Cultural Formulation Interview Series












Each session will run from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. MT / 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. CT.


Event Description

Session 1: The Value of Person-Centered Cultural Assessment in Clinical Practice (November 10, 2022) 

This presentation will describe the role of culture in the experience of and presentation of mental health problems by individuals seeking care and in assessments and treatments offered by providers. The value of a person-centered cultural assessment will be presented, focusing on cultural concepts of distress, social determinants of mental health, and treatment planning and engagement. The Cultural Formulation Interview will be introduced, a standardized method for person-centered assessment that appeared in DSM-5. 

Learning Objectives

1. Understand the role of culture in every aspect of mental health, including among individuals seeking care as well as providers.  

2. Discuss the value of a person-centered cultural assessment focused on the individual. 

3. Learn about the Cultural Formulation Interview as a standardized approach for conducting a person-centered cultural assessment.


Speaker: Roberto Lewis-Fernández, MD 











Roberto Lewis-Fernández MD is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University; at New York State Psychiatric Institute, he is Director of the NYS Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence, Director of the Hispanic Treatment Program, and Research Area Leader for Anxiety, Mood, Eating, and Related Disorders. His research develops culturally congruent interventions and instruments to enhance patient engagement, reduce misdiagnosis, and help overcome disparities in the care of underserved cultural groups. He led the development of the DSM-5 Cultural Formulation Interview, a standardized cultural assessment protocol, and was the Principal Investigator (PI) of its international field trial. He has been PI or co-Investigator of 27 National Institutes of Health-funded studies and other research, and published over 225 articles, chapters, and books on culture-related topics in mental health. He is immediate past president of the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry, president-elect of the American Psychopathological Association, chair of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry Cultural Committee, and chair of the DSM Review Committee for Internalizing Disorders.  He was chair of the DSM-5-TR Culture-Related Issues Review Committee as well as co-chair of the DSM-5-TR Work Group on Ethnoracial Equity and Inclusion and the ICD-11 Working Group on Culture-Related Issues. 


Session 2: Personalized Cultural Assessment through the Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI) (November 17, 2022) 

This presentation introduces clinicians from all professional backgrounds to the concept of person-centered care and how the Cultural Formulation Interview can help them completed a personalized cultural assessment. It defines person-centered care. It goes through the underlying theories of the CFI to show how a person-centered assessment avoids stereotyping patients or assuming that group traits are valid for the person in front of us. It closes by showing how information elicited through the CFI can be used to personalize diagnostic assessment and treatment planning. 


Speaker: Neil Krishan Aggarwal 











Dr. Neil Krishan Aggarwal is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University and Research Psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He has been a consultant to the DSM-5 Cross-Cultural Issues Subgroup for over a decade and managed the international field trial for the CFI that took place in 6 countries and enrolled 75 clinicians with 321 patients. His work on the CFI has been funded through the American Psychiatric Association, National Institute of Mental Health, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 


Session 3: Cultural and Linguistic Considerations in Person-Centered Care in Rural and Indigenous Latino Communities (December 8, 2022) 

Speaker: Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, MD, PhD












Session 4: Cultural Formulation Interviews in American Indian Communities (December 15, 2022) 

This presentation will provide attendees information to help contextualize assessment and diagnosis in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities in a way that honors and respects the culture of AI/AN populations. 


Speakers: Maria Brave Heart and Deidre Yellowhair 











Dr. Brave Heart, Hunkpapa and Oglala Lakota, is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of Native American and Disparities Research in the University of New Mexico's Division of Community Behavioral Health. Previously, Brave Heart was on the faculty at Columbia University School of Social Work and was a research team member with the Hispanic Treatment Program of New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She was also on faculty at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. Dr. Brave Heart has dedicated her research and work to address historical trauma and multicultural, diversity, equity and racial issues; specifically, how systemic racism impacts mental health in American Indian (AI) communities.  











Dr. Yellowhair, Diné/Navajo (she/her/hers) is currently a Clinical Psychology Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of New Mexico (UNM) with a clinical rotation in the Pueblo of San Felipe. Dr. Yellowhair also serves as the Project Director for the TRIBES Grant through the Department of Community Behavioral Health at UNM. Dr. Yellowhair graduated from Western Michigan University with a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and completed her pre-doctoral training at UNM. She also received her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University and bachelor degrees in Psychology and English from Fort Lewis College. Originally from Arizona, she has dedicated her research and studies to addressing historical trauma and multicultural, diversity, equity and racial issues. Her current focus is further training and being mentored in how systemic racism impacts mental health in American Indian (AI) communities and learning how to intervene with grants, advocacy and policy. 


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