How Does Culture Affect Counseling

Culturally Sensitive Therapy

The importance of the therapist’s awareness of the client’s culture, race, and belief system is emphasized in culturally sensitive treatment. In order to accept and respect the diversity in beliefs, values, and attitudes of diverse cultures and different sorts of individuals in their work, therapists might include cultural sensitivity into their practice. Developing and maintaining cultural competence, which is the ability to first recognize and understand one’s own culture, as well as how it influences one’s relationship with a client, and then understand and respond to a culture that is different from one’s own, is another benefit of cultural sensitivity in the therapeutic relationship.

References

Barnett, J.E., and Bivings, N.D., “Culturally sensitive therapy and ethical practice,” Journal of Ethical Practice, vol. Divisions of the American Psychological Association include Division 31: State, Provincial, and Territorial Psychological Association Affairs, which is responsible for state, provincial, and territorial psychological associations. Sue S, Zane N, Hall GC, and Berger LK are co-authors on this paper. Why it is important to be culturally competent in psychotherapy interventions Annual Review of Psychology, vol.

525-548, 2009.

Providers delivering services to ethnically, linguistically, and culturally diverse groups should follow these guidelines.

ASHA stands for the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association.

Why Multicultural Counseling is Essential to a Therapist

In no way is the material on this website meant to be taken as a promise of employment or compensation, either explicitly or implicitly. Employment and compensation are determined by a variety of variables, including but not limited to schooling and qualifications, as well as prior work experience. Alliant International University expressly disclaims any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of any material given by a potential employer or any other website to which the university links.

No assurance is made that any graduate will be placed with a specific business or in a certain employment position by Alliant.

Depending on your counseling career path, you may travel to foreign nations or deal with a varied range of groups in your local community.

Education such as our marital and family counseling programs at the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) at Alliant International University may be beneficial to you in your future career.

What is Multicultural Counseling and its Definition?

Multicultural therapy is a type of counseling practice that provides successful solutions to clients who come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Race, ethnicity, and culture may all have an impact on a client’s sense of self and life circumstances. A client’s mental health, as well as his or her relationship or personal troubles may be influenced by a variety of other characteristics such as gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic situation, religion, and ability.

The counselor must also be conscious of his or her own personal prejudices, views, and attitudes when delivering counseling services to the clientele.

Importance of Multicultural Counseling Today

As populations become more diverse, the clientele in the mental health field may look very different today than it did in previous decades. An increasing number of clients with diverse backgrounds from all populations are seeking counseling services in the mental health field, which may look very different from it did in previous decades. Advances in technology have also created chances for new diverse customers spanning a wide range of cultural groups to connect with one another through a variety of channels, including in-person meetings, email, text messages, phone calls, and video conferencing programs, among others.

As a result, multicultural counseling and psychology has emerged as a unique skill, which the CSPP encourages and promotes.

Multicultural Counseling Techniques to Use with Your Clients

As a student in one of the CSPP programs, you will get integrated multicultural competency training as part of your curriculum. In addition, after graduation, counselors are required to participate in continuing education seminars to keep up to date on multicultural concerns and other topics. This will assist them in developing intercultural counseling competency and ensuring that they are able to assist clients regardless of cultural differences. When working with a varied clientele, a professional counselor or mental health practitioner may want to consider employing the following multicultural therapy techniques:

