Diversity and Cultural Competence in Family Therapy Essay

1050 Words 5 Pages
Diversity and Cultural Competence in Family Therapy

A therapist will face problems, issues and client troubles everyday. The professional must understand how their client relates to the world around them. These feelings and ideas affect how the client sees the problem and how they respond to their situation. Their actions, in turn, have bearing on individual thoughts, needs, and emotions. The therapist must be aware of the client's history, values, and culture in order to provide effective therapy. This paper will outline and provide information as to the importance of cultural competence and diversity in family therapy.
What is Cultural Competence?
Culture can be defined as behaviors exhibited by certain racial,
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Within the Asian culture, people do not openly display their feelings or emotions toward others. The reason for this would be due to what they call the “protective front," or a public mask, which is used to meet their political expectations (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). When examining other cultures, a therapist must take into account the individual’s beliefs. An example of this is Japan’s respect for history and spiritual practice. Their practice is not shared as strictly in American culture, where many families do not practice religion or husband and wife may be of different religion and allow children to make their own spiritual decisions.
Why is it Important? Cultural competency aids in closing the “disparities gap” in health care. ("OMH," 2012, para. 2) In doing so, health professionals and their clients are better able to discuss concerns without cultural differences getting in the way of effective communication and problem solving. Being respectful of and sensitive to the client’s health beliefs, culture, values, and diverse needs can bring positive outcomes within treatment and patient care. After all, is it not the main job of the health care provider to ensure patient trust? Open forms of communication when dealing with client issues can only be provided if the patient is comfortable with his provider and believes his