Cultural Considerations to Care

Cultural Considerations to Care


Why Cultural Issues are Important in Psychotherapy?

Western culture focuses on the individualistic values and is wildly different than Eastern cultures (Armstrong, 2021).

Not realizing this core difference undermines the importance of interdependence and interconnectedness support systems within culture outside of our own.

This would be counterproductive in the psychotherapy setting

Traditional psychotherapies deemphasize spiritual and cultural values that are paramount to some and a key to growth and development throughout their lives (Armstrong, 2021).

Religious and cultural values drive perception and relationships which impact mental health

Factors Impacting Access, Engagement, and the Use of Psychotherapy.

“Acculturation refers to the adaptation process when individuals from one culture are introduced to a new cultural context” (Zhou et al., 2022)

There are four levels of acculturation:

Assimilation – Adopts new culture

Separation – Rejects new culture

Integration – Combines aspects of both cultures, shown to provide best outcomes in mental health

Marginalization – Rejects both old and new cultures (Zhou et al, 2022).

Engagement and use of psychotherapies relies heavily upon the group’s collective outlook on mental health care.

Those who feel the pull of negative perception toward psychiatric care are less like to seek and participate in treatment for themselves.

What is: Korean Culture

Asian cultures promote collectiveness and interdependence within a family or social group.

Identities, beliefs and perceptions are similar within the group and must be conformed to.

Focus on external factors which way heavily on decisions (Zhou et al, 2022).


Hesitancy to accept psychiatric treatments are common due to fear of others judgement and the belief that grief and struggle should be private

Additional Information

America has long been considered a melting-pot for cultural differences

It is important to know what population groups are present within your community and ensure preparations have been taken to provide quality care (Corey 2016).

Asian cultures require a different approach to treatment due to external motivators and importance of privacy.

Focus cannot be solely on internal reflection and growth (Zhuo et al., 2022).



Armstrong, T. (2021). Considerations in Culturally Modifying Psychotherapy. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 40(3), 258-262.

Corey (2016). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy (10th ed.). Cengage Learning EMEA.

Zhou, Z., Liew, J., & Luo, W. (2022). Acculturation and disordered eating among Asian American college students: The role of objectification through a sociocultural Lens. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(21), 13967.

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