To define the term culture can be a difficult proposition because it is a complex
reality containing various dimensions, including in some cases ideas regarding race,
ethnicity, religion, morality and modes of behaviour held by members of a particular
At Emotional Insight Consultancy there exists a wide range of knowledge regarding
Middle Eastern and Islamic cultures, as well as an in-depth understanding of African-Caribbean
Diaspora culture, however it would be unrealistic to expect a therapist to possess
detailed knowledge about an endless amount of cultural groups, therefore culturally
sensitive therapy is based on a certain framework:
Being aware of the links between the problems a person may face and their social
Valuing the idea that there is not one single idea of ‘ normal ’ that applies to
all people, situations and cultures.
Acknowledgement of the differences between individualistic and collectivist cultures.
Taking into consideration the reality of racism, marginalisation and other forms
of discrimination and how if at all these issues may have impacted the client’s life.
The importance of support structures in the client’s community, e.g. traditional
healing methods, kinship bonds or spiritual philosophies.
Being attune to the concept of gender roles in the client’s culture.
The necessity of appreciating the role of history when making sense of the client’s
Being sensitive to the use of language, be that of the spoken word and vocabulary
or forms of non-verbal communication like body language.
More than anything else culturally sensitive therapy involves the counsellor / therapist
being willing to learn from the client, and not making assumptions.
I endeavour to be sensitive to the ethnic origins of individuals and peoples religious
beliefs and operate the practice along the lines normally associated with an equal