Conceptual and Empirical Issues in Training Culturally Competent Psychologists

  • Craig L. FrisbyEmail author
  • William O’Donohue
  • Lorraine T. Benuto
  • Jena B. Casas


The current zeitgeist in applied psychology training portrays the development of cultural competence as a necessary and highly valued component of clinical training. The American Psychological Association (APA) has created guidelines for multicultural education, training, research, practice, and organizational change for psychologists and mandated culturally competent behavior in its Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. If students attending applied psychology training programs are expected to develop cultural competencies, then they must be exposed to structured experiences designed to assist them in this goal. Such experiences include, but certainly are not limited to, didactic classroom instruction. Research on this topic has revealed that studies examining training outcomes have methodological flaws, lack information regarding the specifics of training, implications for trainee benefits are unclear, and trainings have not demonstrated that cultural competency trainings result in improvements for clients. The field as it stands is ripe for the development of evidence-based trainings which should be developed using a clinical science model.


Training Instruction Cultural competency Cultural sensitivity 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig L. Frisby
    • 1
    Email author
  • William O’Donohue
    • 2
  • Lorraine T. Benuto
    • 2
  • Jena B. Casas
    • 2
  1. 1.University of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Nevada - RenoRenoUSA

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