Young Adults From Black Communities Experience of Receiving Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Depression – A Qualitative Account

Prof Doc Thesis

Nurse, K. 2020. Young Adults From Black Communities Experience of Receiving Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Depression – A Qualitative Account. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsNurse, K.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

CBT is proposed to be one of the most effective treatments for depression. Young adults experience a higher prevalence of mental health difficulties during this stage of life (Gulliver, Griffiths & Christensen, 2010). However, it is well documented that Black communities underutilise talking therapies (Lubian et al., 2016) and face barriers around accessing culturally appropriate services (Arday. 2018). In addition, people from minority ethnic communities have historically been underrepresented in health research (Guiliano et al., 2000). Thus, as a result, there appears to be little systematic research into how young Black adults experience this therapy model.
This study aimed to explore the subjective experience of CBT for depression in young adults aged between 18 – 25 years old that identify as Black. Qualitative semi structured interviews were carried out with nine participants recruited from NHS services. Analysis was conducted using a critical realist epistemology and thematic analysis. The overarching themes identified were ‘The Therapy Experience’ and ‘Navigating Getting Help’. The findings suggest that despite participants reporting a mostly positive therapy experience, there were aspects they found challenging both before getting to therapy and within sessions.
This study raised implications for clinical practice including a greater awareness of the widespread stigma and negative views held in Black communities around mental health. The need for therapists to consider the additional inequalities and vulnerabilities linked to being Black and young in this context. Further research should explore the experiences across different timeframes during treatment. It should also expand on the socio-structural issues that contribute to the conceptualisation of distress and help-seeking within Black communities. Clinical Psychologists should utilise the unique positions they hold within services by further highlighting and evidencing the access, engagement and practical applications of CBT within minority ethnic communities.

KeywordsCBT; CBT for depression; IAPT; experience; Black communities; young adults; qualitative
PublisherUniversity of East London
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Online18 Dec 2020
Publication process dates
SubmittedMar 2020
Deposited18 Dec 2020
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