  • An strategy that is therapeutic. Counselors should make an effort to understand their clients’ attitudes and beliefs about the counseling process in order to identify the most effective solutions for their clients’ needs. Additionally, when presenting symptoms and offering treatments, counselors should be conscious of the cultural stigma associated with mental illness. Counselors must also attempt to grasp the possible limits of evidence-based treatments in terms of properly meeting the requirements of clients from a variety of cultural backgrounds
  • This is especially important for multicultural clients. Communication. Counselors should make an effort to be aware of social figures of speech and phrases that may elicit negative responses from ethnic minorities. Culture-specific verbal and nonverbal characteristics (e.g., gestures, body language, personal space, etc.) of communication should be taken into consideration during client interactions
  • Values should be addressed throughout client interactions. Counselors and their patients may both benefit from incorporating the values and beliefs of culturally diverse clients into the therapy process, according to a recent study. In and of itself, cultural belief systems such as spirituality and family-centric concerns may function as therapeutic vehicles for the promotion of healing
  • Self-awareness. Therapists should make an effort to be attentive to their own inherent racial or cultural identity and privilege, ethnocentrism, bias and stereotypes while engaging with varied communities in order to provide effective services. Counselors should be continually conscious of how their own views, ethnic identity, and beliefs influence their perspective of the client, the client’s presenting problem, and the counseling relationship of rapport
  • Flexibility is essential. When working with clients who are culturally diverse, counselors should be willing to admit the limitations of their own cultural competency and expertise. Depending on the situation, they may be encouraged to seek culturally specific counsel while dealing with a client or to send the client to another mental health practitioner who has greater cultural competency.

You may learn how to nurture and use the knowledge and skills of a multicultural competence approach into your counseling practice while studying at Alliant University. In order to achieve our ultimate aim as an international school with a broad community of students and faculty, we must train mental health doctors who are particularly prepared to comprehend cultural differences and interact with clients from a wide range of backgrounds. Today is the day to earn your psychology degree.

10 Multicultural Factors to Consider in Counseling

April 2020 is the most recent update.

Multicultural Counseling and the RESPECTFUL Model

Many of the people who seek therapy are from a variety of various walks of life and come from a variety of different backgrounds. As the world’s population becomes increasingly varied, the demand for intercultural counseling grows. When a professional counselor approaches therapy in the context of the client’s world, this is referred to as multicultural counseling. For the sake of simplicity, the counselor’s own cultural beliefs or biases must not take precedence over those of the client. This is a crucial component of professional counseling ethics in general.

In the opinion of the American Counseling Association, multicultural counseling is a distinct benefit for counselors since it helps them to obtain information as well as sensitivity, temperament, and personal awareness through counseling from a multicultural lens.

The need of multicultural counseling will continue to expand as our society develops, according to Pew Research Center predictions.

Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies

There are numerous competences to obtain in multicultural counseling, according to the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD).

  • Counselor Awareness of Own Cultural Values and Biases: A counselor must be aware of any cultural values or biases that they may hold, as well as their own limitations in their work and those of their clients. Counselors must be aware of their own racial and cultural background, as well as the consequences of oppression, racism, prejudice, and stereotyping, in order to develop their professional abilities. It is also necessary for counselors to seek out extra learning opportunities in order to deepen their expertise of other ethnic communities.
  • The Counselor’s Awareness of the Client’s Worldview: A counselor must be aware that their client has a different worldview than their own. Counselors must be conscious of their own emotional reactions to members of various racial and ethnic groups, have a thorough awareness of the population with whom they deal, and be conversant with culturally relevant research in order to reach this understanding. Mental health professionals and school counselors who are proficient in multicultural counseling acknowledge that a client’s race and culture have an impact on their personality, decision-making abilities, job choice, and the reasons for or desire to seek any type of mental health treatment.
  • Intervention Strategies that are Culturally Appropriate: A counselor that is culturally competent respects their client’s religious beliefs, values, and beliefs, as well as their indigenous customs and languages. Counselors must be familiar with the peculiarities of treatment as well as the influence it has on different cultural groups. As well as family dynamics, hierarchy, prejudice in evaluations, and discriminatory behaviors that may have an affect on their client, counselors should keep up to date on current research. A culturally competent counseling practitioner is capable of engaging in communication – both verbal and nonverbal – that is transcendent of race or nationality and removes bias.

The Importance of Multicultural Counseling

In a world where people are becoming more different, the necessity for multicultural therapy is becoming increasingly obvious. Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology reports that changing demographics in the United States population necessitate counselor education programs providing training experiences that facilitate the development of multiculturally competent counselors. According to the Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology, The increasing number of culturally varied persons living in the United States will increase the demand on counselors to be culturally competent in their service delivery methods.

