Brief Articles

Barriers to Group Psychotherapy

Martyn Whittingham, Ph.D., CGP
Martyn Whittingham, Ph.D., CGP

Barriers to Group Psychotherapy for African-Americans, Latino/a’s and White, non-Latino/a University Students :  A Systematic Research Program to compare and contrast cultural differences and similarities. 

This program will explore how three studies (Harris, 2012; Stoyell, 2013; Suri 2015) explored barriers to group psychotherapy for three different groups – African-Americans; Latino/a’s and White, non-Latino university students.  Sample sizes ranged from 81 to 108, with a total N for all studies of 272.  The studies utilized one set of survey questions (with occasional minor cultural variations and modifications) to allow for between and within group comparisons.  The clusters of questions related to variables including 1) Coping styles 2) Expectations of group leaders 3) Expectations of group members 4) expectations of multicultural issues.  Each study utilized chi-square analysis; mean scores and rank order, with factor analysis also utilized to determine the clustering of variables.

This presentation will explore which items were significant within group and between groups.  Differences within group will be used to explore how relative rankings and absolute scores reflect the importance and non-importance of variables related to expectations of group psychotherapy.  Between group differences in terms of ranking and mean scores will be explored to highlight the relative importance of variables to each group.  Particular attention will be drawn to within and between group differences in coping style; the expectation of leaders’ ability to manage conflict and differing expectations among groups around expectation of discussing racism and discrimination.  Suggestions for the training of group leaders and provision of group therapy services will be made based on these findings. Each researcher will present their findings and the between group comparisons will then be presented by the discussant.