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CHD 5013: Multicultural Counseling

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1 CHD 5013: Multicultural Counseling
Chapter 1, Introduction 3/25/2017 CHD 5013: Multicultural Counseling Martin Wesley, Ph.D., LPCC, MAC COPYRIGHT: 2007 Dr. Wesley Update: March 25, 2017 Vacc, N.; DeVaney, S.; & Brendel, J. (2003) Counseling Multicultural and Diverse Populations

2 Truth and Understanding
No absolute truth is in this class or in the text. The information will change over time Understanding needs to be gleaned from contextual interpretations and experiences that assist us in understanding the content This class and text is directly influenced by the instructor and author’s personal, professional and scholarly encounters. Such information should not be minimized or neglected as it is also an expression of human diversity. Take what you need and leave the rest.

3 Purpose of Course Counselors should honor the complexity of human diversity and attempt to move beyond stereotypical approaches likely to injure people’s lives in the name of good intention. Multicultural counseling recognizes that to approach the client through an exclusive single dimension such as ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or social class is a disservice.

4 Purpose cont. Knowledge of other cultures
Learn how individuals are products of their experience Process of becoming an effective counselor includes: Life long learning Self-examination Supervised counseling practice

5 Purpose cont. Helping professionals can influence social and emotional barriers effecting America’s sub-groups mental health An opportunity to learn how others think Awareness of one’s own heritage To move beyond stereotypical theoretical lenses and practice approaches when addressing the complexity of human diversity and commonalities

6 Barriers in Counseling
What “I” experience is what everyone else experiences Everyone is like me and should be like me Imposing the counselor’s personal values upon the client Others

7 Knowledge and Awareness
Preconditions for learning and applying good counseling skills Intentionally using skills Coming in contact with unfamiliar groups Engaging in conversations Step outside your comfort zone

8 Concerns and Cautions Much of multiculturalism literature or education is often an “either/or” situation overlooking the complexity of human differences. Some talk about specific groups as if there were no differences within the group membership. It is really frustrating that in the name of good intentions…, we are prolonging suffering by prolonging stereotypes.

9 More Cautions and Concerns
Sometimes the multicultural movement is the focus, sometimes unconscious and other times conscious, on prioritizing one set of human diversity attributes such as racial and ethnic traits over another such as religious or mental and physical uniqueness

10 More Cautions and Concerns
White students often feel that multicultural curriculum is biased against them and often is not inclusive; their experiences are perhaps neglected. Scapegoating of specific groups to perpetuate oppression. Stereotypes are cultivated and supported in the name of generalizations. Stereotypes perpetuate images that are frequently exclusive of individual and collective

11 More Cautions and Concerns
The terms White and People of Color are constantly used within multicultural literature. They are used to categorize people in terms of skin color and physical characteristics, and to reveal a framework for addressing issues of social oppression and privilege that exist between individuals classified under these categories. These terms, however, often perpetuate the notion of monodimensionalism, as people are put into exclusive boxes that are supposed to represent who they are.

12 The Need for Conscious Change
Paradigms of stereotypes dominate our culture. Commercials, movies and other multimedia Does our behavior in groups create these paradigms or the media and culture itself?

13 Examples needed or political Correctness?
Chapter 1, Introduction 3/25/2017 Examples needed or political Correctness? Masculine terminologies – mankind, cavemen, forefathers, etc. Bias – perception of men and women Hurricane Names – Male and “Lily White” Are we doing a disservice to our children by use of marginalization by depriving them of valuable information that could enhance their professional competence or are we just trying to be politically correct at every turn? In 1953, the National Weather Service picked up on the habit of Naval meteorologists of naming the storms after women. Ships were always referred to as female, and were often given women's names. The storms' temperament certainly seemed female enough, shifting directions at a whim on a moment's notice. In 1979, male names were inserted to alternate with the female names,to the delight of women's-libbers everywhere. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, feels that the current names are too "lily white," and is seeking to have better representation for names reflecting African-Americans and other ethnic groups. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas "All racial groups should be represented," Lee said, according to the Hill. She hoped federal weather officials "would try to be inclusive of African-American names." Vacc, N.; DeVaney, S.; & Brendel, J. (2003) Counseling Multicultural and Diverse Populations

