Multicultural Competence

  1. Describe your understanding of multicultural competence.
  2. Describe how the multicultural population (Hispanic population)in your community and
    what it would mean to work with clients from that community as a psychologist .
  3. Describe how you would demonstrate multicultural competence in the Hispanic
    community.
    Use at least one of the following References
    American Psychological Association (2002). Guidelines on multicultural education,
    training, research, practice, and organizational change for psychologists.
    Brown, S. D., & Lent, R. W. (Eds.). (2008). Handbook of counseling psychology (4th ed.).
    Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    ?Chapter 9, “Multicultural Competence in Counseling Psychology Practice and Training”
    (pp. 141-158)
    Gallardo, M. E., Johnson, J., Parham, T. A., & Carter, J. A. (2009). Ethics and
    multiculturalism: Advancing cultural and clinical responsiveness. Professional Psychology:
    Research and Practice, 40(5), 425-435.
    Pedersen, P. B., Crethar, H. C., & Carlson, J. (2008). Conclusion: Developing multicultural
    awareness, knowledge, and skill. In P. B. Pedersen, H. C. Crethar, J. Carlson (Eds.),
    Inclusive cultural empathy: Making relationships central in counseling and psychotherapy
    (1st ed.) (pp. 223-241). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Multicultural Competence

Multicultural competency is the ability to understand another culture, to facilitate
effective communication, while working with the people from that culture. Multicultural
competence means fluency in more than one culture, in any environment (Sue et al., 2009).
Learning to be sensitive to the cultural expressions of another culture is part of multicultural
competence, requiring energy and time. Competency means being in a position to function
effectively as an individual in the context of different cultural beliefs and behaviors. The
majority of the clients from the Hispanic population have limited access to English proficiency,

MULTICULTURAL COMPETENCE 2
which affects their full range of psychological services. When the psychologists are involved in
the evaluation and diagnosis, they may face challenges that could lead to their misinterpretation
of the symptom expression due to poor communication (Gallardo et al., 2009). This is even
worse in more advanced psychological conditions because of the poor understanding of their
cultural norms, mannerism and verbal styles.
The Hispanics prefer services from psychologists who understand their culture. This is
because the Hispanics view the outward expression of emotions such as crying as healthy.
However, the psychologist may misinterpret the symptoms as more severe, with difficulties in
communication, which could have inappropriate impression to the therapist. Furthermore, the
performance of the psychological and psycho-educational tests may not reflect accurately the
abilities and abilities because the tests used are designed specifically for the English speaking
populations (Cornish et al., 2010). In treatment, most of the psychologists do not understand
specific Hispanic experiences or recognize their cultural familial strengths and values. Therefore,
the therapists may not draw available community support to the achievement of the curative
goals. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the majority of the treatments awaits approval with the
Hispanic populations. Most of the Latinos will involve the whole family in their choice for
treatment. Their adherence to family values may cause them to develop strong ties to their
providers rather than therapists’ care settings.
To address effectively psychological issues for the Hispanic population, it is necessary to
modify practices at the individual and systemic level to allow individual diagnosis and treatment
of their cases (Owen et al., 2011). For instance, modified approaches should be developed
alongside the new models adopted for treatment to reduce the chances of misdiagnosis and
termination of therapeutic success. The approaches used need a clear demonstration of the

MULTICULTURAL COMPETENCE 3
understanding of the cultural, social and traditional beliefs of the Hispanic cultures. The
psychologist should explore previous efforts to address the previous efforts to address the
problems, which could include working with folk healers. This will help the therapist determine
the potential for the adverse interaction of the herbs and curative foods prescribed for
medication. Furthermore, the providers need to understand the concepts of marianismo, respect,
machismo and simpatis, to develop interventions that are culturally acceptable (Gallardo et al.,
2009).
In addition, the psychologists have to understand the deeply rooted refusal of the whites
to recognize and accept the values of the Hispanics in the past, present and future of their
country. Therefore, the educational, political and economic developments of the Hispanics have
a history of neglect and oppression. Therefore, the health care providers have to understand the
economic situation of the Hispanics, and make services affordable and available within the
community, under a flexible schedule (Owen et al., 2011). In addition, the service providers need
to be aware of the social, political and educational forces affecting the psychosocial functioning
of Hispanics, and prepare to offer viable strategies to address their issues. In this case, the service
providers need to incorporate active efforts, which focus on empowerment of the community.
They have to establish the truth through clear communication and actions, which will develop
trust between them and the clients from the Hispanic community.

MULTICULTURAL COMPETENCE 4

References

Cornish, J. A. E., Schreier, B. A., Nadkarni, L. I., Metzger, L. H., & Rodolfa, E. R. (Eds.).
(2010). Handbook of multi-cultural counselling competency. Wiley. com.
Gallardo, M. E., Johnson, J., Parham, T. A., & Carter, J. A. (2009). Ethics and multiculturalism:
Advancing cultural and clinical approachable. Professional Psychology: Research and
Practice, 40(5), 425–435.
Owen, J., Leach, M. M., Wapold, B., & Rodolfe, E. (2011). Clients and their therapist variability
in clients’ perceptions of their therapists’ multicultural competencies. Counselling
psychology Journal, 58(1), 1.

Sue, S., Zane, N., Hall, G. C. N., & Berger, L. K. (2009). The case for cultural competency in
psycho-therapeutic intervention. Annual reviews of psychology, 69, 525.

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