Diversity in Psychology

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K. Tomlin, October 2011

Reflective Essay 1: Diversity in Psychology

Why do we study diversity in psychology?

Diversity comes in many forms. It is extremely important that psychologists, counselors, and therapists not only develop the skills to successfully treat and assess individuals, but they must also understand their values and attitudes related to the facets of diversity: age, religion, socio-economic status, culture, sexual orientation, ethnicity, spirituality, and ability. First and foremost, the client’s sense of security and safety must remain a priority. Mental health treatment is largely dependent upon the psychologist’s knowledge and ability to manage the client’s care and treatment relationship effectively and ethically.

Due to the increase in multicultural populations, psychologists will continually have to interact with nationalities that may be ethnically and racially different. Hispanic and Asian populations are expected to triple by the 2050 (Martin &Nakayama, 2008). Many minority cultures and youths do not have access to or adequate mental health services due to communication limitations, clinician bias, or other barriers that will further separate them from any treatment process and further discourage said services. What is lacking, at times even among professionals interested in multicultural issues, is the specific implementations of research programs, policy initiatives, and service programs that tackle the issues and diverse needs of culturally diverse youths and in particular those with serious emotional and behavioral disorders (Casas, Pavekski, Furlong, & Zanglis, 2001).

What are the different ways that diversity is an integral part of our larger society?

Within diversity is competence and responsibility. No mental health care services should be established until the psychologist has had proper training, ongoing education, and knowledge with the understanding of the facets mentioned previously. Diversity-based...
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