Saturday, February 06, 2021

Teaching guilt and shame in reeducation courses

Knowing the helper/healer/teacher and the beneficiary/student/client  have different cultures which affect learning and relationships is, of course, essential.  Missionaries know this; middle managers are either taught or learn it; a city teacher should study rural values if she wants to be rehired by the school board of farmers.  Doctors and nurses and aides should be learning this all through college and medical school.

For example, when I was a department head, I had to accept and understand some aspects of Muslim immigrant cultures—like why my female student employee was driven to work by a male relative and why she would never attend a social event with our staff. I also had some disabled student employees—one from India whose polio limp not only affected her work, but her arranged marriage. One student was on the autism scale and I needed to modified her schedule for less client contact. My male assistant was on his journey from Daniel to Danielle. The student whose problem was knowing more than the boss (could be cultural?) just had to find a new job.

There’s something different in the “reeducation” modules included in certification the last decade or two. The supervisor/employee is expected to relearn her own culture and be embarrassed and shamed by it.

The following are the learning objectives and course description in a federal government “cultural competency” for 5 hours of certified, continuing education course to meet various requirements for maintaining a professional license.  I’ve not sat in for the classes, so whether it qualifies for “cancel culture” or “critical race theory” I can’t say.   I’ve high lighted the buzz words that set off alarms for me.

Learning Objectives

After completing this continuing education activity, participants will be able to:

  • Describe how culture, cultural identity, and intersectionality are related to behavioral health and behavioral health care.
  • Describe the principles of cultural competency and cultural humility.
  • Discuss how our bias, power, and privilege can affect the therapeutic relationship.
  • Discuss ways to learn more about a client's cultural identity.
  • Describe how stereotypes and microaggressions can affect the therapeutic relationship.
  • Explain how culture and stigma can influence help-seeking behaviors.
  • Describe how communication styles can differ across cultures.
  • Identify strategies to reduce bias during assessment and diagnosis.
  • Explain how to elicit a client's explanatory model.

Cultural and linguistic competency is recognized as an important strategy for improving the quality of care provided to clients from diverse backgrounds. The goal of this e-learning program is to help behavioral health professionals increase their cultural and linguistic competency.

Course Outline

  • In Course 1, An introduction to cultural and linguistic competency, you'll learn what culture has to do with behavioral health care.
  • In Course 2, Know thyself – Increasing self-awareness, you'll learn how to get to know your cultural identity and how it affects your work with clients.
  • In Course 3, Knowing others – Increasing awareness of your client's cultural identity, you'll learn how to get to know your client’s cultural identity.
  • In Course 4, Culturally and linguistically appropriate interventions and services, you'll learn how to build stronger therapeutic relationships with clients from diverse backgrounds.

The estimated time to complete all 4 Courses is between 4 – 5.5 hours.

Keep in mind, that today’s young professionals have been exposed to probably a decade or two of such classes.  I wonder if they see it as a blow off class sort of like our health classes in high school where they put worms in alcohol to show us about the dangers of drinking.  Even at 16 I knew the worms would die in a bottle of Coke. Social and behavioral manipulation can backfire.

Home - Think Cultural Health (  This information was dated or updated in 2019, the Trump administration, and will be revised, deleted, or rewritten as Biden appointments move in.

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