Critical Consciousness: A Workshop on Cultivating Culturally Sensitive Mental Health Practitioners

It is essential for mental health practitioners to address the needs of a growing and increasingly diverse population. While MFT trainees are required to undergo training on how to address the needs of specific, diverse populations through a multicultural counseling or diversity considerations course, one course may not be enough to cover a broad range of topics relating to sociocultural and socioeconomic factors that can adversely affect many communities. Additionally, it is significant to explore how people from different backgrounds experience each other and what this implies for mental health practitioners in delivering effective treatment. The purpose of this graduate project is to address the needs of culturally diverse communities by strengthening cultural competence, cultivating cultural sensitivity, and acknowledging cultural humility in MFT trainees during their graduate program through an adaptable four-hour experiential workshop. The workshop's foundation rests on the concept of the self-of-the-therapist, and asks its participants to critically examine and address cultural issues from within themselves in order to confront their own responses to working with cultural "others." The goal of the workshop is to link the self-of-the-therapist and the development of cultural sensitivity in order to enhance therapeutic treatment of diverse populations.