Cross Cultural CEUs - Continuing Education

Cross Cultural Counseling


3 Cross Cultural CEUs Courses to choose from:

Cultural Competency and Diversity - 6 hours

California Cultures and Socioeconomic Status- 15 hours

Multicultural Development and Cultural Interaction - 15 hours

APA American Psychological Association continuing education

NBCC - National Board for Certified Counselors continuing education

BBS - Board of Behavioral Sciences CEU

One state board requires a course titled Cross Cultural Counseling. If this is needed for your state please let us know and we will make the change to the certificate of completion.

Cross Cultural CEUs

Culture has been defined as "the shared values, traditions, norms, customs, arts, history, folklore, and institutions of a group of people." Why should we even be concerned about culture?

First, understanding culture helps us to understand how others interpret their environment. We know that culture shapes how people see their world and how they function within that world. Culture shapes personal and group values and attitudes, including perceptions about what works and what doesn’t work, what is helpful and what is not, what makes sense and what does not. Cross Cultural CEUs

Secondly, understanding culture helps service providers avoid stereotypes and biases that can undermine their efforts. It promotes a focus on the positive characteristics of a particular group, and reflects an appreciation of cultural differences. Finally, culture plays a complex role in the development of health and human service delivery programs.

Factors that Influence Cross Cultural Continuing Education

While we know that cultural influences shape how individuals and groups create identifiable values, norms, symbols, and ways of living that are transferred from one generation to another, it is important for us to distinguish the differences created by such factors as age, gender, geographic location, and lifestyle. Race and ethnicity are commonly thought to be dominant elements of culture, but a true definition of culture is actually much broader than this.

For example, ethnic and racial groups are usually categorized very broadly as African American, Hispanic, American Indian and Native Alaskan, or Asian American and Pacific Islander. These broad categories are sometimes misleading, because they can often mask substantial differences within groups.

The larger group may share nothing more than common physical traits, language, or religious backgrounds. We often fail to consider the distinct factors which influence culture within larger populations that determine how people think and behave within Cross Cultural CEUs. 

Cross Cultural Continuing Education Values and Attitudes

Culture shapes how people experience their world. It is a vital component of how services are both delivered and received. Cultural competence begins with an awareness of your own cultural beliefs and practices, and recognition that people from other cultures may not share them. This means more than speaking another language or recognizing the cultural icons of a people. It means changing prejudgments or biases you may have of a people’s cultural beliefs and customs.

It is important to promote mutual respect. Cultural competence is rooted in respect, validation and openness towards someone with different social and cultural perceptions and expectations than your own. People tend to have an “ethnocentric” view in which they see their own culture as the best. Some individuals may be threatened by, or defensive about, cultural differences. Moving toward culturally appropriate service delivery means being:

knowledgeable about cultural differences and their impact on attitudes and behaviors;
sensitive, understanding, non-judgmental, and respectful in dealings with people whose culture is different from your own; and flexible and skillful in responding and adapting to different cultural contexts and circumstances.

Cross Cultural CEUs

Cross Cultural Counseling CEUs social workers, lmft, lcsw, counselors, psychologists.

Also, it means recognizing that acculturation occurs differently for everyone. This means more than different rates among different families from the same cultural background; it means different rates among members of the same family as well.

For example, the beliefs, customs, and traditions of people from other cultures are often at odds with Western medicine and its heavy emphasis on science. Consistent with the Anglo-American emphasis on scientific reasoning, Western medicine tends to emphasize biological explanations for illness (such as bacteria, viruses or environmental causes); whereas in other cultures the natural, supernatural or religious/spiritual reasons explain the cause of the problem (the yin and yang are out of balance; you have broken a taboo; or you have been thinking or doing evil.

Cultural competence is defined as “a set of cultural behaviors and attitudes integrated into the practice methods of a system, agency, or its professionals, that enables them to work effectively in cross cultural situations.” Cultural competency is achieved by translating and integrating knowledge about individuals and groups of people into specific practices and policies applied in appropriate cultural settings. When professionals are culturally competent, they establish positive helping relationships, engage the client, and improve the quality of services they provide Cross Cultural CEUs.

