McPhatter (1997) defines cultural competency as the ability to bring cultural awareness and understanding into “health and/or psychosocial interventions that support and sustain healthy client-system functioning within the appropriate cultural context (pg.261).” Akin to many of my peers, I am inclined to envision myself upon graduation as a self-aware, knowledgeable, enthusiastic clinician capable of servicing all kinds of clients without prejudices...
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...ural contexts, it is crucial that cultural competency garners attention from both the clinician, and agency. The ongoing work involved in this journey is emotionally demanding, and I find it incredibly helpful to revisit the very reason why I choose this profession. As Elizabeth J. Clarke, Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers so eloquently states, “We are holders of hope for our clients, our communities, and our society…. social work is the last best profession (pg.11).” Given that, it is critical that as social workers we remember that although discussing societal constructs, such as, racism, classism, sexism, and homophobia in the therapeutic relationship can be remarkably challenging, by engaging in such conversations you are combating the power that these constructs possess in your life, your client’s and the global society at large.
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