Write a 750-1,000-word essay in which you describe your personal biases and explain your cultural identity. In your conclusion, explain how your cultural identity and personal characteristics may influence your work in the behavioral health field. Use at least three scholarly reference to define cultural identity and biases. After defining the terms, write a personal narrative. This assignment can be written in first person. No abstract is required.
Title: The Influence of Cultural Identity and Personal Biases on Work in the Behavioral Health Field
Cultural identity and personal biases play a vital role in shaping one’s perspective and understanding of the world. As a student in the behavioral health field, it is crucial to acknowledge and explore our own cultural identity and biases in order to provide effective and unbiased care to diverse populations. This essay aims to describe my personal biases, explain my cultural identity, and analyze how these factors may influence my work in the behavioral health field.
Defining Cultural Identity and Biases:
Before delving into my personal narrative, it is essential to establish a theoretical foundation by defining cultural identity and biases. Cultural identity refers to the collective beliefs, values, customs, traditions, and language that shape an individual’s self-perception and sense of belonging within a particular culture or group (Hall, 1990). Biases, on the other hand, are the consciously or unconsciously held prejudiced opinions, attitudes, or tendencies that can skew our perceptions, decisions, and actions (Dovidio, Kawakami, & Gaertner, 2002).
As an individual, I recognize that I am not exempt from biases, as they are an inherent part of human cognition and socialization. One primary bias that I am aware of is the confirmation bias, where I tend to seek and interpret information in a way that supports and reinforces my existing beliefs and values. This bias can potentially hinder my ability to consider alternative perspectives and critically analyze various situations. Additionally, I am also prone to the stereotype bias, where I may unintentionally generalize certain characteristics or behaviors to individuals based on their cultural background.
Understanding my cultural identity is essential to grasp how it might influence my work in the behavioral health field. I identify as an Asian American, specifically with a Chinese cultural heritage. Growing up in a culturally diverse community, I have been exposed to various beliefs, practices, and perspectives. My cultural identity has shaped my values of collectivism, respect for authority, and the importance of family. This cultural background has also influenced my communication style, which tends to be indirect and emphasize harmony and politeness.
Influence on Work in the Behavioral Health Field:
Recognizing the influence of my cultural identity and biases, I believe they will impact my work in the behavioral health field in several ways. Firstly, my cultural identity can facilitate a deeper understanding and empathy towards clients who share a similar background to mine. Cultural congruence, where clients perceive similarities between themselves and their providers, has been shown to contribute positively to therapeutic outcomes (Gurung & Duong, 2019). Hence, my cultural identity may enable me to establish rapport, trust, and rapport with clients who resonate with my cultural background, ultimately enhancing the therapeutic alliance.
On the other hand, my cultural identity may also introduce biases and challenges when working with clients from different cultural backgrounds. The cultural lens through which I view the world may inadvertently influence my interpretations and expectations of clients’ behaviors, potentially leading to misunderstandings or misdiagnoses. It is crucial, therefore, to continually reflect on and challenge my biases to ensure that I provide culturally sensitive and unbiased care.
In conclusion, understanding our cultural identity and personal biases is crucial in the behavioral health field. My personal biases include confirmation bias and stereotype bias, which may impact my decision-making and interpretation of information. As an Asian American with a Chinese cultural heritage, my cultural identity affects my values, communication style, and perspective on various issues. This cultural identity can positively contribute by facilitating rapport and understanding with certain clients, but it can also introduce biases and challenges when working with individuals from different cultural backgrounds. By recognizing these influences, I can strive to provide culturally sensitive and unbiased care, ultimately enhancing the effectiveness of my work in the behavioral health field.