The process of assessing an individual psychologically should be accurate, thorough, and impartial, resting on the assumption that the clinicians performing the assessment are competent and using reliable procedures. According to Ridley, Li, and Hill (1998, p. 1),…
Moreover, if skilled clinicians could each independently assess several of the same clients, they should arrive at differential assessment conclusions appropriate to each client. In any case, clinicians should make accurate, comprehensive assessment decisions regardless of (a) their cultural backgrounds, (b) the clients cultural background, and (c) the complexity and nature of the presenting problem(s).”
One social and psychological variable, among many others that must be taken into consideration, is culture. Unfortunately, this variable is usually mishandled or overlooked in the process. According to Ridley, Li, and Hill (1998, p. 1), “Culture is one such variable that permeates human experience. It affects the way people label illness, identify symptoms, seek help, decide whether someone is normal or abnormal, set expectations for therapists and clients, give themselves personal meaning, and understand morality and altered states of consciousness. Sometimes clinicians give culture too much credence in assessment, resulting in their overlooking or underdiagnosing of psychopathology, or they may not give culture due consideration, resulting in their overdiagnosing of psychopathology.”
One of the most challenging aspects of dealing with culture when it comes to mental health professionals is deciding whether a person of a particular culture is abnormal in general or if they are considered abnormal within their culture. As a result, culture must be incorporate into psychological assessment. Most clinicians are not properly trained to assess multicultural clients in the current situation at mental health facilities. This is particularly a problem because accurate assessment is crucial in helping an individual in need. Mainstream assessment methods have even been found to be dangerous to multicultural individuals and groups (Spengler, ...
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