Everyone knows that global awareness is important– whether it is for simply fulfilling your civic duties or for increasing your ability to work with diverse clients. However, being a culturally competent clinician requires more than being able to understand and communicate effectively with people of other cultures. It also calls for someone who stays up to date on world news.
Whether an individual immigrated to the US or they’re first/second/third generation, it is likely that they carry a lot of emotional ties to their roots. When there are changes in power, natural disasters, economic crises, etc., it is likely that your client will know about it… so you should too.
So, how do you make sure you can keep up with current events?
Subscribing to News Briefings
You can do this a few ways! The New York Times has Newsletters that you can subscribe to. Here’s a link to Today’s Headlines and here’s where to subscribe. I also really value the Race/Related section as it’s one way we can stay informed and continue to challenge and understand the racial disparities within our country.
Additionally, I personally love NPR’s daily news that I have programmed into Amazon Alexa. Here’s a link on how to program flash briefings for your Alexa.
Just browse through your preferred app (through Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and more). and there are plenty of playlists (updated daily) that are offered!
Here are a few quick links to access some of my favorites:
You may be surprised how many things you can learn on this platform. News stations, current event channels, and individuals all over the world show you just how powerful social media can be during tough times. Here are a few Twitter accounts I follow and really enjoy: @VoxDotCom @WashingtonPost @AJPlus
It is important to be able to know when to check in on your clients about stuff that they might not bring up themselves. They could have family being impacted, property that they are worried about, or even just a lot of opinions that they need to share. Having the opportunity to open up about current events that may effect them can provide a sort of catharsis for the client. It is important that the clinician can provide a safe space for them to do so.
If you hear or read something that you know might have an impact on your client, gently check in with them and to see if it’s something they wanted to process. News and politics can be draining on anyone–or they may not even put very much importance on the specific matter– so be sure not to probe if it isn’t necessary.
Finally, don’t forget to take care of yourself in the process. We all know that the news can impact our mental health, so while you’re making sure to stay up to date, make sure you practice self-care.
If you find that you can’t just do some self-care to release the stress, then it might be a good time to find a therapist of your own. You can get in touch here for referrals to one of our lovely therapists, or we can help connect you with someone in the Chicagoland area that might be a good fit.