When Culture Walks in the Room

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Developing Multicultural Competence

Presented by Monica Johnson, PsyD and Michelle Melton, PsyD


Multicultural competence is fundamental in the formation of professional competence, ensuring the unique cultural identities of clients are respected and understood in the treatment context. Advances in research, scholarship, and practice has led to a more robust understanding of diversity in how we think, feel, regulate, behave, and create meaning. Such advancement has called for the reconceptualization of the role diversity plays in the provision of multiculturally competent services. Considerations of power, privilege, oppression, current and historical sociopolitical context, human development, and intersectional experiences and identities all enrich the understanding of ourselves, others, and communities.

This online course seeks to aid mental health professionals broaden their understanding to reflect current trends in the literature that consider contextual factors and intersectionality among and between reference group identities, including culture, language, gender, race, ethnicity, ability status, sexual orientation, age, gender identity, socioeconomic status, religion, spirituality, immigration status, education, and employment, within the context of domestic and international climates as well as human rights.

We will address structural factors that diminish the psychological health and well-being of millions of people (Psychologists for Social Responsibility, 2011). Additionally, this webinar series will assist participants in developing self-awareness with regard to knowledge of self as a cultural being as well as enhance the ability engage in constructive (and healing) dialogues on race, racism, power, and privilege.

Mental health professionals will emerge from this training with the ability to improve working alliance, client satisfaction, gain session depth, and enhance general therapy competence.


  1. Describe the components of cultural competence.
  2. Describe microaggressions and the effects they have on people of color.
  3. Employ at least one method of engaging in race-related dialogue.
  4. Identify current health disparities and their impact on marginalized groups.
  5. Identify issues of power, privilege, oppression, racism, prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination, assimilation, marginalization, and acculturation on micro- and macro-systems level.
  6. Integrate multiculturalism and diversity in provision of services, research, supervision, and education.
  7. Identify and discuss their own diversity/cultural factors that influence multicultural competence.