Toward a Critically Conscious and Culturally Competent Telepractice in Psychology

Toward a Critically Conscious and Culturally Competent Telepractice in Psychology

Brittany A. Canfield (Fielding Graduate University, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9978-6.ch084

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Franz Fanon posed the notion of “a systemized negation of the other—to deny the other any attribute of humanity” in the social environment of the “colonial type” (Fanon, 1963, p. 182). Thus, describing the experience of the “other” in a tireless search for the meaning of their reality. Kitzinger and Wilkinson (1996) boldly describe Western social constructionism thus: “‘We’ use the other to define ourselves: ‘we’ understand ourselves in relation to what ‘we’ are not” (pp. 1-32). From the social constructionist perspective, there is skepticism of the “categories of knowledge,” and there are assertions that the use of those categories leads to “viewing them as accounts shaped in accordance with cultural dictates” (Hare-Mustin & Marecek, 1994, pp. 531-537).

“The attribution of meaning is bound up with power” (Parker et al., 1995, p. 16), which means that “power relations” that are formed around groups subjected to inequality (e.g., gender, racial/ethnic) are influenced by the very definitions of “normal” that ultimately guide various psychological diagnoses. Landrine (1988) asserts that “what is constructed as ‘normal’ is limited to the experience of dominant cultural groups, and therefore precludes, and excludes, the experiences of women and people of color,” for example (pp. 37-44); this assertion can also be applied to individuals from rural and/or indigenous communities. It is important to note, additionally, that this applies to those of “lesser” socioeconomic status more so than to the “creators of the norm” (pp. 37-44).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Colonization: The establishment of a Western ideology in remote locations where its understanding, awareness, or cultural beliefs are unknown, or differ; it also references settling within another cultural community through thought, action, beliefs, and practices.

Oppression: The occurrence of an action or societal belief that perpetuates the subjection of, cruel, inhumane, or unjust treatment toward, or control of a person and/or group.

Systems Theory Approach: The examination of multiple systems within a larger group that considers interactions among multiple interrelated parts.

Global Mental Health: The movement to provide or improve mental health services in areas of the world where services do not exist, are sparse, or are not aligned with the evidenced-based practices established in the country of origin.

Psychiatric Colonization: The establishment of Western psychiatric ideology and practices in mental illness treatments within non-Western cultures where spiritual, religious beliefs, and cultural practices can be overruled if the need for psychiatric treatment is deemed necessary.

Rural Communities: A community within a country of origin that does not have services, resources, or amenities similar to those in the neighboring city or town.

Telepractice: The implementation of technological advances in the practice of medicine, psychology, or other services using web-based video interaction, web-based communication, or the use of other multimedia platforms in rendering said service.

Social Constructionism: Understanding the social perception of a reality unique to a social group or culture, by examining the development of interconnected meanings with the world around it.

Marginalization: The act of holding societal beliefs that keep a person and/or group in a powerless, vulnerable, unimportant, or misunderstood position.

Emic: A personal account of a behavior or belief within a culture.

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