The process of family talk across culture

Singh, Reenee (2007) The process of family talk across culture. DSysPsych thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

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In this study, I explored the under-researched areas of constructions of 'the family' and the process of change in intercultural and intracultural systemic psychotherapy. The participants, drawn from two different clinics, were five clinicians - two South Asian and three White British - and seven families with whom they worked, of which four were South Asian and three were White British. The data comprised transcripts of eleven videotaped clinical sessions and sixteen audio-taped research interviews with both clinicians and families. My research questions were: 1. How is 'the family' constructed and talked about in systemic intercultural and intracultural clinical sessions? 2. a. How do discourses about 'the family' shift change over the course of intercultural and intracultural work? 2. b. What are the discourses about 'change' drawn on by clinicians and families in intercultural and intracultural systemic psychotherapy? 3. What are clinicians and families' experiences of intercultural and intracultural systemic psychotherapy? From a Social Constructionist epistemological position, I used the qualitative methods of Discourse Analysis and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to analyse the material. The main findings of the study were: Firstly, although 'the family' was constructed differently by South Asian and White British families, clinicians - regardless of whether they were working interculturally or intraculturally - privileged a discourse of 'the family' as a two generation, two parent, biological, intact unit. Secondly, the families minimised racial and cultural differences which sometimes constrained the clinicians from taking the risk of addressing difference. Thirdly, the families associated a positive outcome in therapy with a good relationship with their clinicians and viewed cultural similarity or difference as only one determinant of engagement. The study points to the value of a close study of discursive practice in intercultural and intracultural family work and has significant implications for clinicians, trainers, service providers and policy makers.

Item Type: Thesis (DSysPsych)
Additional Information: A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of East London in collaboration with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust for the Professional Doctorate in Systemic Psychotherapy
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Systemic Psychotherapy, Culture, Therapy, Discourse Analysis
Subjects: Couple & Family Therapies > Systemic Family Therapy
Research, Tests, Assessments > Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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