Culture plays a complex role in the development of health and human service delivery programs the need for the provision of culturally appropriate services is driven by the demographic realities of our nation. Understanding culture and its relationship to service delivery will increase access to services as well as improve the quality of the service outcomes. Research has begun to provide the underpinnings for the development of standards for the delivery of services to diverse populations. The following Principles are drawn from research material on the role culture plays in providing services to older adults.

There is an ethic to culturally competent practice. When professionals practice in a culturally competent way, programs that appropriately serve people of diverse cultures can be developed. Each person must first posses the core fundamental capacities of warmth, empathy and genuineness.

To achieve cultural competence, professionals must first have a sense of compassion and respect for people who are culturally different. Then, practitioners can learn behaviors that are congruent with cultural competence. Just learning the behavior is not enough. Underlying the behavior must be an attitudinal set of behavior skills and moral responsibility. It is not about the things one does.

It is about fundamental attitudes. When a person has an inherent caring, appreciation and respect for others they can display warmth, empathy and genuineness. This then enables them to have culturally congruent behaviors and attitudes. When these three essentials intersect, practitioners can exemplify cultural competence in a manner that recognizes, values and affirms cultural differences among their clients.

Communicating Cross Cultural CEUs Meanings

Communication provides an opportunity for persons of different cultures to learn from each other. It is important to build skills that enhance communication. Be open, honest, respectful, nonjudgmental, and - most of all - willing to listen and learn. Listening and observational skills are essential. Letting people know that you are interested in what they have to say is vital to building trust.

Communication strategies have to capture the attention of your audience. This means not only using the language and dialect of the people you are serving, it means using communication vehicles that are proven to have significant value and use by your target audience.

Culturally competent service providers must take into account the full range of factors that influence how any one individual service recipient behaves and communicates. The two levels of influencing factors are: overall cultural differences between racial and ethnic groups, as well as  individual-level differences (based on age, education, literacy, income, gender and geographic location and Cross Cultural CEUs).

Acculturation is a process that occurs when two distinct cultural groups have continuous first-hand contact, resulting in subsequent changes in the original cultural patterns of either or both groups. The degree to which acculturation takes place is influenced directly by both the cultural and individual-level differences.

The DSM-IV TR Outline for Cultural Formulation When Assessing and Diagnosing Patients

Rendering psychological and psychiatric assistance to a diverse population carries with it some special issues as well as those more generally noted in other curricula. Consequently, faculty and clinicians in the mental health and behavioral health fields have been working to include diagnostic and clinical criteria that would assist practitioners in becoming more culturally and linguistically competent.

One concise clinical tool to aid the clinician in this process is the Outline for Cultural Formulation (OCF) found in Appendix I of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (known as DSM-IV-TR) from American Psychiatric Association in Arlington, VA in Cross Cultural CEUs.

Although intended for use with the DSM-IV TR in assessing mental disorders, the OCF is applicable to other clinical health care encounters. It provides a systematic review of the individual’s cultural background, the role of the cultural context in the expression and evaluation of symptoms and dysfunction, and the effect that cultural differences may have on the relationship between the individual and the clinician. As a result of using the OCF, the clinician provides a narrative summary for each of the following categories:

1. Cultural identity of the individual
2. Cultural explanations of the individual’s illness
3. Cultural factors related to the psychosocial environment and levels of functioning
4. Cultural elements of the relationship between the individual and the clinician
5. Overall cultural assessment for diagnosis and care

Cross Cultural CEUs

1. Cultural identity of the individual. Note the individual’s ethnic or cultural reference groups. For immigrants and ethnic minorities, note separately the degree of involvement with both the culture of origin and the host culture, where applicable. Also note language abilities, use, and preference, including multilingualism.

