DSST Fundamentals of counseling

The euro centric worldview divides the world into

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The Euro centric worldview divides the world into knowable parts, handling emotions carefully and focusing on self- actualization and independence . Most of the traditional counseling theories emphasize these same values and use them to set goals for treatment. The Euro centric view is not right or wrong it just needs to be understood and not imposed on people with different cultural viewpoints. The Multicultural Counseling and Therapy approach recognizes that the external reality is sometimes more important to a client that his or her internal reality. Many traditional therapies focus on internal realities (rational emotive, cognitive) but with a cultural perspective the counselor sees the importance of the external environment on how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Racial and sexual discrimination are two examples of where the external environment plays a leading role in a person’s reality over and above how the person may feel or think inside. As in any situation or therapy, it is critical that you do not stereotype a client. Just because a person belongs to a particular cultural group does not mean he or she prescribes to the general notions and ideals of that culture. It is important to understand each individual client from a cultural perspective by asking questions and gaining background information to determine their belief systems, values, morals, etc… The ultimate goal of Multicultural Counseling and Therapy is to expand the repertoire of helping responses regardless of theoretical orientation. The overall effectiveness of counseling depends on the whether or not the techniques, strategies and goals were congruent with the client’s life and cultural experiences. No single approach will work in every situation so the Multicultural Counselor and Therapist will mix and match as needed.
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Bi-culturality is the state of feeling connectedness to two different cultures. Most people in North America consider themselves at least bicultural and perhaps tri or quadra-cultural. The ability to associate with more than one culture is usually a positive influence but it can create difficulties if the individual feels torn between the different cultures. Language development is the most powerful multicultural issue yet it is the one that is most often ignored . In North America, a person who does not speak English well is often thought of as disadvantaged. This leads to condescension and talking down to the person when in fact the native English speaker is the less advantaged because he or she likely does not know another language at all. Socioeconomic status is a cultural issue that focuses on the economic standards of a person. Socioeconomics is not often thought of as a cultural issue but it is. Just as some ethnic groups are generally economically depressed, there is also a great deal of similarity between people of different ethnic backgrounds who are economically depressed. These people have a commonality based on the need for survival that transcends any other group commonalities.
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