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Discussing Cultural Competency

Cultural Competency

Developing diverse knowledge about other populations helps improve cultural competency. This competency can be developed through independent reading, attendance at relevant seminars, or supervision from professionals in the field with appropriate backgrounds. Cultural competency is important to the assessment process.

Review the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics and respond to the following:
1. How would you define cultural competency?
2. Why is cultural competency important for substance abuse counselors?
3. How would you acquire this skill?
4. Which ACA ethics codes discuss cultural competency, and what measures should counselors take to prevent ethical code violations in these areas?

Solution Preview

Culture refers to human behavior that is integrated through language, customs, beliefs, values, actions, communications, thoughts, religion, race, thoughts, and actions. Cultural competency means that professionals can effectively work with patients, and other professionals in multi-cultural situations. In order to help the patient succeed in treatment, a counselor should take into consideration a patient's culture when assessing, diagnosing, and developing a treatment plan for the patient (1).

Cultural competency is important for substance abuse counsellors because every culture has different views on health care, how mental health disorders are perceived, health care providers, and how treatment is given. In order for a substance abuse counsellor to be able to render treatment to a patient, they must first understand the patient's cultural background. Some individuals respect their culture and refuse to go against it in any way; therefore, a counsellor must understand that patient's culture and now how to guide the patient into treatment and getting help for their substance abuse without coming across as disrespectful and unknowledgeable. Culturally competent strategies and services are vital to providing effective mental health services and extremely necessary (2).

In order to acquire the skill of becoming culturally competent, a counselor must first understand and learn about his or her own culture. They must be trained in ways to help develop cultural competent skills. Making contacts in the community to learn what the concerns and priorities are in the area and developing relationships and trust in the community is also helpful in becoming culturally competent. Gathering background information about the communities that you work with is also essential in helping patient's succeed in substance abuse treatment (3). When a ...

Solution Summary

Solution discusses the code of ethics according to the ACA, and why cultural competency is important, how to gain cultural competency.

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