African American Cultural Competency Training

Our thoughts, emotions, values and purpose contribute to our way of being and are shaped by our cultural experiences. Often, individuals become entrenched in their way of being. Human interactions are filled with a plethora of challenges, which are best resolved when there is respect for and a celebration of differences. Cultural bias occurs when one assumes that their cultural experience is superior to another person’s experiences or way of being. Mental health professionals, and those who are a part of the healing practicum, are impacted by the negative messages that are promulgated about disenfranchised populations living in America. This training facilitates the identification of cultural blind spots which may hinder the capacity to establish and maintain healthy relationships in a culturally pluralistic society. Valuable strategies, resources, and tools for culturally competent mental health service delivery with African Americans will be conveyed.


Effective mental health counseling and psychotherapy with African American people requires an accurate understanding of the African experience in America and throughout the world. The dynamics of cultural trauma as a result of African enslavement, torture, and abuse, along with years of benign neglect, discrimination, and oppression, must be understood by mental health professionals who seek to address the effects of this trans-generational trauma upon African/Black people. Racism, economic disenfranchisement, and various forms of discrimination are socially, politically, and psychologically debilitating challenges that not only undermine one’s sense of self-worth but diminish the capacity to fully realize their human potential. By raising consciousness, this Cultural Competency Training for African Americans empowers participants from all backgrounds to interact with communities of color with dignity and respect, while maintaining cultural integrity. Moreover, mental health professionals will feel a greater sense of efficacy when working with African Americans and other diverse populations.


This program will:

  1. Identify how cultural boundaries, norms of behaviors, values, beliefs, and biases, affect services and influence relationships and interactions.
  2. Build understanding of the relationship between cultural heritage / social identities and personal assumptions, values, beliefs, and biases
  3. Strengthen understanding and appreciation of the role of culture in the lives of families and children.
  4. Increase knowledge of the values, norms, traditions, and history of African-Americans.
  5. Debunk myths, stereotypes, and other biases that are held about different cultural/ethnic/racial groups.
  6. Expand the capacity of participants to integrate cultural awareness into their mental health practices.
  7. Enhance participants’ therapeutic skills in communicating and interacting with a culturally diverse client; and
  8. Empower participants with resources and tools to work with families and children from different cultural backgrounds.



This five (5) module series is designed for mental health service delivery for persons of African descent. The self-paced online courses are facilitated by our lead trainer and the *live* interactive coaching sessions will be co-facilitated by trainers that have expertise in the module topic and the capacity to enhance participants’ breadth of knowledge and understanding with regards to cultural competence. The trainers are highly experienced professionals who have implemented similar training in a variety of educational, social service, and community settings. This didactic-experiential training model is comprised of lectures, films, exercises, case histories, and journaling.  The training will be available both live and virtually, therefore, participants will have access to self-paced recorded sessions.