A qualitative exploration on how Black African psychologists practise culturally competent care when helping Black African clients who hold traditional explanatory models of illness.
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To date, existing literature on psychological theories and the practice of psychology are deeply entrenched in Western experiences. This is so, despite psychology and psychotherapy being implemented in academic institutions and practised by Africans facing challenges that are specific to Africa‟s existential issues. Psychology and psychotherapy are viewed as irreplaceable and indisputable sciences. This view is inaccurate and does not accommodate the African context. A pivotal role in the delivery of health care in Africa is the client‟s culture in the treatment process. „Cultural competency‟, a term used in anthropology, defines how medical professionals exercise respect and integrate the clients‟ cultural beliefs and habits into curative practise, in an attempt to minimise cross-cultural health inequalities and increase general client fulfilment. The study highlights the importance of cultural competent care within the psychotherapeutic setting. The objective of this study is to understand how Black African psychologists practise culturally competent care. Face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine Black African psychologists to understand how they practise culturally competent care in South African psychological spaces. The data from the interviews was transcribed, coded and thematically analysed according to the objectives of the study. From this study it was revealed that the willingness to implement culturally competent care enhances trust and confidence in clients. Furthermore, it was indicated - in the study - that knowledge of cultural competence can be acquired through community engagements and consultations with the elderly in the society. While substantial literature exists on the implementation of cultural competency, there has been limited effort in understanding how it must be applied in practise. The study further highlights the need for extensive training in the practise of cultural competence at the level of first-year Masters psychological studies.