The Qualities of Reputable Therapists of Indigenous Clients

  • Author / Creator
    Beaucage, Nathan
  • Indigenous Canadians are in a mental health crisis and do not receive adequate mental health service. This is evident as Indigenous clients access mental health services at twice the average rate while still showing a twice as high rate of suicide. Indigenous clients also only have a 50% likelihood of returned for a second session with a therapist. We know some therapists produce better outcomes than others and that some therapists produce better outcomes with clients of certain ethnicities. By looking at the qualities of therapists who have a reputation for being effective with Indigenous clients, we could learn more about what makes a therapist effective with Indigenous clients. Reputable therapists were located through a snowball sampling technique by asking Indigenous Elders and individuals in mental health professions who they would refer an Indigenous loved one to for help with a mental health issue. The first five individuals to reach five referrals were contacted and interviewed about themselves and their work with Indigenous clients. The interviews were transcribed and then analyzed using the qualitative research technique of reflexive thematic analysis. Three overarching themes, each with five sub-themes, were created. Who Are They? involves the personal traits of the five reputable therapists and contains the themes of Humble, Humourous, Strong, Open, and Rural. How Do They Practice? involves aspects relating to the work these therapists do with their Indigenous clients and contains the themes of Using Identity, Indigenously, Integratively, Ethically, and With Love. What Can We Do? involves the practical steps therapists can take to improve their work with Indigenous clients and contains the themes of Do the Work, Learn New Ways, Work Cross-Culturally, Walk Between Worlds, and Build Trust. It is hoped that these findings will help individuals who wish to work with Indigenous clients get better results and address the TRC calls to action to reduce the health gap for Indigenous clients.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2024
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.