Cultural competence: critical self-reflection on our practice when working with refugee client

Presenter: Lisa Andermann, MD, FRCPC, Psychiatrist, Mount Sinai Hospital; Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Date: April 6, 2106



Cultural competence is increasingly regarded as a necessary skill for settlement, social service and health care providers. It is important to respect cultural differences in communication patterns and to understand the power dynamics in the staff-client relationship in providing effective, equitable counselling and other services to refugee clients. It is also important to examine your practice in order to continually cultivate cultural competence. In this webinar, Dr. Lisa Andermann provides an overview and tools for developing critical self-reflection for service providers to deepen their practice of cultural competence.

Learning objectives

By the end of this webinar you will be able to:

  • Identify the importance of continually trying to develop cultural competence when working with refugee clients
  • Apply strategies or practices for engaging in regular, critical self-reflection and self-monitoring when it comes to providing culturally competent services.

Presenter Biography

Lisa Andermann, MPhil, M.D., FRCPC is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she works in the Psychological Trauma Clinic as well as the Ethnocultural Assertive Community Treatment Team. Dr. Andermann is a consultant psychiatrist and former Board Member for the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, and continues to be active on their Health Committee. She is also a psychiatrist at the New Beginnings refugee and newcomer clinic at CAMH.

She recently co-edited, with Laura Simich, a volume entitled Refuge and Resilience: Promoting Resilience and Mental Health among Resettled Refugees and Forced Migrants, International Perspective on Migration Series, Springer, 2014.

Her main areas of interest in research and teaching focus on cultural psychiatry. She has been very involved in an educational initiative to enhance the cultural competence of the postgraduate psychiatry residency curriculum together with colleagues from the Equity, Gender and Populations division (EGP), and led a faculty development initiative on culturally competent supervision and teaching which won the 2008 Ivan L. Silver Award for Excellence in Continuing Mental Health Education. In June 2015, she was the co-recipient of the 2015 Social Responsibility Award from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto for her work with Pillar 4 as part of the Department of Psychiatry's Strategic Plan. This Pillar focuses on issues regarding equity, social justice and social responsibility, cultural psychiatry and global mental health, and promoting dialogue to reduce stigma and increasing public engagement with mental health issues. She has been part of the Toronto-Addis Ababa Psychiatry Program (TAAPP) since its inception in 2003, assisting in the development of the first psychiatry residency training program in Ethiopia.  She has an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from McGill University, where she completed her medical studies, and a graduate degree in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University.

Lisa Andermann