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Cultural Diversity, Breaking Barriers, & Racist Micro Aggressions
Cultural Diversity continuing education psychologist CEUs

Section 3
Treatment Culture

CEU Question 3 | CE Test | Table of Contents
Psychologist CEs, Counselor CEUs, Social Worker CEUs, MFT CEUs

Always check in with the families to make sure that you understand what they are telling you. Some people use euphemisms, a variety of terms, they’ll say things in ways so they don’t have to put the truth out there. Listen to everything they’re telling you so you can key in on what is the real issue here. And when you are working with families don’t assume that the issue that brought them in is the issue that really needs the most attention. Sometimes they come in with kind of a safe problem: a child is misbehaving in school but there is a lot more going on underneath the surface and to get to that, you are really going to have to show interest, listen to them, and build a strong relationship with them. Acknowledge the differences, know that you are different. You can even acknowledge that you are different, you know that you don’t come from a culture similar to yours, tell me more about your culture. What do I need to know about you Jason to best serve you as your Counselor? Don’t be afraid to tell them you need to know more, that you want to understand their perspective. Very important.

Before trying to help your clients find a solution, make sure you understand their definition of the problem. Now every so often we kind of think oh there’s a child in trouble at school, we need to get to the school counselor, we need to talk to the teacher, we need to do the ADHD checklist. Maybe not that single problem. Help them find the best definition for what’s happening in their family.

Recognize that identifying a problem is very much a “culture-bound” activity. If you look at the DSM-IV today, at the back of it is a whole section on “culture-bound” disorders, because they are unique to certain cultures. So when we get the DSM-IV out and we’re looking at Panic Disorder, there are some other syndromes that are native to different cultures where it is not really Panic Disorder, it’s something that happens in their culture. It’s just something they expect to happen. So be aware of that. Let the client’s description inform your assessment. Always let what’s going on with the family inform what you do in your office. Don’t go quickly to your little binder on Family Counseling Treatment Planner that is generic if you are working with a family who is different from families this was written for. Make sure you check in the source.

And ask questions about what does the problem mean to you, to your family. Not just this is what I assume this problem means for you. Ask every member of the family, “What does it mean to you to have a child who is acting out in school?” Because your answer might be very different from what mine would be if it were my child. You have to be aware that everyone sees things differently and to be open to everybody’s interpretation of what the problem was. Don’t assume you’re just going to talk to the male head of household if he shows up or just to the mom, but everybody has some input because families are affected by the problem, each member.

Below are the PowerPoints that accompany the instructor's lecture for this track.

Working with Families 2 Cultural Diversity CEUs
Working with Families Cultural Diversity CEUs

- Degges-White, S. (2008). Working with Culturally Diverse Families. Lecture presented at the Indiana Counseling Association Annual Conference.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Brassel, S. T., Settles, I. H., Jellison, W. A., & Dodson, C. (2020). Power and race in Black and White men’s perceptions and experiences of manhood. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 6(4), 325–343.

Desai, M. U., Paranamana, N., Restrepo-Toro, M., O'Connell, M., Davidson, L., & Stanhope, V. (2020). Implicit organizational bias: Mental health treatment culture and norms as barriers to engaging with diversity. American Psychologist. Advance online publication.

Drinane, J. M., Owen, J., & Tao, K. W. (2018). Cultural concealment and therapy outcomes. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 65(2), 239–246.

Rofcanin, Y., Las Heras, M., & Bakker, A. B. (2017). Family supportive supervisor behaviors and organizational culture: Effects on work engagement and performance. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 22(2), 207–217.

Wang, Y., Benner, A. D., & Kim, S. Y. (2015). The Cultural Socialization Scale: Assessing family and peer socialization toward heritage and mainstream cultures. Psychological Assessment, 27(4), 1452–1462.

Online Continuing Education QUESTION 3
What is one reason why it is important to keep your client's cultural background in mind during diagnosis and treatment? To select and enter your answer go to CE Test.

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