It has been reported by Pew Research that 43 percent of adult millennials are non-white.

The RESPECTFUL Model

It was with one purpose in mind that the RESPECTFUL model was created: to acknowledge the multidimensionality of all customers in a thorough and integrated manner. According to the RESPECTFUL model, which was developed by Michael D’Andrea, Ed.D. and Judy Daniels around 1997 and involves ten different factors that influence an individual’s psychological development as well as their sense of personal well-being, the Counselor Education Department at San Jose State University shares the model with its students.

  1. The religious – spiritual identity of certain individuals is changed by their religion through transcendental experiences that go beyond what is expected of them. It’s possible that some people have no religious affiliation at all. Background Information about the EconomicClass: Throughout therapy or counseling, the client’s growth is influenced by his or her class position and role, which, in turn, shapes their own identification of their own strengths and presentation of their own issues. Sexual Identity: Sexual identity has an impact on human development, particularly for persons who have been oppressed because of their sexuality, which can lead to a diminished feeling of self-worth. This sort of maturity comprises the capacity of an individual to respond in a suitable manner to a situation or their surroundings, depending on their psychological strengths and requirements
  2. It is also referred to as emotional maturity. Identifying with one’s ethnic, cultural, and racial identity: Some clients encounter “within-group” distinctions that may have an impact on their psychological development. Chronological Developmental Problems: The development of an individual’s physical, cognitive, and psychological skills influences how an individual responds to challenges at different stages of life. Trauma and Other Threats to One’s Well-Being: What You Need to Know When an individual’s capacity to cope with stressful conditions becomes inefficient, they may be at risk for psychological problems. Family History and Dynamics: A person’s sense of self, ambition, and biases may all be influenced by his or her family. Families nowadays are far more diverse, have less rigidity, and have broader perspectives than they were in the past. Individuals with distinguishing physical qualities may suffer feelings of discontent and stress as a result of their physical characteristics. It is the counselor’s responsibility to examine the internalized unfavorable beliefs of stereotypes. Geographical location of residence and linguistic differences: Individuals’ strengths and interests will vary depending on the climatic patterns, geological terrain, and sorts of vocations that are accessible. Being conscious of prejudices and biases connected with persons who speak a dialect other than one’s own might help one avoid making incorrect assumptions.

Taking into account the points listed above throughout the course of a therapy relationship helps the counselor-client connection remain respectful, as the acronym implies. This paradigm equips counselors with the capacity to move through each counseling session in an acceptable, ethical, and holistic manner, regardless of the situation. In order to provide effective multicultural counseling, two major components must be addressed: an awareness of the client’s worldview and recognition of the counselor’s own cultural values and biases.

Individuals from various walks of life can benefit from the competences listed above, which help to guarantee that they receive the high-quality assistance they need.

Consider the following while selecting an online master’s in counseling program: 1. With the help of these resources, you may learn about the most significant aspects of earning your online counseling degree.

Barriers to Cross-Cultural Counseling – IResearchNet

When working with clients from varied cultural backgrounds, counselors will frequently come into a number of hurdles or roadblocks. These obstacles can be caused by a counselor’s lack of cultural awareness or by a language barrier between the counselor and the client, among other things. When it comes to cross-cultural therapy, barriers can have a detrimental impact on both the counseling relationship and the outcome of the counseling session. Ethnic minorities and low-income individuals have been shown in the literature to underutilize and prematurely terminate counseling services as a result of these cultural obstacles.

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There are seven obstacles to cross-cultural therapy that are discussed in this section.

