The delivery of ethical and culturally consistent therapeutic approaches has continued to challenge practitioners today because of demographic changes throughout the country, professional man- dates, and the complex manner in which culture is understood and manifested therapeutically. In addition, applied psychology is still challenged in adequately translating our theories and discourse around multicultural issues into practice. Another systematic chal- lenge in the profession is the lack of ethnic and racial students in the pipeline and psychologists in the field. There remains a gap between the rapidly changing demographics and professional prac- titioners to meet the needs of these communities therapeutically. Hence, the need for the profession to continue to evolve in our understanding of what is cultural and culturally responsive prac- tice. As the profession continues to navigate culturally responsive practices in ethical ways, it will be important that psychologists continue to expand the lens through which we understand, and manifest, our roles as culturally responsive providers. This article addresses how practicing psychologists can continue to reexamine the notion of culture and culturally responsive practice in psychol- ogy, while negotiating the ethical challenges presented in practice. Ultimately, it is hoped that our continued evolution as applied psychologists will expand our possibilities in treating a demo- graphically diverse nation.
As we continue to modify, adapt, revise, and reconceptualize ethical guidelines and codes for psychologists, we must also reflect upon, revise, and reconceptualize the philosophical underpinnings of psychology as a field. Historically, proponents of the multicultural movement have highlighted some of the challenges that practitio- ners are faced with when addressing the needs of culturally diverse communities, while simultaneously attending to ethical guidelines and codes. Some of these challenges have included negotiating bound- aries within the therapeutic context, advice giving and providing solutions, and struggling with internal personal values when these values may differ from those of culturally diverse clients. As a result of these challenges, applied psychologists have often struggled in negotiating culturally re- sponsive treatment within an ethical framework. Further reflection on the relationship between ethics in psychology and culturally responsive care yields two very important themes: (a) the impor- tance in the practice of psychology to place our desire to be culturally responsive as central to all that we do; and (b) the need for practitioners to expand the lens by which they understand the nature of culture and its manifestation within the therapeutic context. What is also relevant in this particular discourse about ethics and multiculturalism is that one issue should not be more relevant to the other, but that both frameworks need to be consid- ered and implemented when treating all clients, regardless of ethnic or cultural background.