2. Cultural explanations of the individual’s illness. The following may be identified: the predominant idioms of distress through which symptoms or the need for social support are communicated (such as “nerves,” possessing spirits, somatic complaints, and inexplicable misfortune), the meaning and perceived severity of the individual’s symptoms in relation to norms of the cultural reference group, any local illness category that the individual’s family and community use to identify the condition (such as those explained in the DSM-IV TR’s “Glossary of Culture-Bound Syndromes”).

3. Cultural factors related to the psychosocial environment and levels of functioning. Note culturally relevant interpretations of social stressors, available social supports, and levels of functioning and disability. These stressors would include those in the local social environment and the role of religion and kin networks in providing emotional, instrumental, and informational support.

4. Cultural elements of the relationship between the individual and the clinician. Indicate differences in culture and social status between the individual and the clinician and problems that these differences may cause in diagnosis and treatment, such as difficulty in communicating in the individual’s first language, in eliciting symptoms or understanding their cultural significance, in negotiating an appropriate relationship or level of intimacy, and in determining whether a behavior is normative or pathological.

5. Overall cultural assessment for diagnosis and care. The formulation concludes with a discussion of how cultural considerations specifically influence comprehensive diagnosis and care.

Cross Cultural Continuing education for Mental Health Professionals

The clinician assesses the first four interrelated sections, which provide information that will have an effect (in the fifth section) on the differential diagnosis and the treatment plan. Clinicians must cultivate an attitude of “cultural humility” in knowing their limits of knowledge and skills in applying the OCF with accuracy rather than reinforcing potentially damaging stereotypes and over-generalizations.

Cultural identity involves a range of variables not only including ethnicity, acculturation and biculturality, and language, but also age, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religious and spiritual beliefs, disabilities, political orientation, and health literacy, among other factors. In addition, assessment of cultural identity must move from merely the clinician’s perspective to include the patient’s self-construal of identity over time.

The second section asks the clinician to inquire about the patient’s idioms of distress, explanatory models, and treatment pathways (including complementary and alternative medicine and indigenous approaches) and to assess these pathways against the norms of the cultural reference group. The third section highlights the importance of the assessment of family and kin systems and religion and spirituality.

The fourth section focuses on the complex nature of the interaction between the clinician and the individual including transference and counter-transference, which may either aid or interfere with the treatment relationship. In the final section, the clinician summarizes his or her understanding of the previous sections and can apply this understanding to a differential diagnosis and treatment plan.

AAPI Mental Health for Cross Cultural CEUs

Cross Cultural CEUs

The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA) has found the DSM IV TR Outline for Cultural Formulation provides a rich theoretical framework in making culturally appropriate assessments, diagnosis, and treatment plans. Using the DSM IV TR, NAAPIMHA developed a curriculum and pre-service training program in 2002 that is designed to help reduce disparities in mental health care for diverse populations by building a workforce capacity.

The aim of the curriculum was to address the mental health needs of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and was developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services.

Counseling interracial couples and multiracial individuals: Applying a multicultural counseling competency framework


Galbraith, C.  (2000, December).  Cross Cultural Considerations in Health Care:  One Hospital Responds.  Minnesota Medicine, 83. 

Beach, M.C., Price, E.G., Gary, T.L., Robinson, K.A., Gozu, A., Palacia, A., Smarth, C., Jenckes, M.W., Feuerstein, C., Bass, E.B., Powe. N,R,, & Cooper, L,A. (2005). Cultural competence: A systematic review of health care provider educational interventions.

Derald Wing Sue, Patricia Arredondo and Roderick J. McDavis. 1992, Multicultural Counseling Competencies and Standards: A Call to the Profession

US Dept of Health and Human Services, Cross Cultural Counseling CEUs for Mental Health Professionals, Cultural Competency continuing education course online. Cross Cultural CEUs, Online Cultural Competency approved by state licensing boards including the BBS, NBCC and APA. Online Courses, no books.