Clinical Psychology Diversity Committee
The Diversity Committee is a student-led group created in recognition of the fact that culture, identity and difference across a variety of domains are inextricably tied to the role clinical psychologists play in serving the public and advancing scientific knowledge.
- Increase knowledge among those in the clinical program of the impact that culture, race, ethnicity, and other aspects of identity can have on mental health and one’s interaction with mental health care services.
- Facilitate awareness of our own cultural identities and areas of privilege and disadvantage, including how they shape our worldview, affect our interactions with clients, and influence the way we conduct research.
- Provide opportunities for students and others in the program to learn practical skills for developing cultural competence in clinical and research contexts.
- Identify ways in which the clinical psychology program can best serve diversity-related training goals, and create partnerships with the faculty to work toward reaching these goals.
Events and Initiatives
The Diversity Committee hosts a meeting or event each month during the academic year. Below are example of events and initiatives put together by the Diversity Committee:
- Program-wide clinical workshop on addressing cultural differences in therapy
- Panel discussion on gender equality in the clinical sciences
- Student-led case conferences on patients in which elements of diversity impacted their presentation and the course of treatment
- Faculty presentation on multicultural issues in neuropsychology
- Development of a Task Force working with CARD to evaluate how the clinic can best serve individuals from underrepresented backgrounds
The concept of diversity includes a wide array of differences among individuals. Diversity may encompass multiple domains including (but not limited to) race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, immigration status, socio-economic status, religion, privilege, language, educational status, age, and ability. Diversity exists between and within individuals.
Defining Cultural Competence
Cultural competence requires awareness of, respect for, and curiosity about similarities and differences, as well as knowledge of frameworks for exploring similarities and differences. It also requires skill in applying these frameworks in interpersonal and professional contexts to people of all backgrounds in a manner that respects the worth of the individual and preserves their dignity. Cultural competence is not an end state which one achieves, but is something toward which we must continually work.
Definition adapted from: 1) I-Merit (2006). I-Merit Institutional-Wide Plan. Alliant International University. San Diego, CA. 2) University of Michigan Program for Multicultural Health. Retrieved September 8, 2008.