Clinical significance of cross-cultural competencies (CCC) in social work practiceedit
Although culturally competent practice is ethically sound and sociopolitically valued, the ways in which cultural competencies affect clients’ change processes have been little explored in either clinical or cultural literatures. With few theoretical guidelines, social workers in their daily practice are faced with significant challenges to integrate both clinically grounded and culturally competent practice in fostering clients’ changes. This article proposes a theoretical integration of clinically significant cultural practice in social work. Drawing from the therapeutic alliance research, this article proposes relationally focused cultural competencies to promote the construct of cross-cultural competencies (CCC). CCC has three roles that can promote changes in clinical social work practice. It can (1) mediate the working alliance; (2) serve as a pathway to a client’s internal working model of self and other; and (3) provide corrective emotional experience. The implications for cross-cultural psychotherapy practice, training, and research are also discussed.