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PSYC 4100 Assessment 1 Community Presentation

Assessment 1: Community Presentation


Capella University


Professor’s Name

March 29, 2024

Slide 1:

Hello, I’m ________, and I work at a mental health clinic. Today, I’m here to help our community understand how to access and benefit from psychological services. Since we’re predominantly from the Middle East, I’ll give a quick rundown of cultural psychology from both our region and the Western perspective. This should encourage everyone to prioritize their mental health and seek the support they need.

Slide 2:

Community Presentation

In the Middle East, accessing mental health services can be hindered by cultural perceptions that view psychology as a Western concept (Byrow et al., 2020). This perception creates hesitancy among historically underserved populations to seek out psychological support when needed. Factors contributing to this hesitancy include fear of Western medicine, structural barriers within healthcare systems, inadequate cultural competence among healthcare providers, and religious beliefs that may conflict with Western psychological practices. As a mental health professional working in such a community, it’s essential to address these barriers and promote the importance of psychological services in a culturally sensitive manner.

To effectively encourage community members to utilize psychological services, it’s vital to understand the distinctions between Western and Middle Eastern psychology. Western psychology often emphasizes individualism, confrontation of emotional issues, and a focus on self-expression and personal growth. In contrast, Middle Eastern cultures tend to prioritize collectivism, interdependence, and indirect communication regarding emotional matters (Prajapati & Liebling, 2021). Acknowledging and respecting these differences is crucial in promoting mental health services within the community, as it allows for the integration of Western psychological principles within the existing cultural framework. By emphasizing shared goals of psychological well-being and resilience, along with the diverse range of therapeutic techniques available, community members can be empowered to seek support without feeling a loss of cultural identity or values.

Slide 3:

Middle East Psychology

In Middle Eastern psychology, several key figures have significantly influenced the understanding of mental health and well-being. One such figure is Ibn Sina, also known as Avicenna, who was a renowned Persian polymath (Germann, 2020). Avicenna’s work, particularly his writings on medicine and philosophy, had a profound impact on shaping the region’s understanding of the mind-body connection and holistic approaches to health. Another notable figure is Al-Farabi, an influential Islamic philosopher who explored the relationship between psychology, ethics, and politics, emphasizing the importance of virtuous living for mental well-being (M, 2020). Central concerns in Middle Eastern psychology often revolve around the integration of spirituality, community, and traditional values into approaches to mental health. Theoretical conflicts arise from the juxtaposition of these traditional cultural perspectives with modern Western psychological theories and practices.

Theoretical conflicts in Middle Eastern psychology often stem from the tension between traditional beliefs and Western influences (Boman, 2021). While traditional Middle Eastern psychology emphasizes holistic approaches to mental health that incorporate spirituality, community support, and familial ties, Western psychology tends to focus more on individualistic approaches and evidence-based interventions. This can create challenges in reconciling the two perspectives and may lead to resistance or skepticism towards Western psychological concepts among some community members. However, recognizing and respecting the strengths of both traditions can facilitate the development of culturally sensitive approaches to mental health care that honor the unique cultural context of the Middle East while integrating evidence-based practices.

Slide 4:

How Psychology Offers Culturally Similar Perspectives

When we explore the development of psychological ideas, we can find cultural influences that resonate across different systems of thought. In both Western and Middle Eastern psychology, there’s a recognition of the intricate relationship between the mind, body, and spirit (Wang et al., 2021). While Western psychology often emphasizes individualistic approaches to mental health, Middle Eastern psychology tends to incorporate communal and spiritual dimensions. Despite these differences, both systems recognize the significance of social networks, family ties, and spiritual health in enhancing mental well-being. By acknowledging these shared values, mental health professionals can bridge cultural divides and offer services that resonate with diverse communities.

