Thursday, February 5, 2009

Multicultural Case Conceptualization

Multicultural case conceptualization

Multicultural (MC) case conceptualization ability is the extent to which therapists/psychologists identify and integrate cultural factors into conceptualizations of the etiology and treatment of a client's presenting concerns (Constantine & Ladany, 2000).

Extent to which a therapist integrates ethnic or racial issues into two conceptualizations of a client's presenting concerns:
A. The first conceptualization needs to be based on beliefs about the factors contributing to the etiology of the client's difficulties;
B. The second conceptualization needs to be based on beliefs about what would be an effective treatment focus or plan in addressing the client's problems.

Two interrelated cognitive processes: differentiation and integration are examined to measure MC case conceptualization ability
i. Differentiation is defined as a counselor's ability to offer alternative interpretations or perspectives of a client's presenting problems and the nature of the treatment that could be provided. The higher the number of options presented in relation to a client's problems, the higher the degree of differentiation.
ii. Integration is characterized by a counselor's ability to formulate associations between and among differentiated interpretations.

By default, the more distinct ideas that are presented in a case conceptualization, the more differentiated the response. Moreover, a greater number of words in the context of a case conceptualization would not necessarily translate to higher integration scores because the hypothesized ideas must be linked. (For example, although a respondent may discuss issues related to a client's endogenous depression in multiple sentences in a case conceptualization, the response would count only as one idea).

The above was excerpted and modifed from:
Constantine, M. G. & Ladany, N. (2000). Self-report multicultural counseling competence scales: Their relation to social desirability attitudes and multicultural case conceptualization ability. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 47(2), 155-164.

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