Ethnic Minority Perspectives on Clinical Training and Services in Psychology

Ethnic Minority Perspectives on Clinical Training and Services in Psychology

Ethnic Minority Perspectives on Clinical Training and Services in Psychology

Ethnic Minority Perspectives on Clinical Training and Services in Psychology

Synopsis

Based on a series of three conferences sponsored by the NIMH, 47 mental health professionals and students representing 28 training programs share their perspectives on psychology's potential contributions to minority mental health training. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Excerpt

The clinical training of ethnic minority psychologists and the clinical service needs of ethnic minority populations involve a number of distinct but related issues. the purpose of the conference reported in this volume was to provide a forum in which the salient issues in minority mental health could be discussed and specific action recommendations could be offered to improve both the cross‐ cultural utility of generic clinical training in psychology and the quality of mental health services for ethnic minority clients. in this chapter, we present a rationale for minority mental health training, review efforts by the American Psychologial Association (APA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to address these issues in previous conferences on clinical training, and outline some of the major barriers to minority training and some of the strategies developed to overcome these obstacles.

The Need for Minority Mental
Health Training

The field of minority mental health has begun to emerge from the emotionalism of political debate and activism, is gaining credibility as a legitimate field of scientific inquiry in psychology, and there is increasing recognition of the importance of training more ethnic minority psychologists to meet the mental health needs of the growing ethnic minority populations. Unfortunately, however, the debate over the need to correct the cultural ethnocentrism of psychology continues unabated, and, therefore, the average new PhD in psychology is only slightly more competent to meet the mental health needs of our culturally diverse population than psychologists who completed their training 20 years ago. As noted by Jones (1990), the current status of minority issues in psychology shows both progress and stagnation. Although there is greater visible minority representation in the structure of apa, and the number of minority psychologists has increased substantially since 1977, the percentage of minorities in graduate school (15%), the proportion of new minority PhDs in psychology (8%), the percentage of apa members who are minority (< 5%), and the percentage of minority faculty members in psychology (5%) in 1989 have all remained fairly stable since the early 1980s (Jones, 1990).

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