Dr. Jaswant Guzder: Culture and working with families


“The whole trajectory of development is shaped by cultural expectations”

Dr. Jaswant Guzder, head of Child Psychiatry at the Jewish General Hospital discusses the influence of culture in her work with families. In her practice, she often encounters children and parents negotiating between two cultures, a Western one which often emphasizes individualism and the patient’s culture of origin which may put emphasis on interdependence. Dr. Guzder suggests strategies for clinicians to create a culturally safe space to share differing cultural opinions without shame or judgement. In order to provide the best care for children and families, how can clinicians understand families’ interpretation of their cultural ideas ? What is the best way forward in instilling cultural competence amongst clinicians to identify their own cultural blind spots?