To provide competent care to a client, the therapist has to be culturally prepared to work with the client. To be culturally competent as a therapist I have to be aware of my own bias, my identity, and my values in regards of my culture. I also need to be aware of the judgments that I have about the client’s cultural identity. In order to know the client’s culture, I would inquire about the identity during the intake. I would use the Addressing model by Pamela Hays to inquire the cultural identity of my clients. The addressing model helps to consider the various social categories that a client belongs to. Also, providing culturally competent services is to be aware of the population surrounding the therapist’s office or agency in order to
Nowadays the issue of diversity is an important factor to consider as in most countries there is broad range of diversity within that country and its communities. There are different aspects of diversity that exist, such as; sexuality, gender, race and culture.
Counselors who are unaware of diverse cultural viewpoints are more than likely to do intentional or unintentional damage when working within communities opposite of their own and with those whose cultures and worldviews differ from theirs. If a counselor is unaware of their own cultural identity, biases, and stereotypes, how then will they know if they are unintentionally causing harm to their clients or build rapport? Cultural self-awareness is relevant because counselors need to know their cultural identity and what they must offer their clients in a therapeutic relationship and to help clients become aware their cultural identities.
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.
Mental health illnesses affect everyone. It is highly prevalent affecting people of all ages, gender, cultures, and social groups. Attitudes towards mental health illnesses vary among individuals and often are highly influenced by the various cultures that the individuals identify with. Culture as a social concept can be defined as a set of norms, values, behaviours, and beliefs that are common and shared amongst a group of individuals (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999). Culture can be applicable to groups like Asians and Americans but also to groups of shared norms, beliefs, and values established within professions such as the culture of patients and practitioners. Culture provides these groups with structure and context to understanding their society and the world as a whole. Culture influence a wide range of aspects of mental health, including how mental health is perceived by the patient, how the patient will experience mental health stigma, and how they cope with symptoms of mental health illness. Additionally, these cultural influences impact the relationship between the patient and the practitioner in a number of ways.
Culture may be defined in a broad and narrow context. The broad definition includes demographic variables ( age, gender), status variables ( social, educational, economic) and affiliations ( formal and informal), as well as ethnographic variables, such as ethnicity, nationality, language. Narrow definition of culture is limited to the terms of ethnicity and nationality, which are important for individual and familial identity, but the concept of culture in Counselling usually goes beyond national and ethnic boundaries. It interprets culture in a broader aspect, it aims to go beyond its more obvious and verifiable symbols toward the more subjective perspectives its members hold. Counselling deals
Understanding of the different cultural and racial population is important for counselors to recognize and consider in counseling. Due to the various approaches that should be taken when dealing with different cultures. Our textbook states “Counseling without attention or respect to the critical differences of diversity will likely not be successful.” (Clinton & Ohlschlager pg. 617) It is like you must put their shoes on, within the context of culture for the counselor to be effective. For example, when dealing with Asian clients they are very likely to have intense familial relationships. This contrasts with modern day United States American culture; our culture is centered on the self, not the us.
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).
Culture is defined as the group of similar values, goals, outlooks, ideas and traditions that a shared by a certain group of people. The human race is diverse and varied, filled with many cultures. There are many differences in these cultures and because of these differences; the definition of normal differs from culture to culture. It only makes sense that diagnoses of psychopathologic disorders vary from culture to culture. However certain things will not change because fundamentally, we all still belong to the same species.
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
As I begin my journey as a novice clinician I will need to continuously look at myself as a therapist to avoid harming my client by being unaccepting to their needs. Being able to identify my biases will help me be less susceptible to cultural errors in therapy. To practice as a culturally competent therapist means to not ignore the evident differences between the therapist and the client and to not be afraid to ask questions. Similarly, acknowledging we are all different in some aspect and learning more about their culture and roles, thus, avoiding making bias diagnosis and treatment
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.
In a multicultural counseling perspective there are four key approaches when counseling individuals, (a) multicultural awareness of culturally learned assumptions about self and others leading to accurate assessments of clients, (b) multicultural knowledge of information, (c) multicultural skills and interventions, that are appropriate treating clients, and (d) individuals are from a variety of backgrounds, demographic status, and affiliation of cultures. The three-stage approach, will direct the counselor towards levels of multicultural competence in therapy by providing a successful outcome in the recovery process. When conducting a psychotherapy session with a client the counselor should be able to demonstrate skills, when exploring the client’s cultural background. Counselors should also be able to focus on the essential skills and pattern behaviors, when identifying cultural differences. Counseling a minority from a different culture counselors’ must be able to identify their own personal behaviors. These behaviors are crucial when counseling these individuals. First, a counselor must be able to sense the clients’ viewpoint or issue in some way. Secondly, a counselor should be specific when asking a question rather than being unclear and confusing.
Culture has a great effect on attitudes toward therapy. According to the National Institution of Mental Health each individual or groups of people bring a variation of beliefs to the therapeutic setting such as communicating what issues to report, types of coping styles, social support, and cultural stigma towards mental health. More often it is culture that bears on whether or not an individual will seek help. For example there is a widespread tendency to stigmatize mental illness in Asian countries. People with mental illness are considered dangerous and create social distance and