Moreover, concepts of resilience and coping strategies are universal themes found in both Western and Middle Eastern psychology. Whether it’s the emphasis on cognitive-behavioral techniques in Western therapy or the reliance on faith and community support in Middle Eastern contexts, individuals across cultures seek ways to navigate life’s challenges and adversities. By highlighting these culturally similar perspectives, mental health practitioners can demonstrate the relevance of psychological services to all community members, regardless of cultural background. This approach fosters inclusivity and empowers individuals to seek the support they need to thrive mentally and emotionally.

Slide 5:

Evaluation of Similarities in Cultural Influences

When examining the development of psychological ideas, it becomes evident that cultural influences have shaped both Western and Middle Eastern perspectives on mental health. In Western psychology, there is a strong emphasis on individualism, where the focus is on personal autonomy, self-expression, and self-actualization (Alyafei et al., 2021). Similarly, Middle Eastern cultures value individual agency but within the context of communal ties and interconnectedness. Both systems recognize the significance of the individual within the broader social and cultural framework, albeit with different emphases. This similarity highlights a shared understanding of the importance of social connections and support systems in promoting mental well-being.

Furthermore, both Western and Middle Eastern psychology acknowledge the role of spirituality and religion in mental health. While Western psychology may approach spirituality from a more secular standpoint, recognizing its potential therapeutic benefits, Middle Eastern psychology often integrates religious beliefs and practices directly into therapeutic interventions (Marques et al., 2021). Both systems recognize the importance of finding meaning and purpose in life, whether through secular or spiritual avenues. By evaluating these similarities in cultural influences, mental health professionals can develop interventions that resonate with diverse communities, promoting inclusivity and accessibility to psychological services for all individuals, regardless of cultural background.

Slide 6:

Evaluation of Differences in Cultural Influences

Cultural elements have played a crucial role in shaping the evolution of psychological concepts in both Western and Middle Eastern settings, each imparting its unique influences. In Western psychology, there is a strong emphasis on individualism, where the focus is on personal autonomy, self-expression, and the pursuit of personal goals (Saarikallio et al., 2020). This individualistic perspective is reflected in therapeutic approaches that prioritize self-discovery and self-actualization. In contrast, Middle Eastern cultures often place greater value on collectivism, emphasizing interdependence, communal harmony, and the importance of familial and social connections. This collectivistic outlook shapes therapeutic interventions in the Middle East, which often prioritize the well-being of the group over individual needs.

Additionally, religious and spiritual convictions exert considerable influence on the formation of psychological concepts in the Middle Eastern context, whereas Western psychology tends to approach spirituality from a more secular standpoint. In Middle Eastern psychology, religious practices and beliefs are integrated into therapeutic interventions, with a recognition of the healing power of faith and spirituality. Conversely, Western psychology may acknowledge the role of spirituality in mental health but often separates it from therapeutic practice (Ur Rahman et al., 2021). These differences in cultural influences highlight the need for culturally sensitive approaches to mental health care, recognizing and respecting the unique values and beliefs of diverse communities. By understanding and evaluating these differences, mental health professionals can better address the needs of historically underserved populations in the Middle East and promote the utilization of psychological services within these communities.

Slide 7:

Analysis of Factors a Mental Health Practitioner Should Take

To effectively support historically underserved populations in the Middle East, mental health practitioners must consider several factors to ensure cultural sensitivity and awareness. Firstly, understanding the cultural beliefs and values prevalent within the community is paramount. This involves recognizing the influence of collectivism, familial ties, and religious practices on individuals’ perceptions of mental health. Research by Benuto et al. (2020) emphasizes the importance of incorporating cultural beliefs into therapeutic interventions, as they influence how individuals seek help and their attitudes toward utilizing mental health services. Moreover, mental health practitioners should strive to establish trust and rapport with community members by demonstrating respect for their cultural identity and honoring their unique experiences. Studies by McClendon et al. (2020) highlight the significance of cultural competence in building effective therapeutic alliances, leading to improved treatment outcomes among diverse populations.

