Alesya Radosteva, Psy.D, is a 2018 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee

William Heusler, Psy.D., Committee Chair

Tedd Judd, Ph.D., ABPP, Committee Member

Maile Bay, JD, Psy.D., Committee Member


forensic psychology; culture; criminology; cultural consultation; culture research; DSM-IV; DSM-5; cultural formulation interview; guidelines; anthropology; crime; delinquency; acculturation

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The importance of culture as a reference point in clinical practices such as forensic psychology has been considerably valued yet poorly understood, especially in an age where precision and sophistication outlast cultural authenticity and patient-clinician relationship. This paper looks at the gaps and inconsistencies that exist in current forensic psychology research. The topic is introduced by delving into the understanding of the phenomenon of culture and its influences on our everyday conditioning. Aspects such as language, biological development, traditions, rituals, and narratives are emphasized as potent tools that drive individuals to create and mold culture according to needs and requirements of the moment. These elements are then used for signifying the inherent ways in which culture can result in both despair as well as positive enforcement, thereby being a powerful element of consideration in forensic assessment practice. The essential concept explored in this paper involves the clinicians’ perspectives on the meaning of cultural values, norms and beliefs that shape the behavior of the patient. Through this exploration I attempted to understand how the clinical practice of forensic psychology can be made more authentic and less cold and calculated by consideration of cultural malleability. By using thematic analysis, I reviewed a large collection of the relevant literature in an attempt to understand the core concepts that drive clinicians in their cultural considerations. I emphasized attention to the malleable nature of culture and the intricate ways in which culture is related to biological, psychological, anthropological, and legal aspects of forensic psychology. The conclusions of the paper include specific considerations for creating a well-structured cultural consultation model, which emphasizes attention to aspects like clinical approach, patient’s family of origin, current community, as well as biological and psychological conditions of the patient and the patient’s cultural perspective on those conditions.


Alesya Radosteva, Psy.D., 2018

ORCID Scholar #0000-0002-8498-4849