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Effect of Therapist Colour-Blindness on Empathy, Article Review Example

Pages: 3

Words: 877

Article Review

Alan Bukard and Sarah Knox tackle a sensitive and important issue in the field of psychology. They postulate that cross-cultural; counselling is considerably affected by the state of a therapist’s colour blindness on empathy. Essentially the ability for a therapist to understand and perceive the sources of the client’s problems is considerably influenced by the client’s race, relative to their own. The authors hold that a therapist capacity for empathy for African American clients was different relative to European American client relative to their own ethnicity and their perception of responsibility for the problem.

The authors draw their argument from facts derived from previous research on the certain aspects of service delivery to racial-ethnic minority members. According to previous research, racial-ethnic minority groups has overestimated psychopathology levels and were limited to highly restrictive forms of treatment.

The authors conclude by highlighting the potential weakness of the research, such as not taking into consideration the implications that therapist biases has on the process of treatment for patients. They also highlight the need for further investigation into the relationship between empathy and colour blindness. There is need for statistical evidence on the strength of this relationship and how it affected the general quality of the services provided by the therapist in question.

Relevance

Race has long been a defining aspect of the American culture. It has even been engrained into the very foundations of American society, as depicted in the American dream. The impacts and side effect of racism in the society as well as the economy has been the topic of research for the past few decades. Racism has been found to be rooted in almost all aspects of society and human interaction (Fletcher & Dashper, 2014, p. 1227).

The study is relevant in modern day society as well as in the field of psychology as it depicts the challenges that the field faces in ensuring its development and growth. The article points to the lack of a proper and applicable standard when it comes to diagnosis, recommendations and remedies given by therapists. This difference, caused by differences in racial-ethnic differences, has the potential of compromising the integrity of the field by virtue of standards applied and the accessibility to treatment relative to racial-ethnic affiliations.

Research Design and Methodology

The authors adopt a correlational design model. This model effectively suits the intention of the. Research. This design is used to test the statistical relationships between variables. This design is suitable as it tests for strength in the relationship between therapist racial-ethnic backgrounds relative to their conclusions for cases regarding clients of a race-ethnic minority group. The correlational analyses adopted a blend of quantitative and qualitative techniques, especially using a number of linkert-type scales developed for the purpose of quantifying qualitative information.

Applicability

This research is considerably applicable in the current field of psychology. This information can be crucial in helping determine the credibility of diagnoses given by therapists. The 21st century has seen the expansion of the field of psychology, with more individuals open to the notion of seeking psychological help. This makes this field very important. As such, the diagnoses and suggested solution from its professional have to uphold the highest level of integrity and values of humanity entrenched in the field.

This study can be applied to help understand the long-term implications of client-therapist relationship based on the racial similarities and/or differences between the two. Many clients trust and obey the recommendations handed to them by their therapists. However, when these recommendations and remedies do not adhere to a given standard and vary according to racial-ethnic orientation, it has significant implications on the general outcome. Patients under treatment for the same issues would experience a difference in the treatment techniques they have access to.

Research Findings

The research had some important findings that paint a clear picture on the issues of race-ethnicity and empathy. Therapists who had high scores on the empathy scales were found to have scored high on the colour-blindness scales. This essentially means that therapists who were acknowledged the aspect of race, racism, and its effect, were more likely to have high empathy as they recognize such problems associated with the issue. Furthermore, the kind of contact that such therapists encountered, whether with individuals of the same race or a different one, did not change this aspect.

In conclusion, the authors hold that racial-ethnic differences play a role in the diagnoses and or suggested remedies for clients. The authors employ an effective research method that is suited for their research goal, to determine the correlation between racial-ethnic differences and therapist performance. However, this research is fundamentally limited by one aspect; in the study, the respondents were informed about the intentions of the study. Owing to the fact that this study researches opinions and perceptions, the respondents’ responses may already be inclined to favour or demean the valuation of a given therapist based on their racial-ethnic affiliations and background.

References

Burkard, A. W., & Knox, S. (2004, October). Effect of Therapist Color-Blindness on Empathy and Attributions in Cross-Cultural Counseling. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 51(4), 387-397.

Fletcher, T., & Dashper, K. (2014). Diversity, equity and inclusion in sport and leisure. London: Routledge.

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