The walls of history are hard to penetrate, but as we continue to move forward in our debates and deliberations concerning the synthesis of ethical behavior and multiculturalism, one of our principle foci must be on culture. In this discussion about culture, it becomes evident that the rubber has hit the road, and it will be important that we are durable enough to withstand the rapid changes ahead. If not, practitioners need to be concerned with falling short as we attempt to treat culturally diverse communities that are underserved. In our continued dialogue towards fusing these two areas, it is anticipated that the professional lens through which we understand the ethical mandates of the profession will likely be better understood and interpreted to reflect the cultural realities of those whom we serve.
As we move along the culturally responsive continuum, we need to call into question our understanding of culture and its manifes- tations therapeutically. Whaley and Davis enhanced our understanding of culture as they indicated that culture influences the therapeutic process more than the therapeutic outcome. Addi- tionally, the manifestation of culture in psychology has been primarily limited to discussions of race and ethnicity only. In other words, when we equate or make synonymous culture with race and ethnicity only, we have once again limited our capacity to respond in culturally appropriate ways therapeutically. Culture is more than race and ethnicity and should include identities such as religion and spirituality, gen- der, sexual orientation, class, and disability, to name a few. Future discourse on multiculturalism will continue to expand our definition of culture to include the multiple dimensions of analysis that contain the various contexts and aspects of our client’s lives. In addition, culture is dynamic and changing, not static. Culture changes as the condition of the people change and as their interactions with the larger society change. In essence, political and religious turmoil, economic depression, and environmental changes all impact the manifes- tation of culture. As these societal changes impact our client’s culture, we as practitioners are also changed and impacted culturally by these very same social changes and interactions. Ultimately, this deepens the complexity as we strive for a life-long process of being culturally responsive practitioners, not only in theory but also in practice.