Adriana Kipper-Smith, Alumna, School of Psychology (2012); Sherry L. Hatcher, Faculty, School of Psychology
This qualitative, cross-cultural design study investigated what psychologists from North America (United States and Canada) and Brazil reported learning from their psychotherapy clients. North American countries are well-known representatives of individualistic cultures, whereas Brazil has predominately been defined as a collectivistic culture. Individualistic cultures tend to promote independent construals of self, support the achievement of personal goals rather than in-group goals, and promote rationality and interpersonal exchange. Collectivistic cultures promote interdependent selves and favor in-group goals. The analysis of participants’ narratives indicated that nearly all the categories that emerged from Brazilian participants contained references to the social role of psychotherapy, or to the context of private practice and contemporary subjectivity. In contrast, only very few categories of this nature emerged from North American participants. The findings from this research have confirmed the importance of highlighting Brazilian and North American cultural contexts in psychology, as mediums for a better comprehension of the immense complexity present in the territory of cross-cultural psychology.
This research was supported by a research grant from Fielding Graduate University.