June 24, 2013
Dr. Gretchen Brandhorst
Multicultural Competency Paper
Individuals, who have the ability of understanding and appreciating an adequate amount of another culture while having the ability to communicate and work with individuals from that culture, are socially capable. The American Psychological Association formed a group of culture detailed and multiethnic rules. These particular guidelines supply a platform for psychologists for the effective dispersal of services to the general public (GMETRPOCP, 2003). Focusing on guideline number one, “psychologist are encouraged to recognize that, as cultural being, they may hold attitudes and beliefs that can detrimentally influence their perceptions of and interaction with individuals who are ethnically and racially different from themselves” (GMETRPOCP, p.8, para.12, 2003). It is truly vital that psychologists identified and admit that his or her individual ideas, opinions, and outlooks can influence the effectiveness of the rapport he or she has with his or her clients. This is of the greatest significance because unwillingly, a psychologist’s individual view of another person can lead to negative judgments built on the group in which the psychologist’s has categorized the individual. Many issues become pertinent, including factors that can influence individuals to begin categorizing others that can lead to attitude changes simply because someone is racially or culturally different from him or her. Individuals become so emotionally deadened and without conscious thought he or she is biased or stereotypes individuals in out-groups (GMETRPOCP, 2003). For many psychologists his or her clients many are in minority groups and therefore considered in the out-group category.
The second guideline asserts that “Psychologists are encouraged to recognize the importance of multicultural sensitivity/responsiveness, to knowledge of, and understanding about ethnically and racially different individuals” (GMETRPOCP, p.12, para.2, 2003). One is encouraged to increase his or her knowledge of other cultures and ethnic groups other than the one he or she grew up with or around. Most individuals spend a lifetime in a very small section of the world only aware of the few racial and ethnic differences, yet never having any knowledge of what they truly are. Psychologists are individuals who have needed to understand and are encouraged to take a closer look at aspects such. It is important for him or her to know and understand the positive and negative aspects of one’s culture, including prejudice and discrimination (GMETRPOCP, 2003). Although he or she may not have the same experiences one must have an idea of what another culture has experienced for without it there is not empathy. Psychologist must be willing to look at him or herself and identify a time he or she may have been on the outside and remember. Once he or she does this when interacting with individuals who come from different cultures find a common ground through open communication. Each individual at one time or another has been through an experience where he or she has felt some type of discrimination or a stereotype has be cast because of looks, clothing, body type, skin color, or something else. It is important the psychologist become aware of his or her attitude toward others making him or her aware of judgments that may be restricting the way he or she reasons. Becoming self-aware appears to be central