Understanding Culture— The Art of Providing Culturally Competent Care

What is culture? By definition, culture is patterns of human activity and the symbolism behind them that give them structure. It encompasses our mannerisms, the way we dress, our language, belief systems, rituals, social norms, and morals. In essence, it’s the fabric that weaves groups of people together.

Truthfully, each of us has a cultural background that influences how we see others and the world around us. And at the heart of fantastic outcomes for families is culturally competent care!

So, what’s culturally competent care? It’s a practice that involves taking the time to explore your background and how it influences the biases you bring to interactions, exploring your client’s culture with curiosity, and providing service tailored to the unique needs of each individual.

Listen as Missoula Therapist Katie Engleson explores culture and how to provide top-notch mental health services to kids and families.

How to Provide Culturally Competent Care

Want more tips on providing culturally competent care? Below are a few more informational tidbits to add to your professional toolbelt.

  • With permission, work together with your client’s cultural, community, or religious organizations.
  • Recognize the types of therapy and medications that work best in youth from specific diverse groups
  • Appreciate and recognize cultural biases and how they influence treatment
  • Support parents and caregivers in using behavioral management skills that are in line with their beliefs and values
  • Include family members who are non-blood relatives in the evaluation and treatment when requested by the family or child

Want more?

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