2016-MakehsaEvansAddressing Multiculturalism and Multilingualism in the Education and Training of Caribbean Psychologists
Makesha Evans

Proficiency in the practice of psychology is rooted in effective education and training of psychologists from the bachelor's through to doctoral levels. Persons in the Caribbean region can access these qualifications in their own jurisdictions or overseas. In many cases, there is little difference between those qualifications that are offered locally and those available in regions such as Europe and North America. This presentation contends that we can no longer take a business-as-usual approach to the education and training of Caribbean psychologists and expect them to demonstrate the competencies that are necessary to treat with the region's historical and current realities, and the cultural peculiarities that impact mental health issues. The following questions are addressed: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the existing psychology programmes in the region? What principles need to guide the design and development of indigenized psychological curricula? How do we ensure that Caribbean psychologists are equipped to operate effectively in both local and overseas contexts? How do we account for the diversity that exists within the Caribbean region? What are the quality assurance considerations that are relevant? How do we create strategic partnerships within the Caribbean that strengthen psychologists' capacity to deal with diversity? The conclusion is that extensive consultation is needed with educators in the region to agree on core learning outcomes and proficiencies with a view to charting a way forward for the profession in the region.