Department of Family Therapy Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Family Therapy

Advisor

Martha G. Marquez

Committee Member

Anne Rambo

Committee Member

Christopher Burnett

Abstract

This study explored and highlighted the experiences of trained Marriage and Family Therapists of Afro-Caribbean descent in working with persons who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning (LGBTQ). The researcher utilized collected data to help to advance our understanding on the potential impact of the cultural experiences and how they may or may not contribute to institutionalized homophobia within the Caribbean, by Mental Health professionals, specifically Marriage and Family Therapists. The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with 3 practicing Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) with strong Caribbean upbringing, values, and influences. For the purpose of this study, strong has been defined as having being born and/or raised in the Caribbean. This qualitative study employed the use of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to aid in making sense of the data that was collected. Data gathered from the interviews of three participants revealed two prominent superordinate themes: “Homophobia” and “Evolving Views” with emerging subthemes that explored culture, religion, “checking yourself at the door” and connecting with persons who identify as LGBTQ. The findings from the study helped to add to the limited research available on the lived experiences of Marriage and Family Therapists of Afro-Caribbean descent and their work with persons who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning (LGBTQ).

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