14 Cultural Perception Christopher Columbus discovery or invasion?

15 Thanksgiving or National Day of Atonement?
Chapter 1, Introduction 3/25/2017 Thanksgiving or National Day of Atonement? One indication of moral progress in the United States would be the replacement of Thanksgiving Day and its self-indulgent family feasting with a National Day of Atonement accompanied by a self-reflective collective fasting. In fact, indigenous people have offered such a model; since 1970 they have marked the fourth Thursday of November as a Day of Mourning in a spiritual/political ceremony on Coles Hill overlooking Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, one of the early sites of the European invasion of the Americas. Not only is the thought of such a change in this white-supremacist holiday impossible to imagine, but the very mention of the idea sends most Americans into apoplectic fits -- which speaks volumes about our historical hypocrisy and its relation to the contemporary politics of empire in the United States. That the world's great powers achieved "greatness" through criminal brutality on a grand scale is not news, of course. That those same societies are reluctant to highlight this history of barbarism also is predictable. But in the United States, this reluctance to acknowledge our original sin -- the genocide of indigenous people -- is of special importance today. It's now routine -- even among conservative commentators -- to describe the United States as an empire, so long as everyone understands we are an inherently benevolent one. Because all our history contradicts that claim, history must be twisted and tortured to serve the purposes of the powerful. One vehicle for taming history is various patriotic holidays, with Thanksgiving at the heart of U.S. myth-building. From an early age, we Americans hear a story about the hardy Pilgrims, whose search for freedom took them from England to Massachusetts. There, aided by the friendly Wampanoag Indians, they survived in a new and harsh environment, leading to a harvest feast in 1621 following the Pilgrims first winter. Some aspects of the conventional story are true enough. But it's also true that by 1637 Massachusetts Gov. John Winthrop was proclaiming a thanksgiving for the successful massacre of hundreds of Pequot Indian men, women and children, part of the long and bloody process of opening up additional land to the English invaders. The pattern would repeat itself across the continent until between 95 and 99 percent of American Indians had been exterminated and the rest were left to assimilate into white society or die off on reservations, out of the view of polite society. Simply put: Thanksgiving is the day when the dominant white culture (and, sadly, most of the rest of the non-white but non-indigenous population) celebrates the beginning of a genocide that was, in fact, blessed by the men we hold up as our heroic founding fathers. The first president, George Washington, in 1783 said he preferred buying Indians' land rather than driving them off it because that was like driving "wild beasts" from the forest. He compared Indians to wolves, "both being beasts of prey, tho' they differ in shape." Thomas Jefferson -- president #3 and author of the Declaration of Independence, which refers to Indians as the "merciless Indian Savages" -- was known to romanticize Indians and their culture, but that didn't stop him in 1807 from writing to his secretary of war that in a coming conflict with certain tribes, "[W]e shall destroy all of them." As the genocide was winding down in the early 20th century, Theodore Roosevelt (president #26) defended the expansion of whites across the continent as an inevitable process "due solely to the power of the mighty civilized races which have not lost the fighting instinct, and which by their expansion are gradually bringing peace into the red wastes where the barbarian peoples of the world hold sway." Roosevelt also once said, "I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn't like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth." How does a country deal with the fact that some of its most revered historical figures had certain moral values and political views virtually identical to Nazis? Here's how "respectable" politicians, pundits, and professors play the game: When invoking a grand and glorious aspect of our past, then history is all-important. We are told how crucial it is for people to know history, and there is much hand wringing about the younger generations' lack of knowledge about, and respect for, that history. In the United States, we hear constantly about the deep wisdom of the founding fathers, the adventurous spirit of the early explorers, the gritty determination of those who "settled" the country -- and about how crucial it is for children to learn these things. But when one brings into historical discussions any facts and interpretations that contest the celebratory story and make people uncomfortable -- such as the genocide of indigenous people as the foundational act in the creation of the United States -- suddenly the value of history drops precipitously and one is asked, "Why do you insist on dwelling on the past?" This is the mark of a well-disciplined intellectual class -- one that can extol the importance of knowing history for contemporary citizenship and, at the same time, argue that we shouldn't spend too much time thinking about history. This off-and-on engagement with history isn't of mere academic interest; as the dominant imperial power of the moment, U.S. elites have a clear stake in the contemporary propaganda value of that history. Obscuring bitter truths about historical crimes helps perpetuate the fantasy of American benevolence, which makes it easier to sell contemporary imperial adventures -- such as the invasion and occupation of Iraq -- as another benevolent action. Any attempt to complicate this story guarantees hostility from mainstream culture. After raising the barbarism of America's much-revered founding fathers in a lecture, I was once accused of trying to "humble our proud nation" and "undermine young people's faith in our country." Yes, of course -- that is exactly what I would hope to achieve. We should practice the virtue of humility and avoid the excessive pride that can, when combined with great power, lead to great abuses of power. History does matter, which is why people in power put so much energy into controlling it. The United States is hardly the only society that has created such mythology. While some historians in Great Britain continue to talk about the benefits that the empire brought to India, political movements in India want to make the mythology of Hindutva into historical fact. Abuses of history go on in the former empire and the former colony. History can be one of the many ways we create and impose hierarchy, or it can be part of a process of liberation. The truth won't set us free, but the telling of truth at least opens the possibility of freedom. As Americans sit down on Thanksgiving Day to gorge themselves on the bounty of empire, many will worry about the expansive effects of overeating on their waistlines. We would be better to think about the constricting effects of the day's mythology on our minds. Vacc, N.; DeVaney, S.; & Brendel, J. (2003) Counseling Multicultural and Diverse Populations

