National and International Professional Resources
Professional resources for behavioral health and social care in the United States include psychology, social work, nursing, psychiatry, and medicine. Each discipline functions autonomously within a general system of monocultural rules and expectations. Although these disciplines all provide behavioral health services to multicultural clients, their professional resources were developed in isolation from one another for homogeneous mainstream populations. The extent of considering cultural competency initiatives for multicultural populations within each profession was determined by self-scrutiny, or “reflexivity,” within a larger context of hierarchal status, special interests, disparate objectives, and membership needs. Values of autonomy and self-sufficiency inherent in each discipline minimized formal interdisciplinary exchange of ideas or partnering in the development of complementary training experiences for professional practice with diverse populations.
This chapter examines overarching education and training considerations in these professional disciplines that have sustained historic monocultural activities and minimized reflexivity in the development of multicultural perspectives. These considerations have placed limits on the (a) scientific premises and activities providing a coherent basis of knowledge for practice; (b) discipline permeability for racial/ethnic minorities and balanced representation by gender; and (c) openness of the discipline to cross-cultural exchange of ideas, practices, and working alliances on a global basis.
KeywordsSocial Work Cultural Competency Continue Medical Education Counseling Psychology Social Work Practice
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.