This course is based upon material published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is part of their recently published Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) on improving cultural competence.
According to SAMHSA – The development of culturally responsive clinical skills is vital to the effectiveness of behavioral health services. According to Cross et al in 2001 cultural competency is a set of behaviors, attitudes, and policies that . . . enable a system, agency, or group of professionals to work effectively in cross-cultural situations This Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) uses Sues (2001) multidimensional model for developing cultural competence. Adapted to address cultural competence across behavioral health settings, this model serves as a frame-work for targeting three organizational levels of treatment: individual counselor and staff, clinical and programmatic, and organizational and administrative.
Chapter 2 – Cultural competence has come to mean more than a discrete skill set or knowledge base; cultural competence also requires self-evaluation on the part of the practitioner. Culturally competent counselors are aware of their own culture and values, and they acknowledge their own assumptions and biases about other cultures. Moreover, culturally competent counselors strive to understand how these assumptions affect their ability to provide culturally responsive services to clients from similar or diverse cultures.
Counselors should begin the process of be-coming culturally competent by identifying and exploring their cultural heritage and worldview along with their clinical worldview, uncovering how these views shape their perceptions of and during the counseling process. In addition to understanding themselves and how their culture and values can affect the therapeutic process, culturally competent counselors possess a general understanding of the cultures of the specific clients with whom they work. Counselors should also understand how individual cultural differences affect substance abuse, health beliefs, help-seeking behavior, and perceptions of behavioral health services.
This course addresses counselors’ core cultural competencies and presents clinical activities, including clinical supervision tools. The key areas explored include cultural awareness and cultural identity development, the cultural lens of counseling, key components of cultural knowledge for behavioral health counselors, and specific counseling skills that support culturally responsive services.
Although this document was written from the perspective of providing drug treatment services, it contains some of the most current research and collaboration from renowned sources in the field. It was extensively revised and vetted by a wide array of behavioral health specialists and has undergone a more rigorous screening and review than most peer reviewed publication. As a result, the information is appropriate for clinicians who work with a wide variety of presenting problems, not just those involved in substance abuse treatment.
This course is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to develop their understanding of cultural competence. The course material provides a list of and definition for core counselor competencies as they relate to culture. It includes methods for both assessing and enhancing cultural competence in behavioral health practitioners.
This course is particularly useful for licensed clinicians who require clinical continuing education courses for license renewal. It is especially appropriate for behavioral health workers who require cross cultural counseling content for license renewal.
Authors: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding cultural competence. Specifically, a professional will:
- Identify cultural awareness and how it impacts cultural competence.
- Distinguish cultural identity and a cultural lens of counseling.
- Recognize key components of cultural knowledge for behavioral health counselors.
Citation: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Improving Cultural Competence. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series No. 59. Chapter 2: Core Competencies for Counselors and Other Clinical Staff. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4849. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014.