The ‘Other-Other’ Perspective: Perceptions and Experiences of Non-maori Ethnic-Minority Psychotherapists Practicing in the Bicultural Context of Aotearoa New Zealand

Salpitikorala, Mihili
Appel, Stephen
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Master of Psychotherapy
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Auckland University of Technology

This dissertation explored the perceptions and experiences of non-indigenous ethnic minority psychotherapists residing and practicing in the bicultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand. Four psychotherapists who self-identified as non-Māori ethnic minorities, participated in semi-structured interviews, which explored their lived everyday experiences in both personal and professional spheres. Data were analysed using thematic analysis and yielded three main themes; Acculturating to Mainstream, Encountering Indigenous Culture, and Relating to Biculturalism. Each of these themes was anchored on two or more sub themes. In the context of this study, these themes represent three different but interspersed cultural/experiential spheres the participants encountered as immigrants and ethnic-minorities, and describe their perceptions and engagement at each level. The theme ‘Acculturation to Mainstream’ captures, as a whole, the personal challenges the participants encountered as immigrants, in relocating to Aotearoa New Zealand and adapting to and finding a sense of belonging in mainstream New Zealand culture. The second major theme ‘Encountering Indigenous Culture’, describes participants’ experiences of coming into contact with indigenous Māori culture, and the perceptions and understandings developed through this encounter. The final theme ‘Relating to Biculturalism’ describes how the participants understand, relate to and make meaning of biculturalism, as it is viewed, conceived and lived by them in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Ethnic-minority , Immigrants , Immigrant psychotherapists , Bicultural , Multicultural
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