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Ethnic Matching in Group Therapy

What is ethnic matching? What are it's pros and cons? Is it ever beneficial?

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Ethnic matching as a definition consists of instances in which a client and therapist share the same racial background rather than the same ethnic background (Cabral & Smith, 2011). According to Cabral and Smith (2011), ethnic matching does not accurately represent the type of similarity in research studies. Therefore, they present studies that suggest the ethnic matching of client and therapist should be based on race and ethnicity, termed as racial/ethnic matching. Studies are provided which present evidence that mental illness is as prevalent among specific ethnic groups including African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans as it is among White/European Americans (Cabral & Smith, 2011). However, the research shows that racial and ethnic minorities encounter the greatest disparities in mental health needs. Moreover, according to Cabral & Smith (2011), clients tend to prefer therapists who appear to be similar to them. Moreover, they assert that, "the interpersonal similarity influences not only individual preferences for social interaction, but also their perception of those interactions. On this basis, they assert that the similarity is associated with the credibility of the therapist. In other words, people ...

Solution Summary

Ethnic matching is discussed. The pros and cons and benefits are examined.