Enhancing the Cultural Competence of Mental Health Professionals


Working with clients who do not share our individual cultural identity can be challenging for mental health professionals. We know that building a strong therapeutic relationship is required for us to engage in meaningful work with clients. Psychologists, social workers, counsellors, and other mental health professionals across North America, are asking themselves, “How can I practice in a more culturally competent manner?” And, “How do I discuss aspects of culture within this therapeutic relationship?”

Hear our esteemed speaker address these topics and more within our recorded webinar.

  • Dr. Sandra Dixon – Registered Psychologist and Assistant Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Lethbridge.

This session includes a lecture from the speaker, opportunities for self-reflective learning, and will be followed by a question and answer session. Participants will have a chance to submit questions in advance of the event, as well as in the live chat. The webinar was held on January 29, 2021, and ran from 9:00am to 12:00pm (Mountain Daylight Time).

Participants in this workshop will develop a greater understanding of:

Barriers and facilitators to counselling with diverse clients.

  • Cultural factors that impede help-seeking behaviour.

  • Salient aspects of cultural identity not typically incorporated into therapy.

  • Important cultural identity formation concepts and their link to counselling.

  • Addressing multicultural and multiethnic diversity in counselling.

Counsellors’ perspectives on cultural competence in counselling.

  • Current research evidence on counsellor perspectives.

  • Underlying biases, assumptions, and presuppositions.

  • Concerns surrounding cultural encapsulation.

Ways to become culturally competent mental health professionals.

  • Ethical considerations.

  • Developing an evidence-informed, culturally-informed, counselling practice.

Earn 3 Continuing Education (CE) credits from the Canadian Psychological Association for attending this event.

Presenter information

Dr. Sandra Dixon

Dr. Sandra Dixon is a Registered Psychologist in Alberta and an Assistant Professor at the University of Lethbridge. Her program of research addresses culturally sensitive counselling practices among immigrants, cultural identity reconstruction, and ethno-cultural diversity issues including but not limited to the intersectionality of spirituality, class, race, and gender across cultural contexts. On a communal level, she currently serves on the Boards of the Psychologist’s Association of Alberta and Alberta Network of Immigrant Women (ANIW). She has extensive experience in immigration research, community engagement, social justice, and advocacy. She also brings knowledge and enthusiasm for social inclusion and faith-based frameworks in her work with counsellors-in-training and other helping professionals. She has published a wide range of work that centres around faith, immigration and multicultural counselling.