chapter  2
16 Pages

Multicultural Issues in Working with Children and Families: Responsive Intervention in the Educational Setting

On the whole … we are inadequately prepared to deal with cultural diversity. (Honigmann, 1963, p. 1)

As a graduate student in the early 1980s, I recall a common experience whereby a practicum instructor would suddenly become aware that I was bilingual (and bicultural-but, sadly, this aspect of my background went completely ignored in my training). On finding out that I could speak Spanish fluently, I often heard the same refrain-“Oh, that’s great that you’ll be able to see Spanish-speaking clients!” Although I appreciated the encouragement, with minor exceptions here and there, such was the extent of the multicultural “training” I received in the clinical psychology program I attended. I relate this story not to find fault with my education, which I believe was exemplary in every respect possible, but, rather, to illustrate the degree to which issues of diversity were and remain poorly understood with respect to psychological service delivery.