Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Educational Studies



First Advisor

Donna M Gibson


This study examined the perception of families who received counseling by family therapists who were unlike them in race and social class. This study was conducted as a qualitative investigation, as the researcher engaged in the semi-structured interview technique with families who have undergone family therapy. This research study investigated how lower social class African American families perceive their working alliance with middle social class White family therapists. The purpose of this study was to identify issues of oppression and bias which may have been present in the therapeutic venue, which may prevent lower social class status African American families from seeking therapy. An outcome of this study was an opportunity for improvement of the multicultural counseling competencies of family therapists to improve the working relationship with diverse populations.