Lack of Counselor Cultural Self-Awareness

The absence of cultural self-awareness on the part of the counselor is a significant impediment to effective cross-cultural therapy. Having cultural self-awareness refers to the counselor’s ability to recognize and acknowledge the cultural views, attitudes, and values that he or she holds, as well as the counselor’s understanding of his or her own prejudices and erroneous assumptions about other groups. Essentially, a counselor who has developed a greater sense of cultural self-awareness is one who identifies and acknowledges when his or her culture is in conflict with the culture of a client.

An additionally culturally aware counselor is able to understand when it is necessary to conceptualize a client’s case in light of biased and/or stereotyped ideas about a certain group of people.

Lack of Counselor Cultural Knowledge

In many circumstances, a counselor’s lack of cultural awareness might act as a deterrent to providing effective cross-cultural counseling services to clients. It is the counselor’s comprehension and knowledge of the actions, conventions, beliefs, and attitudes of various cultural groups that is considered cultural knowledge. When it comes to therapy, both counselors and clients carry with them a set of cultural standards that have been reinforced over a long period of time. These norms then impact the manner in which the counselor and the client understand their world, each other, and their approach to counseling as a result of their interaction.

  • It is regarded as more admirable in certain cultures to be passive rather than forceful, for example.
  • However, after learning more about the client’s cultural background, the counselor implements counseling techniques that are sensitive to Chinese cultural norms and practices.
  • Stereotypes are frequently negative in nature, based on erroneous beliefs, and have no clear basis in reality.
  • Historically and currently, African Americans serve as an example of a whole ethnic minority group that has been subjected to historical and present stereotypes.
  • In the case of an African American client, a White career counselor could believe that the client does not have the financial means to pay for a series of career-exploration courses.
  • It is based on the prejudice that all African Americans are impoverished, come from low-income homes, or are both that she makes her erroneous assumption.
  • Aside from that, counselors will frequently fail to discuss a client’s concerns in the context of contemporary societal challenges that the client is experiencing.
  • This is especially true for those who work in schools.
  • There are several cultures that clients may identify with; therefore, a counselor or therapist cannot possibly know everything about every culture that they come into contact with.

The capacity to be successful and the likelihood of success in implementing appropriate interventions can be greatly enhanced when a counselor, healer, or helper from a different culture collaborates with the counselor’s own cultural background.

Lack of Culturally Appropriate Counseling Skills

The differences between general counseling skills, which may include active listening, empathy, and demonstrating genuineness, and the specific skills that are essential when working with a client who is from a different culture can be distinguished. Active listening is one example of a general counseling skill. The provision of culturally insensitive counseling by counselors who lack intercultural counseling abilities is a real possibility. Cultural competency skills include, for example, (a) determining effective ways to communicate with a client who may have a different style of thinking, information processing, and communication; (b) discussing race and racial differences early in the counseling process; (c) engaging in multiple verbal and nonverbal helping responses, recognizing responses that may be appropriate or inappropriate within a cultural context; and (d) utilizing resources outside of the counseling setting.

In certain circles, counselors have expressed frustration with the lack of a basic technique or approach that clearly defines the “how-to” of counseling sessions with clients that come from a variety of cultural backgrounds.

Language Barriers

When it comes to cross-cultural therapy, language may be a stumbling block. When it comes to therapy, linguistic disparities might result in miscommunications, misdiagnoses, and misinterpretations. For clients who are bilingual, immigrant, or both, a lack of language or communication skills is frequently identified as a primary source of stress. It is also necessary to evaluate the amount of acculturation of immigrant customers, which may be related to their command of their original language as well as their command of the English language.

  1. Many immigrants will avoid therapy services because of language issues, for fear of being unable to communicate with counselors on a professional level.
  2. The importance of communication in the counseling process cannot be overstated, given that counseling is a process of human interaction.
  3. Due to the fact that nonverbal communication patterns are heavily impacted by culture, the challenges associated with communication are most prominent when nonverbal patterns are being interpreted.
  4. Proxemics is the practice of interacting with others while maintaining personal space and acceptable distance.
  5. A kinesic is a movement of the body that includes things like facial expressions, hand gestures, posture, and eye contact.
  6. Voice signals like as volume and intensity of speaking, as well as turn taking, are referred to as “paralanguage” and are utilized to communicate with one another.
  7. The predominant communication style of an individual is referred to as high—low context communication.

