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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 16 COUNSELING ASIAN AMERICANS AND PACIFIC ISLANDERS"— Presentation transcript:


2 Asian Americans: A Success Story?
For example: Of those over the age of 25, 44% of Asian/Pacific Islanders had at least a bachelor’s degree versus 24% by their White counterparts However, In the area of education, Asian Americans show a disparate picture of extraordinary high educational attainment and a large undereducated mass (e.g. Hmong, Laotians)

3 Collectivistic Orientation
Instead of promoting individual needs and personal identity, Asian families tend to have a family and group orientation Children are expected to strive for family goals and not to engage in behaviors that would bring dishonor to the family

4 Hierarchical Relationships
Traditional Asian American families tend to be hierarchical and patriarchal in structure, with males and older individuals occupying a higher status Communication flows down from the parent to the child, who is expected to defer to the adults

5 Emotionality Strong emotional displays, especially in public, are considered to be signs of immaturity or a lack of control

6 Holistic View on Mind and Body
Because the mind and body are considered inseparable, Asian Americans may present emotional difficulties through somatic complaints

7 Identity Issues Individuals undergoing acculturation conflicts may respond in the following manner: Assimilation--seeks to become part of the dominant society to the exclusion of his or her own cultural group Separation--identifies exclusively with the Asian culture Integration/”biculturalism--retains many Asian values but adapts to the dominant culture by learning necessary skills and values Marginalization--perceives one’s own culture as negative but is unable to adapt to majority culture

8 Expectations of Counseling
Explain the nature of the counseling and therapy process and the necessity of obtaining information Describe the client’s role Indicate that the problems may be individual, relational, environmental, or a combination of these and that you will perform an assessment of each of these areas Introduce the concept of co-construction—that the problem and solutions are developed with the help of the client and the counselor Asian clients expect the counselor to take an active role in structuring the session and guidelines on the types of responses that they will be expected to make

9 Family Therapy Assess the structure of the Asian American family to find out if it is it hierarchical or more egalitarian Focus on the positive aspects of the family and reframe conflicts to reduce confrontation Expand systems theory to include societal factors such as prejudice, discrimination Function as a culture-broker in helping the family negotiate conflicts with the larger society

10 Guidelines for Clinical Practice
Be aware of cultural differences between the therapist and the client as regarding counseling, appropriate goals, and process Build rapport by discussing confidentiality and explaining the client role and the need to co-construct the problem definition and solutions Assess not just from an individual perspective but include family, community, and societal influences on the problem Conduct a positive assets search Consider or reframe the problem when possible as one in which issues of culture conflict or acculturation are involved Determine whether somatic complaints are involved and assess their influence on mood and relationships

11 Guidelines for Clinical Practice
Take an active role but allow Asian Americans to choose and evaluate suggested interventions Use problem-focused, time-limited approaches that have been modified to incorporate possible cultural factors With family therapy, the therapist should be aware that Western based theories and techniques may not be appropriate for Asian families so focus on positive aspects of parenting such as modeling and teaching and use a solution-focused model In couples counseling, assess for societal or acculturation conflicts

12 Guidelines for Clinical Practice
With Asian children and adolescents, common problems involve acculturation conflicts with parents, feeling guilty or stressful over academic performance, negative self-image or identity issues, and struggle between interdependence and independence Among recent immigrants or refugees, assess for living situation, culture conflict and social or financial condition Consider the need to act as an advocate or engage in systems-level intervention in cases of institutional racism or discrimination


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