamasa, 1997; Nezu, 2010). For the purposes of our study, “non-native” was defined as not born in the USA and self-identified as a member of a cultural or ethnic minority group, and “native” was defined as born in the USA and self-identified as a member of a cultural or ethnic majority group. In the interest of exploring this increasingly relevant area of psychological study in greater depth and breadth, we interviewed eight non-native psychotherapists hailing from eight different non-American backgrounds using a semi-structured interview approach, the results of which we collaboratively interpreted using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA; Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009). Through this interpretive method, we identified four major themes that were central to the experience of non-native psychotherapists practicing with native-born patients in the United States: (1) awareness of differences between self and patients, (2) manifestations and impacts of power on the psychotherapeutic relationship, (3) the impact of differences on therapists’ identity, and (4) from separateness to cultivating belongingness in clinical work. Proposed poster presentation will elucidate further the results of the study as well as highlight implications for social justice and social action in psychology.


Saturday March 7, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm
Redwood