ERIC Number: ED426326
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Aug
Developing Cultural Proficiency in Clinical Practice.
Mock, Matthew R.
This paper suggests that in an increasingly multicultural world, cultural competence requires that racism, power, oppression, and privilege be fully acknowledged and addressed to maximize the effectiveness of clinical interventions. Psychotherapists must learn to appropriately address racial or cultural differences in the therapy room. In order to do the necessary work, racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and other forms of oppression must be viewed as part of the cycle of perpetuated violence and trauma. The "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders," fourth edition, provides a means for taking cultural perspectives into account in therapy; thus, in order to make an accurate diagnosis and maximize clinical outcomes, the cultural context of clients must be understood and respected. Examples are given of consultations in which asking culturally appropriate questions led to positive results for clients that could not have occurred otherwise. Cultural competence must be viewed as an ongoing, dynamic process to be proactively addressed throughout one's practice. Rather than learning a static list of cultural characteristics, the therapist should take a stance of being respectfully naive and curious, provide a safe environment for cultural stories to unfold, then reflect insights nonjudgmentally. Psychotherapists must receive more specific training on cultural competence. Six important components of training in cultural competence are listed. (EMK)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A