Core Element: Practicing Cultural Relevance
RESOURCES AND TOOLS
- Expectations about race & racism in a helping relationship
- Hardy, K.V. (2013). Healing the hidden wounds of racial trauma. Reclaiming Children & Youth. 22(1), 24-28.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Improving Cultural Competence. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series No. 59. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4849. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Improving Cultural Competence: KAP Keys for Clinicians.
In the context of in-home therapy, practicing cultural relevance is: 1) the ongoing process of acquiring an understanding of how the values, beliefs, attitudes, and traditions of racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic, and other groups contribute to our own and other people’s cultures; 2) learning about personal circumstances, conditions, nature, and experiences that influence our own and other people’s thinking, behavior, and community roles; 3) acknowledging differences and similarities in power and privilege among groups of people; and 4) using this knowledge to work effectively with all people.
Contribution to the Outcome: Actively working to understand the broadly defined, overall norms for each family’s identified culture, the conditions of the family’s local community, and the family’s specific beliefs and traditions demonstrates that the IHT team values diversity and can adjust treatment to each family’s situation. Discussing cultural considerations with each family highlights differences and similarities with the clinician’s own culture that may either enhance or interfere with collaboration. Evidence of cultural considerations throughout the work — from first to last meeting with the family — underlines the strengths-based approach of IHT. Continuous learning about each family’s culture shows commitment to reducing health disparities through ongoing learning and improvement.