The vision of CEMPSYCH, LLC is to be a leader of a transformation in the way in which mental health professionals and organizations conceptualize, seek, and provide training in multicultural competence.
The mission of CEMPSYCH, LLC is to provide continuing education (both in workshops and home study) for mental health professionals that will facilitate the lifelong journey of increasing multicultural competence. A primary purpose of this mission to enhance multicultural competency is to allow mental health professionals to provide the highest quality of services to students, clients, research participants and others they serve and offer enhanced contributions to the profession.
An assumption that undergirds this mission is that creating conditions that allow mental health professionals to understand themselves more fully as cultural beings, provides a pathway for healing any sense of internal separation within oneself and with others. This healing allows mental health professionals to more fully facilitate the same pathway for healing in others.
At CEMPSYCH, LLC we believe that every experience is a multicultural experience. Therefore, the core values of CEMPSYCH, LLC are principles and expected practices intended to guide the business undertakings and interactions among anyone affiliated with CEMPSYCH, LLC (including independent contractors and advisory committee members) as well as our interactions with workshop participants, consumers of any home study courses, and the general public. These principles and expected practices will also be encouraged among workshop participants and integrated as applicable into all home study courses.
As licensed mental health professionals we are encouraged to maintain an awareness of and respect for cultural differences between ourselves and those we serve based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status. We are also encouraged to prevent our own biases and prejudices-and to the best of our ability those of others-from negatively impacting the students, clients, research participants, and others that we serve. Most of all, we should do no harm.
While the requirement for multicultural competence training in graduate programs is minimal and for licensing boards non-existent in most states, it is imperative that we be mindful of the power we have as “helping” professionals. Who we are and what we know or don’t know impacts the mind, bodies, and spirits of ourselves and colleagues, as well as the individuals and groups we serve.
Our good intentions are not good enough. Like privilege, harm can be invisible. We have a moral responsibility to develop and maintain some basic level of multicultural competence.
So much of what we think and feel about ourselves and others as cultural beings operates outside of our conscious awareness. We cannot change what we are not aware of. Increasing awareness of the biases and assumptions we hold is a foundational step in developing and increasing multicultural competence. So, it is essential to engage in practice that allow us to become more mindful. Mindfulness involves being fully present and aware of what we are thinking and feeling in any given moment. It also involves being able to stay present with what comes up for us in the moment without getting overwhelmed or overreacting.
Being present to one’s own suffering based on marginalization as well as to the awakening of one’s privilege can be a pathway to being able to feel the suffering of others. Practicing self-compassion along with compassion for others can motivate us to stay on the journey of multicultural competence.
The path of multicultural competence is challenging because it requires a willingness to engage in ongoing self-reflection and self-evaluation of 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 also a lifelong journey. No matter how much you already know, there is always more to learn-about ourselves and others.
But the journey isn’t about perfection, it’s about progress and greater connection with oneself and others. The practice of loving kindness-offering unconditional love to ourselves and others, no matter how unlovable we may appear to be at any given time-is something we all deserve.
Offering loving kindness does not mean we don’t still hold one another accountable. It simply means that we hold one another accountable within the context of loving kindness.
Cultural humility is reflected in the ongoing commitment to self-reflection and self-evaluation of what you know and don’t know about yourself and others as cultural beings and the motivation to continue obtaining continuing education to enhance multicultural competency. Cultural humility requires an acknowledgement of other equally valid worldviews and a willingness to stay open to learning more, particularly from the point of view of the individuals with whom you are interacting. Cultural humility also includes the motivation to collaborate with the individuals that we serve and advocacy groups to eliminate power, privilege and marginalization on all levels.
Laws are the primary way in which discrimination continues to be embedded and perpetuated in every system of which we are a part of. Discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ability status, and age is still ingrained in every system that we are a part of, despite the enactment of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its many amendments over the past 55 years.
It is equally important to be aware that there are no federal laws that offer protection against discrimination in housing, education, public accommodations, credit lending, and more, based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. While some states have anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, there is wide variation state to state.
Both the Ethical Principles and Multicultural Guidelines offered by the American Psychological Association (APA) address the importance of promoting justice, human rights, and respecting the rights and dignity of all.
In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown says “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
We believe that the principles and practices of accountability, mindfulness, compassion, loving kindness, cultural humility, and social justice on the journey of multicultural competence offers the gift of what we value most here at CEMPSYCH, LLC-authenticity.