National University




PSY637 Cultural Competencies

Lead Faculty: Dr. Valerie L. Alexander

Course Description

Exploration of the role of culture in concepts of mental health practice. Students will examine how their own cultural background frames their understanding of themselves and others. Family heritage, culturally informed assessment and treatment, and the limitations of the dominant Eurocentric psychological world view to diverse populations is explored.

Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze the relationship between culture and mental health.
  • Evaluate the influence of the therapist's own ethnicity, cultural heritage, and biases on the therapeutic relationship and process.
  • Compare and contrast holistic and individualistic cultures as they influence behavior, values, emotion, power relations, and patterns of mental distress and healing.
  • Formulate a culturally appropriate treatment philosophy and plan for clients.
  • Discuss the limitations of DSM-based categories with non-Western people, including culturally aligned alternatives.
  • Conduct culturally informed interventions in diverse mental health settings.
  • Employ culturally appropriate assessment methods.
  • Analyze diffrent concepts of culture and the impact of various cultural viewpoints in the theory and practice of psychotherapy.