Pre Course Reading for CALD 9

eCALD Supplementary Resources

Pointers for engaging in therapeutic interventions:

  • Take time to establish trust and rapport (using principles discussed in the “CALD 9 Working in a Mental Health Context with CALD Clients” course).
  • Maintain authority and credibility (particularly with Asian and Middle Eastern cultures) but be modest and able to disclose appropriately.
  • Discuss cultural differences (Paniagua, 2005).
  • Avoid confrontation or questions that may be too direct.
  • Maintain unconditional regard for the individual and the family, and communicate this regard verbally or through actions, for example, by arranging a home visit.
  • Be sure to understand the client’s explanatory model of illness and treatment expectations.
  • Collaborate with the client to reduce shame, to manage the fear of seeking help (especially for substance abuse/dependence clients) and achieve goals.
  • Check with the client and/or the family that the therapeutic relationship is working and that expectations are being met.
  • Understand how the client’s culture views symptoms and approach these appropriately. (If it is not usual for them to identify feelings, work with the behaviour and thoughts that are associated with somatic expressions.)
  • Use euphemisms or culturally appropriate analogies, phrases and stories. (Also find myths or common stories from the client’s culture to illustrate.)
  • Use cultural assets to lower risk (family as support, sense of responsibility to family if person is suicidal).
  • Encourage culturally endorsed coping skills (going to temple, rituals and activities).
  • Provide appropriate cultural escape routes.