Culturally competent practice refers to an ability to respond to a range of diverse experiences and identities of clients and which through adaptation should strive to meet the diversity of life experiences, lifestyles and backgrounds clients have.
Culturally competent practice does not require first hand experience or knowledge of a client's experience. Instead, it is the ability of a practitioner to understand cultural influences on their own perceptions, i.e. perceptions structured by and through their own cultural experiences, beliefs and influences This approach helps to inform practice in the context of promoting a greater understanding of the complexities which come into play with respect to protected groups and cultural understandings influenced by the experience of being disabled, sensory impaired, on poor income, homeless, lesbian, gay or bisexual.
Further, culturally competent practice takes into account
combined differences and the need for adaptive services, which respond to
cultural beliefs about psychological therapy. For example perceptions of whether therapy is appropriate
for an older gay male or a young Asian female.