16 Sameness and Differences
Unacknowledged differences and generalizations that neglect diversity within diversity set the standards for stereotypes, which often reinforce the cycle of individual and social oppression. “As long as stereotypes are perpetuated through literature, theoretical frameworks, and teaching strategies, the effort to promote human diversity and well-being of individuals, families, groups, and communities is likely to continue to be fragmented.”

17 Commonalities As counselors we need to recognize, the points at which people differ and connect through shared commonalities, since they do not subtract from, but add to, who we are and who we can become

18 Rebounding from Oppression
History has shown how individuals, families, groups, and communities have rebounded from life conditions that make them overwhelmingly vulnerable, including social, economic, political, and health challenges. Why is it that other individuals, families, groups and communities seem to continue in their circumstances?

19 Multidimensional Practice
Multidimensional nature of practice means to identify, explore and foster human diversity, commonalities, and adversities from a nonstereotypical perspective. People are more than what can be observed or measured What is considered truth within one culture is perhaps irrelevant within another

20 Multidimensional Practice cont.
While cultural influences may lead groups of people to develop specific belief and value systems, a common language, and norms to guide interactions, cultural choices may illustrate people’s inner knowing and outer determination to honor cultural influences that are nurturing while attempting to change cultural influences that have been harmful to the human spirit.

21 Terms Attributes Human Diversity Transcendence Ethnocentrism
Acculturation Oppression Professional Competence Ethnic, Ethnicity Race Culture Marginalization Assimilation Privilege Resilience Stereotypes

22 Human Diversity Living with similar issues helps to unify groups of people One way to look at human diversity is to talk about how they differ Attributes can reflect differences/uniqueness based on social experiences and conditions, rituals and customs, language and dialects, values and belief systems, and many other factors. Human diversity can be viewed as the interplay of domains (cognitive, physical, social, spiritual) that make one unique and distinctive. It can be recognized as variation reinforced by a multidimensional set of attributes

23 Transcendence Transcendence can be generally viewed as a process by which an individual, family, group, or community reaches higher understanding of nonordinary realities Transcendence acts as a catalyst to bridge the gap between the conditional mind limited by its paradigms and the realm of spirit – the gap between scientific thinking and esoteric knowing

24 Ethnic and Ethnicity Ethnic is embedded in the concept of ethnicity, originally derived from the Greek word for ‘nation’ and was used to distinguish particular national groups from other groups not identified by nation, such as Jews or Gypsies Ethnicity is currently used when distinguishing one group of people from another as a result of ethnic affiliation Ethnicity refers is reflected in the notion of collective individualism – the ‘we’ and “them” and “outsider”.

