A systematic review of client’s perspectives on the cultural and racial awareness and responsiveness of mental health practitioners

A. Sadusky, H. Yared, P. Patrick, E. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


Culturally and racially responsive practice continues to be a common challenge among Mental Health Practitioners (MHPs). To the authors’ knowledge, this systematic review was the first to collate and synthesize clients’ perspectives of MHPs’ cultural and racial awareness and responsiveness from around the world. Original studies that were published between 2010 and 2021 reporting on qualitative data about clients’ perspectives regarding MHPs’ cultural-racial awareness and responsiveness were included in the review. The studies’ key findings that addressed this review’s question were synthesized and analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis. This review found 48 papers that met inclusion criteria, which represented the views of 652 clients across 10 countries. Three major themes and eight subthemes were established that concerned characteristics of the MHP, the client, and the therapeutic alliance. The results of this review indicate individual and systemic factors that influence mental health access for people from culturally and racially marginalized groups. Ongoing training of MHPs, increased racial and cultural representation among MHPs, inclusive physical settings, and reduced discrimination by MHPs are among the key findings and directions based on the results of this review.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages39
JournalCulture and Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • cultural competency
  • Cultural psychology
  • diversity and inclusion
  • professional development and training
  • qualitative research
  • racism, bias, and discrimination

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