Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Doctoral Project


Tatyana Avdeyeva, PhD, LP; Len Jennings, PhD, LP


This qualitative study examined experiences of therapists of color working with Caucasian clients to answer the following research questions: What are the experiences of therapists of color when working with Caucasian clients? From their perspective, what are advantages and barriers when working with the Caucasian population? How do they overcome these barriers? Thirteen therapists of color from five ethnic groups were interviewed. Data analysis revealed challenges in cross-racial counseling and benefits derived from the unique cultural vantage point that therapists of color possess. The therapeutic relationship was identified as a crucial element that transcends cultural differences between the therapist and the client. Experience of racism in therapy setting was reported, though it was rare. Many participants spoke of their mission as social activists to promote social justice, to demystify stereotypes of people of color, and to reach out to a community of color. To achieve cultural competence, the research participants emphasized the importance of consultation, awareness of therapists’ biases and assumptions, and the significance of continuing education.


therapist, counselor, race, cross-racial counseling

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.