Touching is referred to as kinesthetic. Touching is considered a particularly personal and intimate act in certain cultures, yet prolonged touching is usual and expected in other cultures.

Client Distrust and Fears

When counseling clients that are ethnically and culturally diverse, counselors may come across individuals whose prior experiences with oppression will make it difficult for them to establish a trusting connection with them. The presence of sentiments related with prior experiences of discrimination and oppression among clients from marginalized and historically oppressed groups is not unusual in therapy sessions with marginalized and historically oppressed clients. These clients may come to therapy with a considerable lot of “healthy suspicion” and distrust, which they may have developed as a result of racial and cultural prejudices prevalent in society.

  1. An African American client, for example, may have difficulties placing his or her faith in a White counselor since African Americans have a long history of persecution in the United States.
  2. Countertransference on the part of the counselor can also provide an obstacle to successful cross-cultural therapy.
  3. If a heterosexual male counselor has been disappointed and angry with his gay sibling, he may respond aggressively to a homosexual male client who is also straight.
  4. Many people from low-income and ethnic minority backgrounds come to counseling with little or no prior knowledge of the profession.
  5. Fear of being called “mad,” fear of deportation, and fear of exposing “family troubles and secrets” are all fears that clients from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds may be experiencing at the same time.
  6. Suppose a doctor refers a Latina client with little English proficiency to a mental health professional for therapy.

Racial Identity Development

When studying the evolution of cross-cultural relationships, it has been determined that racial identity is a crucial topic to consider. A person’s racial self-conception, as well as his or her views, attitudes, and values in relation to other racial groupings, are all discussed in the context of racial identity theory. Racially motivated identity development is a maturational process in which an individual employs more sophisticated cognitive-affective ego statuses to regard herself or oneself as belonging to a certain race.

When it comes to the quality of the client-counselor connection, there is a relationship between race and ethnicity.

According to some researchers, individuals’ perceptions of their race and racial group affiliation may even influence how a client and a counselor interact with one another.

The teenager ends treatment after only one session because she “can’t relate to the counselor’s beliefs on Black people,” according to the teen counselor.

As a result of having different levels of racial identity development, clients and counselors from the same ethnic group may experience friction or a lack of connection with one another.

Lack of Multicultural Counseling Training

It has been demonstrated in a large body of literature that “conventional” and “culturally insensitive” counselor training leads to inadequate cross-cultural counseling practices. Thus, one of the obstacles to effective cross-cultural therapy is a dearth of intercultural counseling training among professionals who work in the counseling field. The fact that many counselor training programs have updated their curricula to incorporate topics such as race, culture and ethnicity does not mean that all counselors are equipped to successfully advise clients from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds.

References:

  1. L. Baruth and M. L. Manning are co-authors of this paper (2006). From a lifespan viewpoint, multicultural counseling and psychotherapy are important. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey
  2. Ponterotto, J. G., Casas, J. M., Suzuki, L. A., and Alexander, C. M., eds (2001). Multicultural counseling: a handbook for professionals Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California
  3. Sue, D. W., Sue, D. (2008). Counseling those from varied cultural backgrounds: Theory and practice (5th ed.). Wiley & Sons, New York.

See also:

If we are successful in’meeting’ the majority of our clients empathically, it encourages us to pause and consider why this is not the case. While our troubles may be caused by a variety of circumstances, it is important to recognize that our culture and religious beliefs may have an influence on our capacity to empathize with others. Cultural and religious matters are often more overtly significant in the context of our client’s life, and Western models of psychotherapy are not always helpful in understanding the therapeutic process.

