Therapists' Experiences of Working With Iranian-Immigrant Intimate Partner Violence Clients in the United States
Mental health practitioners have a responsibility to provide effective interventions to all their clients, accounting for each client's cultural context and values relevant to their well-being. In this study, eight therapists who have worked with Iranian-immigrant intimate partner violence (IPV) clients were interviewed to answer two questions: (a) What have therapists who work in the United States learned about challenges of working with Iranian IPV clients living in the United States? and (b) What suggestions do these thera-pists have for improving services to Iranian IPV clients living in the United States? In response to this question, six main themes were found: (a) Clients' lack of knowledge, (b) cultural acceptance that men are not accountable for their behaviors/gender norms in patriarchal culture, (c) women's sense of disempowerment (victim's role), (d) clients do not disclose IPV due to a sense of obligation, (e) clients' fear of consequences of disclosing, and (f) clients' difficulty trusting therapists and the mental health field. In response to the second question, that is, what suggestions do these therapists have for improving the services to Iranian IPV clients living in the United States? three main themes emerged: (a) clients need for knowledge and psychoeducation, (b) the services for Iranian-immigrant clients are not culturally appropriate, (c) therapists need to have a broad perspective of clients. Results add to the understanding of IPV grounded in the Iranian immigrant culture and ultimately contribute to a culturally based conceptualization of IPV among Iranian immigrants to sensitize therapists regarding culturally appropriate interventions that reflect the concerns of the Iranian living in the United States.