Changing trends within the mental health system treatment practices demand exploration of the cultural context of assessment and treatment of Black/African Americans. Culturally competent assessments include a realistic integration of historical context. Clinicians counseling Black/African Americans must be prepared to assess and address PTSD, racial trauma, micro-aggressions, and other known (or unknown) issues that may affect Black/African Americans. In addition, clinicians must be prepared for the depth and permanence of race-based stress and trauma, as well as the idea that said stress and trauma can result from unaddressed environmental, familial, and/or individual factors.
The purpose of this study is to explore cultural competence in the practices of clinicians working with Black/African Americans clients as it relates to assessment, treatment and engagement. Through the exploration of current multicultural
counseling and assessment trends, the study explores the origins of stress and trauma in American descendents of African slaves, and proposes an evaluation of clinicians' mental health assessment for PTSD with said clients based on those implications. Exploring to what extent a culturally-proficient clinician engages Black/African Americans clients from initial through on-going assessment and treatment process in conjunction with the professional literature on treatment practices, research suggests that Black/African American clients do suffer from intergenerational trauma and are often mis- or under-diagnosed for mental health issues. With proper assessment of Black/African Americans, the reduction of misdiagnosed or under diagnosed cases of Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as other mental health conditions will occur.