Our focus is on multicultural competence.

As mental health professionals we have the ethical responsibility of being aware and respectful of cultural differences between ourselves and those we serve, based on age, gender, language, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status. We are also expected to ensure that our own biases and prejudices-and to the best of our ability those of others-do not negatively impact the students, clients, research participants, and others that we serve.

We can’t do this without some level of multicultural competence-despite our best intentions. In fact, we can do a lot of harm not meaning to.

Multicultural competence is challenging because it requires a willingness to engage in ongoing self-reflection about our own worldviews-that set of attitudes, beliefs, biases, and assumptions we have about ourselves and others-based on our many intersecting cultural identities. It also requires the willingness to challenge the narratives about ourselves and others that we have internalized through the socialization process and our experiences with power, privilege, and marginalization. Multicultural competence is a lifelong journey. No matter how much we already know, there is always more to learn-about ourselves and others.

CEMPSYCH, LLC offers continuing education that supports mental health professionals in doing this work.