In this paper the writer interviewed at least one family member about the cultural background that pertains to this writer. Based upon the data gathered this writer will describe the family’s cultural heritage and cultural traditions that have been passed down in your family. This writer will share the families’ religious or spiritual traditions. This paper will have information considering the cultural heritage in terms of those aspects of which is most proud, ashamed, discriminating, oppressive, and privileges for this writer and the family.
This writer will provide information on ideas about the purpose of counseling, roles of the counselor, and approaches to therapy that will be used to work with client with diverse background. This writer will consider potential barriers or opportunities could present in counseling to clients of different ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. Finally, this writer will identify and discuss at least one competency from each of the aspects of multicultural competence that would be important to apply in ensuring that eliminate these barriers.
After interviewing the family member named Joyce, this writer found out that she is not only Polish, German, and Irish, she is part English, Indian and Dutch as well. This writer’s great grandmother on her mother’s side is Irish, English, German, and Dutch. The great grandfather on her mother’s side is Indian. Both great grandparents on her father’s side are Polish. During the interview, this writer asked Joyce if she knew any other information concerning the family background for instance; when the great grandparents came to the United States or any traditions that was passed down, she didn’t have any information pertaining the family (Fichter 2014). This writer had went to other family members to gather more information, however there was no other information given bung that nobody has any information. Most of the traditions and cultural heritage now is formed by this writer and instilling them into her children so they have a sense of who they are and where they come from as they get older Growing up Catholic, this writer went to midnight masses on Christmas Eve, Sunday school, and Easter mass until the age of 8, then stopped attending because this writer’s mother stopped attending.
This writer always felt that this spiritual path was not her own, after turning 11 years old, she started taking an interest into Paganism. The beliefs of nature, all the elements, and believing in Goddesses was her source of freedom that allowed her to open up new horizons within herself. As far as passing down this writer’s own spiritual beliefs, this writer has allowed her children to connect with whatever Higher Power works for them whether it be Buddha, Jesus Christ, Yogoda Satsanga, or the Universe. Allowing this has provided her children the ability to be open to all spirituality. This writer believes that everyone has the right to believe in what they want to believe in or gain spiritual awareness from. This writer is ashamed nor proud of her cultural background because there is no knowledge or practice of the culture she comes from, however, this writer is disappointment and saddened because she has no background information concerning where she came from or where her family is from. This writer is however creating her own background with her children, which allows her to feel proud to be who she has become.
For instance, meditation, this writer has involved her children with mediation techniques which allows them to be centered and to stay in the moment. The cultural background from this writer’s own experiences that she is proud of is being a woman in recovery. Having this cultural background allows this writer to work on herself so that she becomes a better person. This cultural background is who she was and where she came from, the disease of addiction in itself is something that is hard to overcome. This writer has become the woman who she is meant to be because she works a twelve step program. Working the steps of this program has not only allowed her to gain self-worth, but she has passed down the principles of the twelve step meetings to her children. These twelve principles are hope, surrender, acceptance, honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, faith, tolerance, patience, humility, unconditional love, and sharing and caring. As far as cultural heritage that resulted in discrimination and oppression for this writer and the family would be when this writer’s son named Jason came out openly as a gay man.
The Jason’s father was taken back for a little bit and didn’t know how to respond nor understand it. He eventually came to acceptance and now has gained unconditional love for his son. Jason was discriminated from his school peers and those who said was his friends. Even the teacher and principle discriminated him for being an open homosexual. Another discrimination that this writer has experienced is for her spiritual beliefs. She has lost friends once they found out she believed in Paganism. The cultural discrimination of tattoos in the past have The cultural heritage that currently resulted in privileges for this writer’s family is the fact that they are Caucasian. It appears that this privilege has provided this writer’s family with a sense of ego to a certain extent. This privilege has been portrayed as demanding to be treated as a member of a socially accepted group. The experience of being privileged was when this writer’s children went to foster care back in 2004, she felt after one month of being in recovery she felt she should get custody of her children because she as doing well. Not realizing that there was a process that she needed to go through in order to gain custody back.
This writer’s worldview ideas about the purpose of counseling is the fact that this writer has been through the disease of addiction. Bringing this knowledge to each session with a client will help gain a relationship with each of her clients including those of diverse background. Being open-minded and non-bias is an area that this writer has implemented within her own lifestyle (Gragnani 2005). Having the recovery that this writer has acquired she sponsors people from diverse background. The role of the counselor to this writer is considered of being a teacher, teaching her clients how to live a lifestyle without the use of drugs (Gragnani 2005). The role is to be honest, open, and comfortable so trust can be gained. The approaches to therapy that will be used with clients from diverse backgrounds is knowing who her client is culturally. Understanding the client as a human being not just a person of color is an approach this writer will adhere to when providing services. Researching different approaches to provide the best services for her client.
Motivational interviewing which is an approach that uses person-centered counseling that addresses the problem of ambivalence of change. Cognitive Therapy is another approach that will be used for the diverse population. This approach examines the relationship between thought, feelings, and behaviors (2003). As far as opportunities of the worldview that could be present in counseling a client
of a different ethnic or race is the fact that this writer has experience with working with people of different ethnics and race. Making sure that the client is comfortable at the beginning will allow a relationship be built on trust. The barrier for gender is not understanding the male aspect of her male clients, not having an understanding of male specific problems or having the awareness of how males handle their feelings. The socioeconomic status barriers that could be present in counseling of a different ethnic or race is not being aware of the traditions when it comes to different work ethics, education limitations, or income barriers (Sue & Sue 2013).
The competencies from each of the aspects of multicultural competence that would be important to apply is being aware of one’s assumptions, values, and biases. Not allowing these hang-ups will not interfere with the relationship between counselor and client. Gaining an understanding on the worldview of culturally diverse clients will provide the counselor with a wide variety of knowledge that will help the client feel comfortable in the session. Developing appropriate intervention strategy and techniques will provide effective treatment that will enhance the services that the counselor is provide. Understanding modalities and defining the goals that are consistent with daily lifestyle will give the client tools to gain long-term recovery (Sue & Sue 2013).
Fichter, J. (2014, November 9). Telephone interview
Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (4th ed.). (2003). Adolescence, 38(149), 200. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/195943043?accountid=27965
Gragnani, C. T. (2005). The role of substance abuse, change style preference, demographic variables, and turning point events on criminal behavior in an ethnically diverse population. (Order No. 3193142, Howard University). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, , 226-226 p. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/305013697?accountid=27965. (305013697)