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Veronica Felstad’s Public Lecture and Oral Defense
November 26 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Please join us for this public lecture and oral defense of doctoral dissertation by PsyD candidate Veronica Felstad, to be held at Antioch University Seattle in room 220B on Nov. 26 at 12 p.m.
Title: Cultural Differences, Social Support, and Therapy Outcomes: A Comparative Study Between Individualist and Collectivist Cultures
Abstract: Social support plays an integral role in our lives, and recent research demonstrates that the presence or lack of social support has a potential impact on factors of interest to psychologists, such as therapeutic progress and therapeutic alliance. There is a lack of research demonstrating the relationship between social support and treatment outcomes and the role culture plays. This quantitative international study aimed to explore cultural variances in perceptions, utilizations, and functions of social support, particularly between individualist and collectivist cultures, and the potential effect these variances had on the relationship between social support and therapeutic outcomes. Sixty clients and eleven therapists, divided among Bogota and Seattle counseling centers, participated in this study by completing pen- and paper-based questionnaires that included measures of social support, client’s perception of therapy progress and therapeutic alliance, and therapist’s perception of therapy progress and therapeutic alliance.
Using nonparametric testing the study sought to find differences and similarities among these factors. Additionally, it explored whether culture had an impact on how people perform in therapy and the relationship between their therapeutic alliance and relationships outside of therapy. Even though the study did not yield statistically significant results, this study was able to highlight areas for future research to continue exploring cultural differences in social support, therapeutic progress, and therapeutic alliance. Focusing on the importance of social support integration in therapeutic interventions and streamlining the measures may be a next step for future research. It is hoped that this study may lead to further examination of social support with regards to therapeutic treatment and culture in order to improve mental health outcomes.