The Difference Between Cultural Competencies Versus Decolonization of Mental Health Training and Practice: A call for an intersectional, anti-capitalist lens

with Dr. Richard Q. Shin
This program provides 1 hour of continuing education units.
-Approval NASW-KY #050522. NASW-KY is an approved provider for social work credits through the KYBSW.
-Approved Provider #50-33522 Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. Course #20-1176572.
-Accepted by the OH CSWMFT Board.

Continuing education requirements vary by state, while many accept the above approvals, please confirm with your board.
Contact for more information.


  1. Gain an understanding of how settler colonialism informed/s the mental health system we have today.
  2. Review theories and definitions of what decolonizing mental health means and how this topic relates to multiple aspects of mental health i.e. academic field, clinical practice, policy creation, etc.
  3. Understand how the demographics of mental health educators and practitioners, as well as the lack of culturally competent education, contribute exclusionary and harmful practices and experiences in mental health fields.
  4. Evaluate your roles and experiences within the discussion of harmful mental health practices and decolonization of mental health.
  5. Understand, through personal anecdote and statistical research, how individuals, groups, and communities have been negatively affected and harmed by the institution of mental health and its practices.
  6. Explore the multi-layer and intersectionality of the decolonization of mental health and other aspects of society and culture i.e. capitalism, public service systems, legislations, etc.
  7. Review the history and evolution of social justice scholars and mental health education.
  8. Review the context of mental health and the decolonization of mental health on a global scale.
  9. Understand the disconnect between mental health theories of support, clinical practice, boundaries, standards, etc. and the real world experiences of clients and clinicians, and the impact that this disconnect has on treatment.
  10. Understand that despite the importance of these discussions, there is no single checklist of goals to achieve decolonization of mental health but instead a multi-layered, long-term process of work to transform our current systems.

Dr. Richard Q. Shin
University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. Richard Q. Shin (he/him) is an associate professor in the Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education department in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the coordinator of the School Counseling program and holds affiliate appointments in Counseling Psychology, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Asian American Studies. Dr. Shin is also a Core Research Scientist in the University of Maryland Prevention Research Center. His scholarly interests are primarily focused on how systemic, institutionalized forms of discrimination like racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, and cissexism are perpetuated by mental health professionals in subtle and overt ways.

Dr. Shin is a leading social justice scholar in the counseling and psychology fields. His article, "Is Allison more likely than Lakisha to get a call back from counseling professionals: A racism audit study" was the first study using audit methodology to be published in counseling psychology. Dr. Shin also published the first content analysis in psychology on the intersectionality framework, as well as developed a comprehensive measure of critical consciousness. Dr. Shin's teaching, research, and consulting are guided by a commitment to create a more just and equitable society for devalued and marginalized groups.