Engaging into the importance of multicultural competence, awareness of such competency has become a significant necessity in the area of mental health, and various fields of psychology (Hayes, 2008). It is essential for a counselor to be multicultural competent in order to develop a therapeutic alliance with a client, while understanding their cultural identity. Therefore, culturally competent knowledge, attitudes, and skills of diverse culture, is necessary, in proper treatment and diagnosis. Nonetheless, the complexity of cultural diversity can contribute to challenges in assessment, diagnosis and or treatment. It is further understood; by understanding one’s social history, psychosocial history, presenting problems, along with other pertinent information regarding a cultural responsiveness in a diagnosis, and how it would be beneficial to individuals of various social, ethnic, and other minority groups in order to make a treatment plan based on the findings of a cultural assessment (Sue & Sue, 2013). Nonetheless, cultural influences, often neglected, are needed to incorporate the challenges cultural groups face when seeking treatment. Therefore, I have found it applicable to use “ADDRESSING,” framework in therapy as a resource for developing cultural and relevant assessments in addition to the onset symptoms presented in the client in the case study of Mrs. Hudson. The use of “ADDRESSING” acronym is designed to obtain age, developmental and physical disabilities
In my personal opinion and experience, I find that the field of psychology is lacking in diverse cultural competencies as much as the society is diverse in its population. I believe that as with using any theoretical model, the therapists’ cultural knowledge needs to include understanding of the many cultural considerations influencing the effectiveness of treatment when dealing with clients from diverse backgrounds. When servicing the individuals in the family, care and attention needs to be directed towards family and community norms and values around help seeking, secrecy and confidentiality, family roles, child rearing and spiritual practices.
One of key concepts of person centred therapy is the belief that the client has the ability to become aware of their own problems and has the inherent means to resolve them. In this sense,
There is no doubt that the counsellor needs to be aware of the complexity of culture (Pedersen & Ivey, 1993). Culture results from the interaction of a number of variables including ethnographic, demographic, socio-economic, and relational factors. Within a culture, people develop patterns of behaviours based on a number of assumptions they have learned either directly, observationally or vicariously (Mitchell & Krumboltz, 1996). People also develop a cultural identity by
Cultural competency is critical in psychology practice. In the United States, the groups, which considered as cultural and ethnic minorities, are growing in the population (APA, 2003). Culture often influences the content and quality of people’s experience, perception, and response. Thus, it is important for psychologists to be aware of cultural influences on client’s presenting experience(s) (Gardiner & Kosmitzki, 2010). Without a regard for cultural influence, there is a significant risk for the psychologist to misunderstand, misinterpret, and misguide his or her client. Such misunderstanding, misinterpretation, and misguidance are not only unhelpful but can be detrimental for the client (Corey, Corey, & Callanan, 2011; Pope, & Vasquez, 2011).
As a result, it is imperative to take a look at current and historical oppressions that a client experience by being part of a minority social group or a group that does not conform to popular culture (Aviera, 2002). These oppressions will offer me a deeper insight into the source of challenges that a client faces. By merely looking at the individual without considering these oppressions, I could fail to determine what drives him to experience life the way that he does. Therefore, in order to build a practice that is useful to a different set of cultures, keeping in mind significant experiences encountered as a collective is fundamental in cultivating effective cross-cultural counseling
The importance of a cross-cultural understanding in Psychology is imperative to successful care and assistance of mental health. Understanding and acknowledging the complexities of different cultures is the beginning of a more informed approach to mental health. Cultural factors and questions play a fundamental role, however, simply acknowledging cultural differences does not necessarily provide the best individual help. Thus, a combination of cultural, demographic and individual factors are crucial initial steps to specific individual assistance. Treating individuals in context can help discern deviations from cultural factors and norms. Therefore an approach which recognises that both culture and specificity to the client is most effective. Knowing someone’s background can be fundamental to clinical help but could also reinforce cultural stereotypes, this overly simplistic view could be detrimental to treatment. Throughout this essay the impact of culture on mental health will be examined, and how the health care provider and client mediate a relationship to produce the most effective results.