25 Ethnicity cont. The term ethnic tend to fall into two broad categories: Ascribed – ascribed ethnics are populations to whom the designation is applied from the outside Optional – optional ethnics are people who choose to identify themselves

26 Race Race is often conceptualized as biological characteristics such as skin color, body shape, genetic codes and gene pools that differentiate one group from another Race has transcended biology by how racial distinctions have been used to withhold or encourage social and political mobility Race itself is no positive or negative; it is simply how the information is used (meaning and interpretation)

27 Race cont. Spickard writes: from the point of view of the dominate group, racial distinctions are a necessary tool of dominance. They serve to separate the subordinate people as “Other.” Putting simple, neat racial labels on dominated peoples – and creating negative myths about the moral qualities of those peoples – makes it easier for the dominators to ignore the individual humanity of their victims. It eases the guilt of oppression.

28 Culture Culture can generally be characterized as constructed ways of living or a totality of learned behaviors. The experience of culture is reflected by individuals who share, as well as those who do not share, an ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic identity.

29 Cultural Influence and Choice
Cultural influence – conscious or unconscious systems of beliefs, values, and ways of thinking, believing and behaving that are perpetuated through human encounters and reinforcements Cultural choice – conscious identification and exploration of beliefs, values, and ways of thinking and behaving, followed by a determination to embrace these or to actively engage in conscious change

30 Human commonalities Human commonalities – the sharing of characteristics such as gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, degree of physical or mental ability, socioeconomic conditions, etc., within and between groups of people

31 Ethnocentrism and Marginalization
Ethnocentrism – the psychological, cultural, and social state of mind that fosters belief in the superiority of one’s own ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, often coupled with oppressive actions toward individuals and communities considered to be different and inferior Marginalization – the exclusion of attributes and experiences that can help reveal a more comprehensive view of an individual, family, group, or community

32 Acculturation and Assimilation
Acculturation is the exchange of cultural features which result when groups come into continuous firsthand contact. Either or both groups of the original cultural patterns may be changed a bit, but the groups remain distinct overall. Cultural assimilation, or 'assimilation' for short (but that word also had other meanings), is an intense process of consistent integration whereby members of an ethno-cultural group, typically immigrants, or other minority groups, are "absorbed" into an established, generally larger community. This presumes a loss of all or many characteristics which make the newcomers different. A region or society where assimilation is occurring is sometimes referred to as a "melting pot."

33 Oppression Oppression is the vicious use of power likely to create inequality, reduce access to valuable resources, and affect the well-being and optimal health of individuals, families, groups, and communities Sexism is oppression based on gender differences Racism is oppression based on racial dissimilarities Heterosexism is discrimination against individuals with a homosexual or bisexual identity Ageism is oppression based on age differences Classism is oppression based on diverse socioeconomic status

34 Oppression cont. Diversity within group membership is often masked by the notion of collectivism. Oppressive forces are alive and well within group membership. People may connect through an ethnic identity or common socioeconomic experiences and yet may differ in other identity.


36 Privilege Privilege is a special advantage, immunity or benefit granted to groups People have the potential to be the oppressor within particular contexts and yet be vulnerable enough to be the oppressed within other encounters

37 Resilience and Professional Competence
Resilience refers to the innate essence enacted in supportive relationships and resources that promote an ability to maintain, recover or regain a level of control after adversity Professional competence refers to the ability to skillfully serve diverse individuals and communities within different contexts without engaging in stereotypical or immediately gratifying approaches that promote marginalization of important attributes or disempowerment of those being serviced

38 Stereotypes Stereotypes are generalized assumptions, beliefs, opinions, and images – positive or negative – held and perpetuated toward specific individuals, groups, families and communities. More benignly, they may express sometimes-accurate folk wisdom about social reality.

39 Experiential Activity

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