Reflective Local Practice: A Pragmatic Framework for Improving Culturally Competent Practice in Psychology

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Abstract

Psychology has long been at the forefront of recognizing the importance of cultural competence in professional endeavors. Although the literature on culture and psychology is rich, many psychologists and psychology training programs could still benefit from a pragmatic template for integrating and improving cultural competence throughout the professional life span. The current article presents a framework for improving cultural competence, called reflective local practice. The term reflective relates to the primary focus on self-understanding and insight as tools to enhance lifelong growth in cultural competence. The term local refers to suggestions about utilizing one’s local community and its unique history in this reflective process. Finally, the term practice reminds psychologists and psychology trainers that applied skills training is a necessary part of developing cultural competence. The reflective local practice framework is intended to be relevant for psychologists and training programs situated in any cultural milieu, and to be useful for psychologists and trainees from all cultural backgrounds.

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