The DSM-5 Cultural Formulation Interview as a Model of Clinician Cultural Competence

Presented by Neil Krishan Aggarwal, MD, MBA and Roberto Lewis-Fernández, MD, MTS

Course Description:
Government and professional organizations contend that clinician cultural competence training can reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. Cultural competence approaches, however, differ by provider discipline, training methods, and outcomes measured, with no indication of which methods clinicians find helpful. One cultural competence model with emerging evidence is the psychiatric cultural formulation which has been revised as the Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI) for DSM-5. A 2014 Lancet Commission on culture and health has advocated for CFI use throughout all medical subspecialties, including mental health and substance abuse counseling, given its evidence base and focus on patient cultural views of illness and treatment relevant beyond psychiatry. This workshop trains participants in the training package found to be most helpful by 75 clinicians in the DSM-5 CFI field trial.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize the components of conducting a Cultural Formulation Interview.
  2. Recognize clinically-relevant cultural factors in diagnostic and treatment planning through the Cultural Formulation Interview.
  3. Integrate cultural factors in diagnostic and treatment planning by using the Cultural Formulation Interview through case-based behavioral simulations.

Presenter Bios:
Dr. Neil Krishan Aggarwal, MD, MBA
, is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University and Research Psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI).  He conducts research on how clinician cultural competence training impacts patient outcomes such as satisfaction and symptomatology. He has a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop a cultural competence intervention based on the CFI and examine its mechanisms of action in a New York City hospital.

Dr. Roberto Lewis-Fernández, MD, MTS is Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and the Director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence, and the Hispanic Treatment Program, at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He chaired the DSM-5 Cross-Cultural Issues Subgroup that developed the CFI and was the Principal Investigator of the international field trial that tested its implementation outcomes. He leads efforts to implement the CFI in the New York State public mental health system as well as broadly in the U.S. and internationally.

Date:   January 29, 2016         Time: 9:00am-3:30pm
Location: Eisenhower Conference Center, 80 Beaufort Avenue, Livingston, New Jersey 07039
Registration and continental breakfast will take place from 9:00-9:30am. The training will begin promptly at 9:30am.

Registration and continental breakfast 
9:30-10:30am:            Professional regulatory requirements
Federal and state standards of cultural competence
The CFI evidence base
10:30-11:30am:           Theories and practice domains of the CFI
11:30-11:45am:             Morning break
11:45am-12:45pm:      Video: Using CFI questions as a form of behavioral modelling
12:45-1:45pm:               Lunch on your own 
1:45-2:45pm:                 Exercise: CFI simulations and practice
2:45-3:30pm:                Wrap-up, questions and discussion

Target Audience:  Social workers, counselors, and mental health professionals of all levels. This course is appropriate for beginner level participants.

Continuing Education Credits: FAMILYConnections is approved as a provider for continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program (provider #1252). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. This course is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards – ASWB NJ CE Course Approval Program Provider #34 Course #613 from 12/21/2015 to 12/21/2017. Social Workers will receive 5 Continuing Education Credits in Cultural Competence for participating in this course. FAMILYConnections, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6604. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Counselors will receive 4.75 CE hours.  FAMILYConnections is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

In accordance with ASWB guidelines, all participants must sign in and sign out and complete a course evaluation in order to receive CEUs. Partial credit will not be given to those arriving late or leaving early. Certificates will be awarded to participants after they have signed out at the completion of the course.

Directions, Parking, and Facilities:
For general directions, please click here. Detailed directions and information will be sent to registrants in a confirmation email.

For information on nearby lunch options, please click here.  There is also a full service cafeteria on-site at Eisenhower Conference Center.

If you need accommodations for a disability, please contact Niki DeVonish, Coordinator, at 973-323-3454 or by email at

Priority & free registration will be open to staff of DMHAS-contracted mental health and substance abuse agencies and self-help centers until January 15, 2016. After January 15th, public registrations will be accepted based on space availability for a $35 fee.  Course fees include materials and continental breakfast. Cancellations must be made by January 25, 2016. Refunds will be not be issued for registrations cancelled after January 25th.

Registration for this training is full and has been closed.
To register for the waiting list, please click here.

Grievances: Please contact Niki DeVonish, Coordinator, at 973-323-3454 with any grievances.

Comments are closed.