Training implications of psychology's approach to conscience clause cases
The Board of Education Virtual Working Group on Restrictions Affecting Diversity Training has generated a thoughtful approach to the challenge of conscience clauses. In this commentary short-term and longer-term implications of their publications are considered, as these might affect training programs seeking to implement the Working Group tenets. Among the short-term issues that need to be addressed by faculty members in professional psychology training programs are (a) whether to focus broadly or more narrowly in policies and program statements, (b) how to define a minimal level of competence in students' ability to work with diverse clients, (c) how to provide effective supervision when conflicts arise between a trainee's values and clinical needs of diverse clients, and (d) how to disclose policy in a manner likely to be understood by program applicants. Among the longer-term implications of the Working Groups statements are (a) how to reach a deeper understanding of what is meant by diversity in clinical training, (b) how to integrate the focus on differences with a developing appreciation of common humanity, (c) how to base diversity training and practice on psychological science, and (d) how to reduce judgmental thinking while facilitating the growth of clinical judgment.
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