In my personal opinion and experience, I find that the field of psychology is lacking in diverse cultural competencies as much as the society is diverse in its population. I believe that as with using any theoretical model, the therapists’ cultural knowledge needs to include understanding of the many cultural considerations influencing the effectiveness of treatment when dealing with clients from diverse backgrounds. When servicing the individuals in the family, care and attention needs to be directed towards family and community norms and values around help seeking, secrecy and confidentiality, family roles, child rearing and spiritual practices.
In all psychological and biological assessment, the use of culturally attuned assessments is top priority. “We may define culturally informed psychological assessment as an approach to evaluation that is keenly perceptive of and responsive to issues of acculturation, values, identity, worldview, language, and other culture-related variables as they may impact the evaluation process or the interpretation of resulting data” (Cohen, Swerdlik, & Sturman, 2013). Through this process key individuals contribute to the understanding of the client including family, friends, and coworkers input and information. Through the use of translators and other cultural affiliates clinicians are able to demonstrate a clearer understanding, a culturally applicable assessment, and ensure that the client understands the ins and outs of the assessment process. One important aspect of the implementation of the “one size fits all approach” to culturally attuned treatment and care in our mental health facilities (Cohen, Swerdlik, & Sturman, 2013). Assessment and clinical evaluations should not be a cookie cutter experience. The amount of patients that are
an American Indian male with diabetes who receives care at a non-tribal clinic. He reports that he does not feel much of a connection with his provider or his clinic, and says that he feels misunderstood when he tells his provider about his traditional healing practices. He struggles to remember to take his medications and sometimes does not take them because he feels that they don’t work.
Cultural competency is critical in psychology practice. In the United States, the groups, which considered as cultural and ethnic minorities, are growing in the population (APA, 2003). Culture often influences the content and quality of people’s experience, perception, and response. Thus, it is important for psychologists to be aware of cultural influences on client’s presenting experience(s) (Gardiner & Kosmitzki, 2010). Without a regard for cultural influence, there is a significant risk for the psychologist to misunderstand, misinterpret, and misguide his or her client. Such misunderstanding, misinterpretation, and misguidance are not only unhelpful but can be detrimental for the client (Corey, Corey, & Callanan, 2011; Pope, & Vasquez, 2011).
The DSM-5s' inclusion of the Cultural Formation Interview (CFI) has positive cultural care implications as it expanded cultural considerations and enabled greater provision of more individualised care by reducing racial and ethnic disparities in treatment (Halter, Rolin-Kenny, Dzurec, and Cox, 2013). “The CFI follows a person-centered approach to cultural assessment designed to avoid stereotyping, in that each individual’s cultural knowledge affects how he or she interprets illness experience and guides how he or she seeks help” (APA, 2013, p.
The United States is known for its melting pot of cultures, which creates one of the most contentious issues in the medical world which is the clash of cultures. The book we read “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” is a great example of how a miss communication and struggle between cultures which lead to a very dismal end. The difference in beliefs cause constant issues in communication, even though both want what is best.
In addition, relying on a doctor who does not share the same beliefs as one does can become fearful. Trusting the doctor for full treatment is necessary but when from a different cultural background it can prevent them on trusting them. According to a research article, Cross- Cultural Medicine a Decade Later, clearly states “when the basic belief structure of biomedicine and another set of health beliefs differs radically, problems and frustrations almost inevitably arise” (Barker, 1992, p.249). The central purpose of the research was to show whether or not health beliefs between patient and doctor differs will they find it difficult to interpret the symptoms and treatment variations to accommodate their beliefs. However, the doctor having faith in one’s health beliefs can sometimes be beneficial for the patients because they’ll be fully understood and not misjudged as being crazy. As stated by the author, for the article Chinese Health Beliefs of Older Chinese in Canada, “the findings support the previous prescriptive knowledge about Chinese health beliefs and illustrate the intergroup socio-cultural diversity that health practitioners should acknowledge in their practice” (Lai, 2009, 38). Like the Chinese, Hmong’s too first go to their shaman for traditional treatment rather than going to the doctor; to them an illness and their healing is more of a spiritual thing that
This case study, is about the 72-year-old first nation background lady, named Aadhna George Russo, who is suffering from multiple illness for the last ten years or so. She was diagnosed with hypertension and experienced a mild heart attack. Her blood sugar seemed to stabilize in recent months after her GP prescribed her Metformin and along with changing her diet but she has a leg ulcer which is not healing well and get worse even through a slight pressure. Also her weight is fluctuating recently. Furthermore, Russo, underwent a surgery two weeks ago to remove the tumour from her colon. Prior to the surgery, she lost her appetite and complained abdominal discomfort which resulted in her to go through a series of test that detected the tumour.
