In many ways, American culture is truly a melting pot of cultural differences. At the same time, we must realize that many times there are major cultural differences that exist even between members of the same culture. This means that a multicultural counselor has to not only consider the broader culture of the individual, but also the individuals interpretation and expressions of cultural differences.The reason this becomes so important is that we many times want to help people based on our own cultural perspectives, and we fail to consider the cultural orientation of the individual. This is sometimes called a monocultural bias, or the culturally encapsulated counselor (Wrenn, 1985).Pederson (2000) and Wrenn (1985) suggest that the encapsulated counselor manifests some of the following qualities:.
Individualism is presumed to be more appropriate than a collectivist perspective in all settings
The other individual is usually or always expected to “adjust” to fit the system
The historical roots of a person’s background are disregarded or minimalized
Shows insensitivity to cultural variations amongst individuals
The counselors presume themselves to be free of racism and cultural bias
Accepts unreasoned assumptions and disregards evidence to the contrary
Fails to evaluate others viewpoints and does little to accommodate the needs and behaviors of othersSanchez (2001) exerts that: Culturally-sensitive counselors are aware of their own cultural values and backgrounds.
Culturally-responsive counselors know how their cultural perspective affects how they observe, interpret, and intervene in the lives of others.
Culturally deliberate counselors seek knowledge concerning cultural and ethnic differences to use as reference points.
Culturally sensible counselors are alert to the effects of their perspective and make adjustments to promote the therapeutic alliance.Besides the common sense reality of becoming culturally sensitive, a multicultural approach to ministry is part of the ethical code for counseling. As a pastor, lay counselor, or Christian counselor, there is a certain fiduciary responsibility to consider and respond to the cultural needs of the parishioner or client who is being worked with.In a reflection paper, respond to the prompts below: When you think about the reality of having to work with people of a differing culture, what attitudes and concerns may you hold?
Which cultures do you believe will be the easiest to work with? Which do you feel will be the most difficult?
Try to identify what stereotypes or prejudices you might currently hold regarding African-Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, and Mexican Americans.
If you would like to view some specific ways that culture may affect the counseling relationship, you can review the following PPT, based off of Competent Christian Counseling. This Power Point has no narration, so you can move through at your own pace.
Document TypeMS WordPaper Size8.5 X 11″Length1-2 pagesMargins1″FontTimes or Times New Roman, 12 pt.Line SpacingDouble. No extra double space between paragraphs please.Paper Structure Introduction Body Conclusion ReferencesIn-text Citations & Reference List StyleAPAPaper StructureIntroduction
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