Culturally Competent Assessment
Culturally Competent Assessment
Cultural competence means being able to understand and interact well with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and being well-informed of your cultural values and beliefs and how they differ from the beliefs and values of other people. To be culturally competent, an individual must have a basic understanding of their own culture, be willing to learn and appreciate the cultural practices of other people, and the individual must have positive attitudes towards cultural differences and be ready to accept and respect those variations. Culturally competent assessment involves specific styles of cultural service delivery, using a person’s first language, and assessing an individual as a cultural being before test administration utilizing cultural orientation categories. This paper will focus on culturally competent assessment as the main exam topic and discuss the importance of culturally competent assessment in multicultural counseling, the essential elements of culturally competent assessment, and finally conclude with an agreement or disagreement with Sue et al. (2022) presentation of the topic.
The Importance of Culturally Competent Assessment to Multicultural Counseling
According to Stobierski (2021), multicultural counseling is used to illustrate a particular method of counseling practice that considers how different aspects of an individual’s cultural identity, values, and beliefs might affect the person’s mental health. Factors that can influence an individual’s mental health include issues regarding race, gender identity, immigration status, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and religion. Cultural competence is essential when dealing with mental health matters since it gives room for the counselor to build trust with the patient, show empathy, overcome language barriers, ask questions, and evaluate how various cultures view and understand, and handle mental health problems. In addition, a multicultural counselor needs to exercise culturally competent assessment when dealing with different patients to improve the outcomes of all the patients. Another reason why culturally competent assessment is essential to multicultural counseling is that developing cultural competence helps a multicultural counselor to communicate, understand, and effectively interact with patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Besides, it allows the patient and the counselor to compare various cultures with their own, thus understanding the differences.
In addition, culturally competent assessment is essential to multicultural counseling because, through culturally competent assessment, individuals can gain a better understanding of attitudes, values, and beliefs of different cultures, thus being able to appropriately consider and respond to the differences in cultural practices in planning, implementing, and assessing health education and promotions interventions and programs. In addition, according to Jun (2018), when it comes to multicultural counseling, multicultural counselors should be culturally competent as this will help them to accept and acknowledge the differences in behavior, appearance, and culture of different patients from a wide range of backgrounds. Notably, culturally competent mental health counselors need to be able to suspend judgment. When a multicultural counselor is culturally competent, this helps the counselor to put aside their own perspectives, thus building more authentic, stronger, and trusting relationships with their clients. Lastly, culturally competent assessment is essential to multicultural counseling because being a culturally competent counselor helps to improve communications with the clients hence keeping them safer. Clear communication between the counselor and the client allows the counselor to collect accurate information.
The Essential Elements of Culturally Competent Assessment
The five essential elements of cultural competence assessment include; cultural knowledge, awareness, encounters, cross-cultural skills, and cultural desire.
Cultural awareness is the procedure of carrying out a self-evaluation and critical reflection of an individual’s biases toward different beliefs and an in-depth evaluation and understanding of one’s cultural upbringing. Also, cultural awareness contains being conscious of documented racism in health care delivery (Campinha-Bacote, 2019). When it comes to cultural awareness, people must be careful with how they react to other people’s cultures and what they are supposed to do to be operational in cross-cultural situations. Therefore, multicultural counselors should be culturally competent to ensure that they are morally committed to serving all their patients regardless of the patient’s beliefs, values, and practices.
Cultural knowledge means that an individual is well-informed about the cultural history, characteristics, beliefs, values, and behaviors of other cultural or ethnic groups. By being culturally aware, an individual can comprehend and appreciate different cultural values, customs, and beliefs, thus being able to interact with other people without judgment and prejudice. According to Campinha-Bacote (2019), cultural knowledge includes integrating health-related practices, thoughts, and cultural ethics of ethnically and culturally various populations, treatment efficacy among ethnically and culturally diverse populations, and disease prevalence and incidence among people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Knowing cultural competence prevents professional healthcare providers from being myopic in their views. Also, it helps them in offering the best services to all patients despite of their cultural beliefs or social status.
