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Updated: Jun 21, 2021

Culture sensitive therapy is psychotherapy where different multicultural aspects like caste, sex, religion, race, beliefs and customs are kept in mind and acknowledged by the therapist while administering therapy. Therapists who specialize in culturally sensitive therapy respect the difference in opinions, traditions, thinking and mindsets because they understand the importance of your culture in your daily life and well-being. This leads to more positive therapeutic outcomes.

A person’s cultural belief plays a very important part in his development. The opinions you hold, where you come from, how you were raised, the values you hold, make you who you are. When a therapist is culturally sensitive, it makes it easier for the client to build a rapport and open up because the client has the comfort of a similarity or of the thought that the therapist understands and takes in account, his/her culture.The client feels accepted, the way he/she is and that gives him/her the sense of comfort and the idea of a safe person and safe space.

Culture plays an important role even when someone is going through mental health problems. In that, it may affect how a person would be treated or even whether they receive any treatment at all. For example, depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions that one culture might encourage therapy for, may be seen as a matter to be handled by religion in another culture. If an individual from India goes to the USA, he may have difficulty due to depression or adjustment problems, owing to differences in culture, lifestyle, food and climate. A culturally sensitive therapist can help him know if he is facing adjustment problems or showing signs of depression and how he can cope with them, healthily.

Working of Culture Sensitive Therapy

Culture Sensitive Therapy mainly consists of:

  1. Sensitivity For The Culture: Your therapist is culturally sensitive and appreciates cultural diversity or multicultural concerns. This means that you and your therapist can look at your experiences from your viewpoint, clearly. This enables you to develop shared goals for therapy with your therapist.

  2. Knowledge of Diverse Cultures: Your therapist will be aware of how cultural factors can influence your mental well being.

  3. Cultural empathy: Your therapist understands your cultural perspective, the situations or stereotypes that you experience and can connect with you to build a trusting, firm, safe and comforting working relationship.

Cultural views of health problems may differ with one another and might pave the way for improper treatment. Misunderstandings and/or ignorance toward cultural differences regarding health may lead to a lot of harm to the body. For example, according to some cultures, mental health concerns are a result of a negative power that has come to reside in the body and religious measures are taken to get rid of them. By this time, the concerns get really deep-rooted and might affect the physical well-being of the person, too. In western cultures, people are encouraged to seek therapy to deal with mental health concerns.

The Benefits of Culture Sensitive Therapy Include:

  • Clear awareness and unbiased opinions are given to help the client deal with any prejudice they may have faced due to his belonging to a certain culture.