Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MCM - MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Expressive Therapies


Basel Zayed


As cultural competency and cultural humility move to the forefront of therapeutic treatment so does a need for understanding the effects of culture on the therapeutic relationship. Often individuals who belong to minority groups are less likely to seek mental health care and more commonly receive subpar treatment. This project attempts to examine the effects of matching patients and therapists based on a shared identity and/or culture as a form of culturally responsive treatment – also known as culture matching. In this literature review, the selected peer reviewed articles considered the perspectives of both therapists and patients. Research was divided into cultural groups. Results demonstrated patients generally prefer being paired with therapists who share an identity or cultural background. Treatment outcomes were varied. Some research indicated that shared culture or identity resulted in positive health outcomes while other research attributed positive health outcomes to the individual therapist’s skill, values, and multicultural competency. Results also varied for each cultural group, further indicating a need for cultural humility. Ultimately, more research is needed to understand culture matching, particularly in populations with fewer members of that culture working as mental health professionals.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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