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Cross Cultural Practices, Cultural Diversity & Ethical Boundaries: Overcoming Barriers to Counseling Effectiveness
On the last track, we discussed three components of counselor credibility. These three components of counselor credibility were expertise, trustworthiness, and belief similarity.
On this track, we will discuss methods of counseling a culturally different client who is both depressed and angry.
As you know, due to the Psychological Sets and the Counselor Credibility issues discussed on the previous tracks, many culturally different clients may feel depressed and angry. Let’s look at Lakeisha’s (La-key’-sha) case.
I stated to Lakeisha, "I agree there’s no guarantee you can force others to respond properly to your needs. But perhaps you could find more successful ways of communicating your needs to others." Lakeisha looked doubtful and asked, "Like how? I answered, "Well, let’s find out the problem with how you currently communicate."
It goes without saying that for culturally different clients who are trying to persuade others that their needs are legitimate, the client often appears to others to be lacking confidence. I explained this to Lakeisha, stating, "The net result is they don’t seriously consider your needs, and this leaves you feeling disconnected and alone, and then angry."
Lakeisha then asked, "So what should I do differently?"
As you probably know African-American clients want tangible solid therapy, not tangential philosophical insights in the counseling environment. I have found that African-American clients like Lakeisha generally respond best to this direct approach in therapy. For this reason, I decided to give Lakeisha straightforward advice.
Do you have a culturally different client who, like Lakeisha, struggles with depression and anger? Would the "Exploring the Depression" technique be appropriate for your Lakeisha? What ethical concerns should you have in counseling a culturally different client regarding depression?
On the next track, we will discuss Atkinson’s Minority Identity Development Model and its five stages. The five stages of the Minority Identity Development Model are the Conformity Stage, the Dissonance Stage, the Resistance and Immersion Stage, the Introspection Stage, and the Synergetic Articulation and Awareness Stage.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Patil, S. K., Johnson, A. S., & Lichtenberg, P. A. (2008). The relation of pain and depression with various health-promoting behaviors in African American elders. Rehabilitation Psychology, 53(1), 85–92.
Schwaba, T., Luhmann, M., Denissen, J. J. A., Chung, J. M., & Bleidorn, W. (2018). Openness to experience and culture-openness transactions across the lifespan. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 115(1), 118–136.
Schwarzenthal, M., Schachner, M. K., van de Vijver, F. J. R., & Juang, L. P. (2018). Equal but different: Effects of equality/inclusion and cultural pluralism on intergroup outcomes in multiethnic classrooms. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 24(2), 260–271.
Smith, J. L., McPartlan, P., Poe, J., & Thoman, D. B. (2021). Diversity fatigue: A survey for measuring attitudes towards diversity enhancing efforts in academia. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 27(4), 659–674.
Ward, E. C., & Brown, R. L. (2015). A culturally adapted depression intervention for African American adults experiencing depression: Oh Happy Day. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 85(1), 11–22.
Ward, E., & Mengesha, M. (2013). Depression in African American men: A review of what we know and where we need to go from here. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 83(2-3), 386–397.
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