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Ullrich, H.E. (2019). Culture, Empathy, and the Therapeutic Alliance. Psychodyn. Psych., 47(4):425-440.

(2019). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 47(4):425-440

Culture, Empathy, and the Therapeutic Alliance

Helen E. Ullrich, M.D., Ph.D.

When the therapist and patient are from different cultures, there may be impediments to the development of empathy and a therapeutic alliance. South India culture provides an example of contrasting values and customs about which patients may be reluctant to discuss. The initial case history is of a South Indian who sought treatment in the United States. The remaining cases, drawn from a village in South India with which the author has had a 55-year history of research, illustrate cultural factors potentially inhibiting or facilitating the development of empathy and a therapeutic alliance.

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