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Cultural Competence in Clinical Psychiatry

Cultural Competence in Clinical Psychiatry

Edited by Wen-Shing Tseng, M.D., and Jon Streltzer, M.D.
2004
216 pages
ISBN 978-1-58562-125-5
Paperback Also Available In: eBook
Item #62125



Building on their previous works about cultural competency in clinical areas and in psychotherapy, the editors have created in this volume an exceptional and entirely new approach to understanding and acquiring cultural competency. Instead of examining populations of different ethnic groups, particularly minority groups (as is typical in the literature), this illuminating volume examines cultural issues as applied to the practice of virtually every psychiatric service (e.g., inpatient, outpatient, consultation-liaison, pain management, and emergency) and specialty (e.g., child and adolescent, geriatric, addiction, and forensic psychiatry). Concluding chapters discuss cultural factors in psychopharmacology and psychotherapy. Thirteen distinguished contributors bring these issues to life with numerous case vignettes in all 11 chapters.

The foundation for this breakthrough approach rests on


  • Culture—The unique behavior patterns and lifestyle that encompass a set of views, beliefs, values, and attitudes shared by a group of people that distinguish it from other groups. Culture and people influence each other reciprocally and interactionally—on a conscious or unconscious level.
  • Cultural competence—Clinicians need to master cultural sensitivity, knowledge, and empathy; they need to be flexible, and they need to be skilled in culturally relevant doctor-patient relationships and interactions and to know how to use these elements therapeutically.
  • The critical importance of cultural competence—Clinicians typically work in multiethnic-cultural societies, providing care for patients of diverse backgrounds. For this reason, virtually all clinical practice can be seen as transcultural. Even when clinicians treat patients who share cultural backgrounds similar to their own, it is inevitable that some differences exist.

Further, in the medical setting, three types of culture are present: the culture of the patient, the culture of the physician, and the medical culture in which the clinical work is practiced. Understanding these three cultural dimensions is essential to comprehending and carrying out culturally competent clinical work.

This practical and innovative guide—designed to help mental health care professionals meet the new requirements for cultural competence in clinical work—will find a welcoming audience among students, residents, educators, and clinicians everywhere.

Contributors. Preface. Introduction: culture and psychiatry. Culture and inpatient psychiatry. Culture and outpatient psychiatry. Culture and the psychiatric emergency service. Culture and consultation-liaison psychiatry. Culture and addiction psychiatry. Culture and forensic psychiatry. Culture and child and adolescent psychiatry. Culture and geriatric psychiatry. Culture and drug therapy. Culture and psychotherapy. Index.

"Cultural Competence in Clinical Psychiatry is the ideal book for busy psychiatric practitioners. It addresses extremely well the most important dimensions of cultural psychiatry in all relevant settings and areas of psychiatric subspecialization. Drs. Tseng and Streltzer need to be congratulated for producing a text that offers a unique and relevant cultural perspective in the most important clinical areas of the field of psychiatry. The editors offer to psychiatric practitioners the opportunity to blend the most modern concepts of cultural competence into the day-to-day aspects of their clinical practice. This book reaches areas that no other book on the topic of cultural psychiatry has ever addressed."—Pedro Ruiz, M.D., Professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas


"The unique aspect of this book is the examination of cultural issues as applied to the practice of subfields of psychiatry rather than an analysis organized by different ethnic groups. The result is an insightful, scholarly work written by academic psychiatrists with a wealth of clinical experience in treating patients from different ethnic groups."—The American Journal of Psychiatry

Iqbal Ahmed, M.D.
Todd S. Elwyn, M.D., J.D.
S. Peter Kim, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.
J. David Kinzie, M.D.
Paul K. Leung, M.D.
Keh-Ming Lin, M.D., M.P.H.
Francis Lu, M.D.
Louise Lettich, M.D.
Daryl Matthews, M.D.
Jon Streltzer, M.D.
Junji Takeshita, M.D.
Wen-Shing Tseng, M.D.
Joseph Westermeyer, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.

Wen-Shing Tseng, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Hawaii School of Medicine in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Honorable Advisor of the Transcultural Psychiatric Section of the World Psychiatric Association.

Jon Streltzer, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Queen Emma Pain Clinic at the University of Hawaii School of Medicine in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Secretary of the International College of Psychosomatic Medicine.