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Type: Journal article
Title: Professional skills and personal characteristics for psychologists working in an urban Australian context with Indigenous clients
Author: O'Connor, J.
Chur-Hansen, A.
Turnbull, D.
Citation: Australian Psychologist, 2015; 50(6):464-474
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0005-0067
Statement of
Joanne O'Connor, Anna Chur-Hansen, and Deborah Turnbull
Abstract: Objective: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffer health inequities, such as high levels of psychological distress and multiple life stressors. These have been shaped by colonisation, racism, discrimination, and government policies and practices. Method: Eight Australian psychologists were interviewed with the aim of identifying the professional skills and personal competencies that enable effective service delivery for this client group, and especially those aged 12–25 (i.e., “youth”). Results: Thematic analysis identified that personal and clinical credibility, relationship centrism, contextual understanding, a holistic approach, and flexibility are important to good practice. Not all of these are currently part of standard psychology training, but many are covered by guidelines developed by the Australian Psychological Society. Conclusions: Results from this study indicate that ongoing adjustments to university curricula, professional competency requirements for practitioner registration, and continuing professional development will all contribute to best practice. Moreover, for Australian psychologists, the consolidation of cultural competency into a useful framework for professional development is paramount.
Keywords: Aboriginal; Australian; cultural competency; Indigenous; professional development
Description: Article first published online: 10 NOV 2015
Rights: © 2015 The Australian Psychological Society
DOI: 10.1111/ap.12125
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 3
Psychology publications

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