The experiences of non‐Muslim, Caucasian licensed marriage and family therapists working with South Asian and Middle Eastern Muslim clientsedit
This qualitative study investigated the experiences of eight non‐Muslim, Caucasian licensed marriage and family therapists working with South Asian and Middle Eastern Muslim clients. Semi‐structured interviews were used to examine the challenges and benefits that resulted from ethnic/racial and religious differences in therapy with clients of this population, and the strategies used or suggested by therapists in managing these differences. The data were analysed using thematic analysis and the themes that emerged were organized based on the areas of inquiry. Participants reported several challenges, including managing clients’ therapy expectations, engaging clients in therapy, understanding and accepting differences, and staying neutral. Participants described strategies they used and made recommendations on how to manage these challenges, including being aware of and acknowledging these differences and clarifying roles in therapy. Participants also identified benefits that derived from ethnic/racial and religious differences, such as finding it easier to make clients the experts and being able to provide an outsider perspective to clients.