  1. It is well acknowledged that the therapeutic connection between the therapist and the client is an important component of the therapeutic process.
  2. 1.
  3. That being said, does this rule out the possibility of Peter (a white, liberally Christian male) collaborating well with Jasbinder (an Asian, Sikh woman)?
  4. When we started writing this post, we were well aware of the difficulty of presenting concepts in a way that acknowledges and embraces the individuality of each individual.
  5. We recognize that not all Sikh clients (or counsellors) will agree with what we are saying, but we believe that many will – and our goal is to raise awareness of potential concerns that may have an influence on the therapeutic process.
  6. Morris Jackson 2observes that even in civilizations where people of various cultures live side by side and appear to have a common grasp of one another’s cultures, they nevertheless appear to be unable to communicate successfully with one another.
  7. People who are culturally or ethnically different from themselves must be made aware of their own ideas, assumptions, and attitudes by counsellors and psychotherapists.

Customers from minority ethnic groups, according to Jasbinder’s experience, have frequently had to overcome obstacles such as racism, and as a result, have had to make drastic changes to their own beliefs, moral code, and values in order to survive in the host country and develop their own coping strategies.

A therapist may be tempted to perceive a client from another culture in a particular way, which could unintentionally result in bias.

This could lead to bias.

In certain cases, unconsciously held judgemental and discriminating attitudes might result in poor treatment outcomes.

It is possible that any assumptions made by the counsellor unconsciously will be perceived as racism by a client who comes from a culture that is different from their own – not aggressive racism, but racism in the form of the ‘assumption’ that the client’s culture is the source of the problem; this is because it does not fit into a Westernized understanding of self-actualisation or process.

  • While it is possible for a therapist to have some previous knowledge about a client’s culture and views, there is still a risk that two clients who look to be from the same cultural background or geographical place may have the same values and ideas.
  • It is possible that the support structures that exist in different cultures will have an influence on the therapeutic relationship and process as well.
  • Many South Asians are uncomfortable talking about their feelings, and they are not accustomed to conducting self-analysis on their own.
  • Several scholars have stated that the host country has a propensity to try to assimilate immigrants by expecting them to forget about their own culture and adopt the culture of the host country.
  • These are, in our opinion, utterly absurd expectations, because the roots of a person’s culture are far too deep to be readily severed, nor can it be assumed that they will do so in an attempt at integration.
  • From a psychological standpoint, the family structures, kinship patterns, and regulations that govern their everyday life are all significant considerations for them to consider.
  • The Indian healing tradition is one of the world’s oldest healing traditions, dating back thousands of years.

They placed a strong emphasis on mental and spiritual health, which was considered important.

It was Neki 6 who presented one of the psychotherapy methods that may be used in India.

The words ‘Guru’ and ‘Chela’ are both derived from the Sanskrit words for teacher and spiritual guide or leader, respectively.

If self-discipline is to be inculcated into clients, and direct assistance and counsel from the therapist is sought in order to build harmony between the client and society, then this is a reasonable approach.

It differs from other cultures, however, in terms of religious beliefs, spiritual traditions, conventions, and culturally ingrained behavior patterns.

The word ‘Sikh’ literally translates as ‘to learn’ or ‘learner.’ The ten Sikh Gurus preached a philosophy that was diametrically opposed to the religious laws and teachings of the other major faiths in existence at the time of their teaching.

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Guru Granth Sahib (GGS) is the Sikh scripture that serves as the focal point of all Sikh devotion.

Religion and ethics are inextricably linked in Sikhism.

Honesty is one of the five virtues; the others are compassion, generosity, patience, and humility.

A life of worth and virtue can only be reached via self-discipline, which may be divided into three categories: physical, moral, and spiritual.

Virtuous living, honest earnings, and rising above one’s own selfish cravings are examples of moral discipline.

7.

According to the Sikh worldview, the ego is the primary source of life’s misery since it is seen as the ‘I’ and as being separate from, or different from, others, and as a result, it is a main source of pain.

Rather of gravitating towards an ego-centered world, the Sikh religious purpose is to experience unity with one cosmic essence that unites all beings on this planet.

