ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (4): 661-672.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.00661

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Cultural competence in mental health services: Theoretical orientations and practical strategies

CHEN Zichen(), JIANG He   

  1. Department of Social Psychology, Nankai University, Tianjin 300350, China
  • Received:2019-05-14 Online:2020-04-15 Published:2020-02-24
  • Contact: CHEN Zichen


The cultural competence of mental health services has gradually developed as increasing attention has been paid to the cultural diversity of Europe and North America. There exist two differing theoretical orientations with similar practice strategies. The content-oriented approach emphasizes static, structured cultural competence, while the process-oriented approach stresses dynamic, unstructured cultural competence. The similarities and difficulties of the two orientations are manifestations of a balance between cultural specificity and generality in the studies and practices of cultural competence. The paper finally explores how to promote cultural competence in China based on experiences abroad and Chinese realities within the context of improving the system of public psychological services.

Key words: cultural competence, mental health services, counselling, psychotherapy, multiculturalism

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