Culture-Bound Syndrome is a combination of psychiatric and somatic symptoms that are disease only within a specific society or culture. The symptoms for Culture-Bound Syndrome are as listed: Headaches, screaming spontaneously, stomach pain, loss of consciousness, and fatigue. There are several of different groups that are effect by certain syndromes such as African Americans, Asians, Native Americans, Nigerians, Haitians, and Hispanics, arctic and subarctic Inuit. Just to inform you that just because you belong to a certain group doesn’t mean you are going to have it, but there is a chance you may suffer from it. By learning the syndrome and symptoms you will have a greater understanding for the syndrome your group may suffer from. Also you would be able to inform others and grant them some knowledge on it as well.
As mentioned in Galanti's text there are four "C's" of culture. Each much be communicated properly to the patient in order to receive optimal health care: first C) What do you call your problem? second C) What do you think caused your problem? third C) How do you cope with your condition? fourth C) What concerns do you have regarding the condition? (Galanti 2008).
(Contextual) The story of Norman Cousins is a very complex case that stumps many doctors because they rely heavily on medicine to solve everything. Doctors never look at the whole picture, they only look at each patient as an illness and contemplate which technique is the most appropriate to cure the illness. Cousins’s states in his book that he was given the prognosis of doom and the doctors seemed to have no hope to help him overcome his problem (Cousins, 1979). Instead, he took his treatment into his own hands and used laughter and ascorbic acid to make his crippling disease disappear (Cousins, 1979).
Several factors such as cultural barriers between many doctors and their patients, a tendency to talk about physical problems rather than discuss mental symptoms have contributed to African Americans not receiving help for bipolar disorder. Turner, E. (2013, March 20). Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment Options. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/the-race-good-health/201303/bipolar-disorder-symptoms-treatment-options/ Helen is 32 years old and the closest she has had to a diagnosis for her changes in mood was a doctor telling her, “it was just a female thing”. It is very possible the multitude of factors the affect African Americans when it comes to issue of mental health has hindered Helen’s ability to experience professional help. Furthermore, the lack of communication or support from the spouse can also create a disadvantage for Helen. Even still, Helen does has the support form a sister for at least the catering of her child when she is experiencing an episode which foster supports for a strong family structure. Helen indicated that her life is like a roller coaster. She explains it as one minute she is up and the next minute she is down. This may imply a rapid-cycling form of the disorder which is more common for females.
To begin, culture bound syndromes are diseases or illnesses associated with a particular culture or group of people. There are many different forms of culture bound syndromes associated with many cultures all across the world. I will be discussing brain fag syndrome; a culture bound syndrome that is present today in Nigeria. I will also go over the symptoms, treatments, studies, and my thoughts associated with brain fag syndrome.
The symptoms of mental disorders are found in all nations and in all cultures; there are recognizable symptoms that are common worldwide. Mental health researchers have not yet been able to determine whether culture bound syndromes are indicative of one or more possibilities that include distinct disorders that exist only in specific cultures, and reflect different ways in which individuals from different cultures express mental illness, as well as reflecting different ways in which the social and cultural environment interact with genes to produce disorders, or any combination of these. (pp. 101)
In the Asian culture, health is defined as the harmonious balance between conditions of cold (yang) and hot (yin). Asians believe that an illness occurs as a result of an upset of the harmonious balance, implying that diseases can only be treated if that balance is restored back to its normal state. As a result, most traditional medical interventions in the Asian culture entail the search for the cause of the imbalance within the patient’s mental and physical composition. Asians believe that hot and cold diseases should be treated by cold and hot medicines respectively to restore the normal balanced state of the patient. For instance, penicillin, which causes rashes and diarrhea, is considered a hot treatment, while linden tea, which is served cold, is regarded as a cold medicine that is suitable for treating cold ailment. Although not all Asians subscribe to the hot and cold philosophy, it is important for a physician to consider the belief when handling such patients (Muto, Nakahara, & Nam, 2010).