Coming Soon – Study on Cultural Humility

This study, led by Research Trainee, Elise Choe, found that a subgroup of clients showed increases in both cultural humility and well-being, and decreases in symptoms over time. It also found that differentiation of self was a positive predictor of membership in this subgroup. There is a large literature on therapist cultural humility, but to our knowledge this is the first published study on the virtue of client cultural humility. We are encouraged by the positive mental health effects for growing in cultural humility and a constructive openness to cultural differences.

Choe, E.J.Y., Jankowski, P.J., Sandage, S.J., Crabtree, S.A., & Captari, L.E. (in press). Cultural humility and well-being among psychotherapy clients: A longitudinal practice-based study. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research.  

One trend in psychotherapy research involves examining client factors to better understand change. Some have framed client factors as virtues. Humility is one virtue that has gained attention, with evidence that suggests humility may help facilitate therapeutic change. A specific type of humility, cultural humility, however, has not been closely examined as a client factor. Cultural humility is a relational virtue that addresses an individual’s ability to be open towards cultural differences and can be helpful in buffering diverse relational dynamics (e.g., student and teacher, family members and friends with different beliefs). In this study, we examined client change in cultural humility and well-being using group-based trajectory modeling. We also examined differentiation as a predictor of trajectory membership and compared trajectories on levels of symptoms. Results suggested that a subgroup of clients showed significant increases in cultural humility and well-being. Further analyses found that clients with higher levels of initial differentiation were more likely to belong to the growth trajectory. This same trajectory also decreased in symptoms over time.