Concentration on Culture and Diversity

Our Department has a longstanding commitment to incorporating an understanding of culture and diversity into clinical and community practice, research, and teaching. In the 1980s, we were among the first Departments at Yale to include a required seminar on Human Diversity in one of our doctoral placements sites, and began incorporating teaching about diversity in the core required seminar for all doctoral fellows in the 1990s.

The Yale Department of Psychiatry Doctoral Internship in Clinical and Community Psychology emphasizes core competencies on diversity, disparities, and culture. This is accomplished by providing opportunities to fellows that raise awareness and increase knowledge about issues surrounding diversity in clinical and community settings and to enhance cultural competence in clinical practice and research. The examination of diversity encompasses gender and gender identity, race, ethnicity, social class, religion and spirituality, physical or mental ability, age, sexual orientation, national origin, immigration status, and linguistic ability.

Learning on these topics occurs throughout the year through multiple forums.

Core Seminar & Placement Based Seminars

All fellows participate in the Core Seminar in which diversity and culture are explicitly addressed in a series of six seminar sessions to provide a common foundation for all fellows. These sessions, which cover topics of critical importance to working in behavioral health settings, include: understanding diversity within the Greater New Haven community; incorporating a focus on culture and diversity early in the client engagement process; integrating cultural values into treatment; adapting evidence based practices based on culture; applying the enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care (CLAS Standards); and understanding the impact of health care legislation and policy on underserved populations. Examples of clinical work with culturally specific populations are provided throughout these sessions. Many additional sessions throughout the curriculum include a focus on diversity, disparities, culture, and cultural competence.

The learning process continues in Placement Based Seminars where the focus is on the diverse populations served within the placement, as well as adaptations of treatment approaches for those populations.

Faculty & Fellow Gatherings

The faculty psychologists who organize and teach Core Seminar sessions on culture and diversity host monthly dinners in which these issues are examined in an informal setting, often through the use of film or other media, to illustrate a topic and prompt discussion. The monthly dinners are optional, but all fellows are invited to attend in order to deepen their understanding of multicultural issues and strategies for incorporating a focus on culture and diversity into clinical or community practice and research.

Yale's Affinity Groups

The following excerpt is from Peter Salovey, Yale President-Elect & Frances Rosenbluth, Deputy Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity:

The intellectual exchange of ideas at Yale is enriched by the presence of diverse scholars and students—indeed, excellence is impossible without such diversity. The University is strongly committed to its goal of increasing the representation and advancement of women and underrepresented minorities in its faculty and staff. One strategy has been the development and support of Diversity Affinity Groups at Yale. Yale’s four affinity groups—the Asian Network @ Yale, Yale African American Affinity Group, Yale Latino Affinity Group, and Yale Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Affinity Group—are University-wide networks committed to fostering diversity in our campus community.

These groups are open to all faculty and staff. They frequently host events where faculty members have an opportunity to share their work with campus colleagues. Since their inception in 2005, the affinity groups have been working to engage the Yale community in transformative and innovative ways to address and advance our commitment to diversity. We invite you to visit the Yale Diversity and Inclusion page for information on participating in the affinity groups—and to subscribe to the groups’ newsletters through Yale’s subscription service so that you can keep abreast of the robust programming and initiatives that may be of interest to you as a member of the faculty and of the Yale community.