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Multicultural concerns cover a broad range of issues such as race, religion, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, and/or disability. Culture is defined as “the beliefs, arts, customs, institutions, and all other products of human thought and work created and employed by a people or group at a particular time.” People from new and different cultural groups may be negatively stereotyped and heavily discriminated against because of their differences from a main culture. Throughout history, multicultural concerns have been prevalent in regard to the cultures of Native Americans, African Americans, Italians, Irish, Jews and other cultural groups. With the gathering of various cultures which is frequent in school, work, and social situations, there will inevitably be cultural differences. Refraining from negative stereotyping and discrimination may be difficult but necessary in an ever-changing society.
Culture plays an extremely relevant role in psychotherapy. The likelihood of a person seeking help, available treatments used by mental health professionals, and the outcome of treatment are greatly affected by cultural considerations. Depression or other mental health conditions that one culture may view as a reason for therapy may be seen as a matter to be handled by family or religion in another culture. In a psychotherapeutic relationship, both the therapist's and client's cultures play a role in that dynamic. It is important for the therapist or mental health professional to be aware of client's possible cultural differences. Most therapists receive training or education on multicultural counseling.
Multicultural concerns may affect how a person is medically treated or if they receive medical treatment at all. Cultural views of health and health problems may differ and create an interesting dynamic in medical treatment. Misunderstandings of and/or ignorance toward cultural differences may lead to physical violence which may require medical attention.
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Last updated: 05-14-2013
Multicultural Concerns Articles