Psychologists, Social Workers, Counselors, MFTs

Improving Cultural Competence


Course Description: The development of culturally responsive clinical skills is vital to the effectiveness of behavioral health services. This course uses Sue’s (2001) multidimensional model for developing cultural competence. Adapted to address cultural competence across behavioral health settings, this model serves as a framework for targeting three organizational levels of treatment: individual counselor and staff, clinical and programmatic, and organizational and administrative. The chapters target specific racial, ethnic, and cultural considerations along with the core elements of cultural competence highlighted in the model. These core elements include cultural awareness, general cultural knowledge, cultural knowledge of behavioral health, and cultural skill development.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the need to understand race, ethnicity, and culture (including one’s own) to appreciate the diversity of human dynamics and to treat clients effectively
  • Describe the benefits of incorporating cultural competence into treatment to improve therapeutic decision-making and to offer alternative ways to define and plan a treatment program firmly directed toward progress and recovery
  • Describe the importance of organizational commitment to support culturally responsive treatment services
  • Explain the role of advocating culturally responsive practices to increase trust within the community, agency, and staff
  • Discuss the importance of the participation of racially and ethnically diverse groups and underserved populations in the development and implementation of treatment approaches and training activities to achieve cultural competence

Course Components:

  • Online text (included)
  • Multiple choice online exam (included)
  • Electronic certificate of completion (free)

Course Credit(s): 10 CE Credits or Hours

Course Format: Online Text (format of this course is noninteractive)

Course Schedule: Self-paced

Course Author(s): Felipe González Castro, MSW, PhD, Loretta J. Bradley, MA, PhD, Jacqueline P. Butler, MSW, CCDC, LISW, Flanders Byford, MSW, LCSW, and Ting-Fun May Lai, MSW, CSW, CASAC

Content Publisher(s): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Course Author(s) Qualifications:

Dr. Castro is Professor of Department of Psychology at Arizona State University.

Dr. Bradley is Professor of Department of Educational Psychology at Texas Tech University.

Jacqueline P. Butler is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Substance Abuse Division, College of Medicine at University of Cincinnati.

Flanders Byford is affiliated with Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

Ting-Fun May Lai is Director of Chinatown Alcoholism Center, Hamilton-Madison House in New York. 

Course Level: Beginning/Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced

CEmobile, LLC, #1558, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. CEmobile, LLC maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 5/2/2018-5/2/2021. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits.
Social workers participating in this course will receive 10 clinical continuing education clock hours.

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