In considering the best way in which to treat clients who are struggling with mental health concerns, it is essential to take into consideration their cultural history and context (Diaz & Fernandez, 2002). There are so many cultural differences throughout the world, so many ways in which people are behaviorally diverse and unique. In order to have a good overview of the multitude of cultures, the wide variety of behavioral acts and attitudes, the wise health provider must have been educated in the fact that many cultural differences are, in fact, different, yet logical and reasonable, emotionally safe.The intelligent practitioner should also be familiar with the fact that although some cultural behaviors are different, this does not mean that they are tolerable or harmless, some culturally varied acts and attitudes being destructive to the self and others.
To formulate the best treatment plan for a client, the cultural factors must be assessed and included in planning treatment. In paving a way forward for the unique solutions developed by the client, it is necessary for the health care provider to be in tune with the cultural actuality of the client, including both good and bad aspects.Incorporating culture into both client conceptualization and treatment planning is vital for both practitioner and client, because it is honest. One cannot ignore culture and expect that the health care experience would be well served or well conducted. Even the cultural aspects of the practitioner may have an effect on the relationship with the client, and much care should be devoted to remaining open minded and ethically aware. Including culture into the formulation of client conceptualization and treatment must be recognized and well noted within the DSM-IV, the main diagnostic manual for mental health providers.
By recognizing culture and behavioral differences between people, the humanistic aspects of therapy become better developed. Many times, there are positive aspects of culture which help people to become healthier, and many times, there are negative aspects of culture which harm people. In highlighting the way in which culture influences people and people influence culture is being honest with clients and being ethical in providing the best health care. References Diaz, N. & Fernandez, R. (2002). The Cultural Formulation: A Method for Assessing Cultural Factors Affecting the Clinical Encounter.
Psychiatric Quarterly 73(4), 271-295.