Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (vii, 188 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

James F Boswell

Committee Members

Elana Gordis, Julia Hormes


Facilitative Interpersonal Skills, Multicultural, Technology, Telepsychotherapy, Telecommunication in medicine, Psychotherapy, Minorities, Cross-cultural counseling

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


Objective: The prevalence of mental health difficulties has increased, yet the availability and use of mental health services remains low, particularly in traditionally underserved groups. Telepsychotherapy via videoconferencing has been advertised as a means of mitigating barriers to accessing mental healthcare for these populations, though less attention has focused on text-based approaches. Indeed, although text-based telepsychotherapy is currently widely available, its efficacy in treating folx from cultural minority identities is unknown. Additionally, no research to date has studied the adaptation of multiculturally competent psychotherapy practice to a text-based platform. Thus, this project aimed to examine therapist facilitative interpersonal skills via text message (FIS-T) in responding to simulated clients who present with culturally-relevant issues and/or identities in a clinical vignette paradigm. Method: N = 66 therapists participated in an online survey study, in which they were asked to respond to a set of simulated client prompts in text-based telepsychotherapy, which were coded using the FIS-T coding system, as well as complete several self-report measures. Results: Multilevel modeling, in which simulated clients were nested within therapists, evidenced significant between- and within-therapist variability on FIS-T. The only significant predictor of FIS-T was multicultural counseling awareness, such that greater awareness predicted higher quality FIS-T. Other factors such as demographic characteristics, multicultural counseling knowledge, orientation to diversity, and experience with text-based telepsychotherapy did not influence FIS-T. Conclusion: Multicultural attunement appears important in the provision of text-based telepsychotherapy for clients presenting with multiculturally-related issues and/or identities, indicating that training efforts should focus on improving multicultural awareness and its application in practice.