Towards "cultural competence' from a Jewish perspective : an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the lived experience of Jewish mothers living in North West London
Topics: Parenthood, Motherhood, Interviews, Jewish Culture, Psychology, Mental Health, Psychotherapy / Psychoanalysis, Main Topic: Other
Abstract: Much research recognises the clinical value of considering clients' cultural context. 'Cultural competence' may be considered the balance between sensitive practice and an awareness about particular cultural groups. 'Jewishness' is a powerful influence on the majority of Jewish people, regardless of religiosity. Jewishness incorporates more than Judaism, for example, it includes Jewish history, ethnicity and culture. This research aims to help therapists work with Jewish families by familiarising them with aspects of Jewishness, in order to gain insight to the 'lived experience' of contemporary, British, Jewish families, so as to consider the potential clinical implications of Jewishness and develop cultural competence. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight British-born, culturally, rather than religiously, Jewish mothers aged between 30 and 39. The interview transcripts were analysed using an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis methodology. Ten themes (^entity', Tradition and Culture', 'Characteristics', 'Family', 'Community', 'Continuity', 'Difference and Similarity', 'Fear', 'Feelings' and 'Services') were derived from the analysis and considered in terms of clinical implications. For example, the women spoke about a (sometimes) inexplicable 'bicultural' identity and the significant impact of Jewish history. These issues may inhibit Jewish clients from speaking about the relevance of their Jewishness with non-Jewish therapists. Suggestions were made for developing a Jewish cultural, historical and political perspective, so that beliefs, behaviours and characteristics are not misinterpreted and 'therapeutic safety' for Jewish clients is maximised. Other recommendations included using cultural consultants and adopting a systemic framework. Issues that may be particularly difficult for Jewish families were discussed and recommendations for future research made.