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The Culture of Emotions

The Culture of Emotions

Culture and ethnicity play multidimensional roles in the ways we experience and understand our own psychological states and those of others. The Culture of Emotions is a cultural competence and diversity training program exploring the variety of ways the diverse cultures of America understand mind and body and the disorders to which mind and body are subject. It is designed to introduce cultural competence and diversity skills to all clinicians and students who work with clients with mental health issues in academic, community mental health, or managed care settings. Clinicians and researchers from a variety of cultural backgrounds contribute their personal and professional perspectives.

The video introduces the DSM-IV Outline for Cultural Formulation (OCF), a concise diagnostic method for the assessment of psychiatric disorders across cultural boundaries and diagnostic categories. The topics covered in its distinct five sections include: cultural identity, cultural expression and explanations of illness, cultural stressors and supports, cultural elements of the clinician-patient relationship, cultural assessment for differential diagnosis, and treatment planning.

The OCF offers a conceptual bridge between Euro-western diagnostic concepts and explanations, and traditional worldviews of health and pathology from a variety of societies. This is an urgently needed resource for training in psychiatry, psychology, social work and counseling, medicine and nursing.

The DVD version of this program includes chapter stops highlighting each major topic, as well as a new Facilitator's Guide by Harriet Koskoff and Francis Lu, MD.

Francis G. Lu, MD, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, UCSF, who served as Executive Scientific Advisor on this project, is the lead author of a related article, 'Issues in the Assessment and Diagnosis of Culturally Diverse Individuals' . Dr. Lu has also prepared an updated bibliography and list of resources for further exploration of this topic. Click here for the bibliography.

Filmmaker Harriet Koskoff has also created, with Francis G. Lu, MD, two short training films featuring interviews with Irma J. Bland, MD, and Evelyn Lee, EdD, LCSW, who are seen in The Culture of Emotions. For further information on these films, click here .