According to Campinha-Bacote (2019), cultural skill is the capacity to carry out a cultural valuation to gather related cultural data and information concerning patients served by a caregiver or multicultural counselor. Cultural skills allow people to effectively work, interact, and build strong relationships with individuals from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Cross-cultural skills are essential to cultural competence because they allow caregivers and their patients to form strong relationships.
Cultural encounters motivate healthcare givers to directly participate in face-to-face interactions with clients from different cultural backgrounds to alter their attitudes regarding a cultural group, thus preventing potential stereotyping. According to Campinha-Bacote (2019), constant cultural encounters are required to obtain cultural skills, desire, awareness, and knowledge. Cultural encounters influence an individual’s way of communication, norms, and values. Through cultural encounters, cultures are developed and continue to be developed by individuals who are members of dynamic relationships with sustained mutual influence. Through cultural encounters, multicultural counselors become mindful that each encounter is a chance for inquisitiveness, critique, life-long learning and self-evaluation.
Cultural desire is an encouragement for multicultural counselors who wish to take place in the process of seeking cultural encounters and becoming culturally knowledgeable, culturally aware, and culturally skillful. Besides, cultural desire involves an individual’s willingness to accept and respect cultural differences and the willingness to become open and learn from other people’s opinions. Cultural desire is a type of encouragement that requires an individual to have passion (Campinha-Bacote, 2019). Lastly, cultural desire includes a genuine urge to become open and flexible with other people, to accept the variations, and build on the similarities.
Agreement with Author’s Presentation of Culturally Competent Assessment
I agree with the authors’ presentation of culturally competent assessment since the authors have outlined the various variables that influence diagnosis, evaluation, and case conceptualization, guiding the reader’s understanding of multiple populations presented in the book. I agree with Sue et al. (2022) that the accurate evaluation, case conceptualization, and diagnosis of the patient are the main prerequisites to the delivery of appropriate care and treatment to the patients, and they are all dependent on the perspectives, values, and characteristics of both the patient and the counselor or the therapist. According to the authors, culturally competent assessment is essential because it gives an insight into the risks of stereotyping and the need to value different clients’ individuality and uniqueness. In addition, I agree that when preventing diagnostic mistakes, paying attention to the client’s culture may go a long way (Sue et al., 2022). Besides, based on their similar behaviors to those of their White counterparts, clients of color often get incorrect diagnoses or excessive diagnoses. Understanding customers via a more casual perspective may help compensate for evaluation errors. Lastly, we can construct hypotheses regarding how a person behaves if we know the cultural norms and probable identity-related behaviors linked with specific groups.
Culturally competent assessment involves specific styles of cultural service delivery, using a person’s first language, and assessing an individual as a cultural being before testing administration utilizing cultural orientation categories. The essential elements of cultural competence are cultural knowledge, cultural awareness, cultural encounters, cross-cultural skills, and cultural desire. Finally, I agree with sue et al. (2022) presentation of my chosen exam topic.
Campinha-Bacote, J. (2019). Cultural compatibility: A paradigm shift in the cultural competence versus cultural humility debate—Part I. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 24(1). DOI: 10.3912/OJIN.Vol24No01PPT20 https://doi.org/10.3912/OJIN.Vol24No01PPT20Jun, H. (2018). Social justice, multicultural counseling, and Practice: Beyond a conventional approach. Springer.
Stobierski, T. (2021). What is Multicultural Counseling & Why Is It Important? Northeastern University Graduate Programs. Retrieve 18 October 2022, from https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/blog/what-is-multicultural-counseling/#:~:text=Multicultural%20counseling%20seeks%20to%20understand,patient’s%20relationship%20with%20counseling%20itself.
Sue, D. W., Sue, D., Neville, H. A., & Smith, L. (2022). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice. John Wiley & Sons.