Recognizing Bias and Deepening Your Cultural Humility and Cultural Competence

Understanding cultural issues is critical to providing exceptional care and is an ethical mandate. As examples, the APA code states that psychologists “ensure that their potential biases…do not lead to or condone unjust practices” and the ACA code requires that counselors “explore their own cultural identities...” The NASW Standards and Indicators for Cultural Competence says social workers must be aware of their “privilege and power” and “demonstrate cultural humility.”

Past programs of mine have focused on the above issues with a wide lens. In this one, we will take a deeper dive. We will also look at how our social identity(ies) and privilege(s) impact us and potentially the therapeutic relationship. As always, and because this topic necessitates such, the seminar will be highly interactive, utilizing film and other video clips to illustrate the issues and spark an open discussion in both small and large groups.


Discuss the impact of our social identity (ies), particularly for those in dominant groups, in and outside of work

Explore the invisibility of our privileges and insidiousness of bias

Transcend theory by discussing the factors that shape our perceptions

Understand how mindfulness helps us get acquainted with our biases and can reduce the harmful effects

Declare intentions and commitments