In all psychological and biological assessment, the use of culturally attuned assessments is top priority. “We may define culturally informed psychological assessment as an approach to evaluation that is keenly perceptive of and responsive to issues of acculturation, values, identity, worldview, language, and other culture-related variables as they may impact the evaluation process or the interpretation of resulting data” (Cohen, Swerdlik, & Sturman, 2013). Through this process key individuals contribute to the understanding of the client including family, friends, and coworkers input and information. Through the use of translators and other cultural affiliates clinicians are able to demonstrate a clearer understanding, a culturally applicable assessment, and ensure that the client understands the ins and outs of the assessment process. One important aspect of the implementation of the “one size fits all approach” to culturally attuned treatment and care in our mental health facilities (Cohen, Swerdlik, & Sturman, 2013). Assessment and clinical evaluations should not be a cookie cutter experience. The amount of patients that are
I am committed to embracing cultural diversity and social responsibility in my counseling practice (Corey, et al., 2015, p. 112). I am committed to my own cultural competency and, although I am not perfect, I am open to learning and growth (p. 118). I invite you to challenge my assumptions. Many therapy approaches reflect Western patriarchal values that do not fit the needs of all cultural perspectives (p. 117-118). I consider your disclosure of personal information to be an important aspect of therapy, but I will encourage you to self-disclose according to your own timeline, not mine (p. 120). Some people hesitate to speak due to respect and cultural norms, so I encourage you to let me know when I am being too direct or assertive in my questions (p. 122). Therapy sometimes assumes a goal of individualization, buy I realize this might not be your goal, so I am open to exploring issues of collective responsibility as well as self-actualization (p. 123). Finally, I come from a Western cultural orientation, both personally and professionally, and am often unconscious of my nonverbal behaviors, so I encourage you to let me know when I treat you disrespectfully in my use of eye contact, facial expression, or gestures, or when my interventions feel uncomfortably personal or intrusive (p. 123). “Recognizing our own cultural and historical embeddedness can remind us that our assumptions about what a person is and what a person should be or become
While gender and ethnicity may be the more apparent cultural features other things are important also, which include sexual orientation, spiritual or religious practices, political aspects, and general philosophy of life are all cultural elements that need to be incorporated into interventions and treatment options” (Cummins et al., 2012, p.237). In addition, it is important for the social worker to have cultural knowledge because it is necessary for selecting the appropriate intervention and treatment methods for that client. Furthermore, the appropriate multidimensional assessment provides the social worker with the internal culture of the client such as cognitive abilities or limitations, emotional health, and emotional responses and
It is important to be aware of one’s limitations, weaknesses and strengths in the delivery of counseling services. Taking into account the cultural values of the client, the support systems and the client’s view of the key parts of his or her makeup (the history of the client) are culture specific (because someone is of the same race does not mean that values will be the same) and does not discount the individual. Sue et al reminds us that multicultural counseling competency looks beyond racial and ethnic minorities and also includes disabilities, sexual orientation, age, and other special populations (Sue, et al, 1992).
The relationship of a counselor to his or her client can be troubled when the two come from different cultural backgrounds. "As counselors incorporate a greater awareness of their clients' culture into their theory and practice, they must realize that, historically, cultural differences have been viewed as deficits (Romero, 1985). Adherence to white cultural values has brought about a naive imposition of narrowly defined criteria for normality on culturally diverse people" (Bolton-Brownlee 1987). The challenge for counselors today is to balance multiculturalism and sensitivity for the client with the need to move the client forward and enable him or her to reach productive life goals. Cultural acceptance cannot be synonymous with complacency.
In a multicultural counseling perspective there are four key approaches when counseling individuals, (a) multicultural awareness of culturally learned assumptions about self and others leading to accurate assessments of clients, (b) multicultural knowledge of information, (c) multicultural skills and interventions, that are appropriate treating clients, and (d) individuals are from a variety of backgrounds, demographic status, and affiliation of cultures. The three-stage approach, will direct the counselor towards levels of multicultural competence in therapy by providing a successful outcome in the recovery process. When conducting a psychotherapy session with a client the counselor should be able to demonstrate skills, when exploring the client’s cultural background. Counselors should also be able to focus on the essential skills and pattern behaviors, when identifying cultural differences. Counseling a minority from a different culture counselors’ must be able to identify their own personal behaviors. These behaviors are crucial when counseling these individuals. First, a counselor must be able to sense the clients’ viewpoint or issue in some way. Secondly, a counselor should be specific when asking a question rather than being unclear and confusing.
Counselors who are unaware of diverse cultural viewpoints are more than likely to do intentional or unintentional damage when working within communities opposite of their own and with those whose cultures and worldviews differ from theirs. If a counselor is unaware of their own cultural identity, biases, and stereotypes, how then will they know if they are unintentionally causing harm to their clients or build rapport? Cultural self-awareness is relevant because counselors need to know their cultural identity and what they must offer their clients in a therapeutic relationship and to help clients become aware their cultural identities.
Person-centered therapy provides a pathway to self-actualization through the creation of an empathetic, trusting relationship between client and counselor. In the case scenario described, a woman struggles with anger and depression, which negatively impacts her relationship with her husband. This case study presents an overview of person-centered therapy and an explanation of how it could be used in the therapeutic environment to help this client successfully cope with her issues.