Secondly, addressing structural barriers to mental health care access is essential for reaching underserved communities. This includes addressing language barriers, transportation issues, and financial constraints that may hinder individuals from seeking and utilizing psychological services. Research by Shahwan et al. (2020) underscores the importance of providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services to enhance accessibility and reduce disparities in mental health care. Additionally, collaboration with community leaders, religious institutions, and grassroots organizations can facilitate outreach efforts and increase awareness of available mental health resources. By considering these factors and implementing culturally sensitive practices, mental health practitioners can effectively support historically underserved populations in the Middle East, promoting the utilization of psychological services and improving overall mental well-being within the community.

Slide 8:

PSYC 4100 Assessment 1 Community Presentation Conclusion

In conclusion, addressing the mental health needs of historically underserved populations in the Middle East requires a significant understanding of cultural influences and structural barriers. By recognizing the significance of cultural beliefs, values, and practices in shaping individuals’ perceptions of mental health, mental health practitioners can develop culturally sensitive interventions that resonate with diverse communities. Moreover, efforts to address structural obstacles to accessing mental health care, including difficulties with language and financial limitations, are crucial for increasing the utilization of psychological services. Collaborative partnerships with community leaders and grassroots organizations can enhance outreach efforts and promote awareness of available resources. By integrating these approaches, mental health practitioners can play a pivotal role in fostering resilience, well-being, and empowerment within underserved communities in the Middle East, ultimately contributing to the overall improvement of mental health outcomes.

PSYC 4100 Assessment 1 Community Presentation References

Alyafei, A. H., Alqunaibet, T., Mansour, H., Ali, A., & Billings, J. (2021). The experiences of family caregivers of people with severe mental illness in the Middle East. PLOS ONE, 16(7), e0254351.

Benuto, L. T., Casas, J., Gonzalez, F., & Newlands, R. (2020). The behavioral model of health: Education, behavioral health factors, and stigma as predictors of help-seeking attitudes. Community Mental Health Journal.

Boman, B. (2021). Parallelization: the fourth leg of cultural globalization theory. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 55(2), 354–370.

Byrow, Y., Pajak, R., Specker, P., & Nickerson, A. (2020). Perceptions of mental health and perceived barriers to mental health help-seeking amongst refugees. Clinical Psychology Review, 75(1), 101812.

Germann, N. (2020). Ibn Sīnā, Abū ʿAlī (Avicenna). Springer EBooks, 805–815.

M, K. (2020). The Western philosophers about Abu Nasr Farabi. Экономика и социум, 6-2 (73), 787–792.

Marques, B., Freeman, C., & Carter, L. (2021). Adapting traditional healing values and beliefs into therapeutic cultural environments for health and well-being. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(1), 426.

McClendon, J., Dean, K. E., & Galovski, T. (2020). Addressing diversity in PTSD treatment: Disparities in treatment engagement and outcome among patients of color. Current treatment options in psychiatry, 7(3), 275–290.

Prajapati, R., & Liebling, H. (2021). Accessing mental health services. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 9(2).

Saarikallio, S., Alluri, V., Maksimainen, J., & Toiviainen, P. (2020). Emotions of music listening in Finland and in India: Comparison of an individualistic and a collectivistic culture. Psychology of Music, 49(4), 030573562091773.

Shahwan, S., Lau, J. H., Goh, C. M. J., Ong, W. J., Tan, G. T. H., Kwok, K. W., Samari, E., Lee, Y. Y., Teh, W. L., Seet, V., Chang, S., Chong, S. A., & Subramaniam, M. (2020). The potential impact of an anti-stigma intervention on mental health help-seeking attitudes among university students. BMC Psychiatry, 20(1).

Ur Rahman, S., Chwialkowska, A., Hussain, N., Bhatti, W. A., & Luomala, H. (2021). Cross-cultural perspective on sustainable consumption: implications for consumer motivations and promotion. Environment, Development and Sustainability.

Wang, Z.-D., Wang, Y.-M., Li, K., Shi, J., & Wang, F.-Y. (2021). The comparison of the wisdom view in Chinese and Western cultures. Current Psychology.

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