PSY 8316 Capella University Unit 4 Cultural Beliefs and Social Factors HW

Question Description


Respond to at least one learner’s posting. In your response, do one of the following:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Offer a suggestion.
  • Elaborate on a particular point.
  • Provide an alternative opinion.

Be sure to support your response with examples.


D1 Response

Developing a therapeutic alliance is important when considering treatment outcomes.  It is of equal importance when considering a client’s cultural background.  Culture is not only ethnicity.  It is inclusive of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, social class, physical ability, religion or spirituality, language, and immigration or refugee status (Comas-Diaz, 2006).  A psychologist should take all of these elements of a client into consideration when building rapport.   However, completing necessary research prior to the first session would be of benefit to the professional and the client.  Although, cultural factors may not be fully understood prior to the first session. For this fact, it is important for professionals to gain additional training in multicultural competence in order to have accessible knowledge.  Persons of differing cultures rarely see themselves reflected in the field and may be concerned if the clinician’s cultural competence (Comez-Diaz, 2006).

There are many factors which may impact an individual’s willingness to seek out treatment.  Cultural beliefs and social factors are two which come to mind.  These factors may influence how an individual reports symptoms, their expectations for treatment, and desired outcomes (APA, 2006).  An ethical psychologist should reflect on their own bias, values, and characteristics and how this may differ from the client.  Individual’s seeking treatment may have desired outcomes which can be influenced by cultural and individual factors and a clinician should utilize components of EBPP which aligns with the client’s cultural factors (APA, 2006).

Integrating a culturally sensitive approach into practice requires the professional to gain additional knowledge.  Multicultural competence is achieved when such additional awareness is gained along with necessary skills to function effectively (Whaley & Davis, 2007).  Because issues individuals experience may differ greatly it seems like an overwhelming task for a professional to maintain multicultural competence.  Utilizing a process model when addressing cultural differences may have less potential for cultural stereotypes compared to a content model (Whaley & Davis, 2007).



American Psychological Association, Presidential Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice. (2006). Evidence-based practice in psychology. American Psychologist. 61(4), 271-285. Retrieved from:

Comez-Diaz, L. (2006). Evidence-Based Psychotherapy: Where Practice and Research Meet. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from:

Whaley, A. and Davis, K. (2007). Cultural competence and evidence-based practice in mental health services: A complementary perspective. American Psychologist. 62(6), 563-574. Retrieved from:




Unit 4 Discussion 1 Me ZH

“Culture is defined as a set of behavioral norms, meanings, and values or reference points utilized by members of a particular society to construct their unique view of the world, and ascertain their identity. It includes a number of variables such as language, traditions, values, religious beliefs, moral thoughts and practices, gender and sexual orientation, and socio-economic status” (ALARCÓN, 2009).

It is important to take into consideration the cultural factors in diagnosis in evidence-based practice because people from different population and culture would accept or reject certain types of treatments.  For example for bi-polar disorders, it is common to use medication with therapy (Goodwin, 2009).  However, in certain culture they would reject medication because it would be a taboo to take medication for something that they think could be fixed by life adjustments.

As a psychology student, it is good to know the outcomes of evidence-based practices, but it is also good to keep in mind how this could be used in different cultures and demographics.  Cultural sensitivity is I believe just as important as knowing when and when not to use the evidence-based outcomes to practice.


American Psychological Association, Presidential Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice. (2006). Evidence-based practice in psychology. American Psychologist. 61(4), 271-285. Retrieved from:

ALARCÓN, R. D. (2009). Culture, cultural factors and psychiatric diagnosis: Review and projections. World Psychiatry, 8(3), 131-139. doi:10.1002/j.2051-5545.2009.tb00233.x

Goodwin, G. (2009). Evidence-based guidelines for treating bipolar disorder: revised second edition—recommendations from the British Association for Psychopharmacology. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 23(4), 346–388.


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