Fundamentally, suffering is a natural consequence of human existence, as well as a result of the ego’s desire to satisfy four fundamental human needs: security, love, respect, and freedom, among others.

The result of doing so is that one becomes more centered on God rather than on one’s own interests. Dr. Kala Singh 8created the ‘Sikh spiritual model of counselling,’ which defines the six phases that must be completed in order to attain spiritual emancipation. These are the ones to look out for:

  1. If we are successful in’meeting’ the majority of our clients empathically, it causes us to pause and consider why this isn’t happening more often. However, while our difficulties may be caused by a variety of factors, it is important to recognize that our culture and religious beliefs may sometimes have an impact on our ability to empathize with those around us. It is not always beneficial to use Western models of psychotherapy – the lens through which the therapeutic process is often understood, and on whose ways of ‘being and doing’ therapy is often founded – especially when cultural and religious issues are more overtly significant to the context of our client’s life. Generally speaking, it is agreed that the therapeutic relationship between the therapist and the client is a critical component of the therapeutic process. A positive outcome is more likely to occur if the client believes the therapeutic relationship is strong and actively participates in the therapy process. 1. Consideration should be given to the compatibility of the therapist and client in order to achieve the most effective working alliance. This suggests that factors such as class, background culture, and ethnicity should be taken into account. But does this rule out the possibility of Peter (a white, liberally Christian man) and Jasbinder (an Asian, Sikh woman) collaborating effectively? Not necessarily, but there may be an increased awareness of the relationship’s cultural and spiritual aspects. We are well aware of the difficulties in expressing concepts in a way that acknowledges and embraces the individuality of each person as we write this article. We recognize, however, that writing about shared experience and context can only be done in a shared sense, which can be accused of being stereotypical in some circles. We recognize that not all Sikh clients (or counsellors) will agree with what we are saying, but we believe that many will – and our goal is to raise awareness of potential issues that may have an impact on the therapy process. A certain level of misunderstanding, ignorance, preconception, and even mistrust of other cultures exists among host cultures despite the fact that multiculturalism has become more widely accepted. Morris Jackson 2observes that, even in societies where people of different cultures live side by side and appear to have a common understanding of one another’s cultures, they still appear to be unable to communicate effectively with one another on a meaningful level. Members of the therapy community and their patients are included in this group. The beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes that counselors and psychotherapists hold about people who are culturally or racially different must be recognized and acknowledged. 3. As a result, clients from minority ethnic groups have frequently had to overcome barriers such as racism, and have been forced to make drastic changes to their own religious beliefs, moral code, and values in order to survive in the host country and develop their own coping strategies, according to Jasbinder’s experience. The client may have unrealistic expectations of the therapeutic process and outcome that are far beyond what is actually possible. A therapist may be tempted to perceive a client from another culture in a particular way, which may unintentionally result in bias. For example, common misconceptions held by therapists may be that everyone from the same culture is perceived as sharing the same beliefs, customs, language, and morals or value system (in fact, this article may read as if they do!). This may lead to bias. Without some prior awareness of the client’s culture, it is extremely difficult for the therapist to provide the essential circumstances for therapeutic growth and to establish any type of meaningful therapeutic connection with the client. Treatment results that are adversely influenced by unconscious judgemental and discriminating attitudes are not inconceivable. When it comes to exploring their own culture and ethnic origins, counsellors must be willing to do so in order to have a more complete understanding of their own cultural identity, beliefs, and values. It is possible that any assumptions made by the counsellor unconsciously will be perceived as racism by a client who comes from a culture that is different from their own – not aggressive racism, but racism in the form of the ‘assumption’ that the client’s culture is the source of the problem
  2. This is because it does not fit into a Westernized understanding of self-actualisation or the process. There may be significant differences between the problems faced by clients from varied cultural backgrounds and those confronted by customers who are members of the host culture. While it is possible for a therapist to have some previous knowledge about a client’s culture and views, there is still a risk that two clients who appear to be from the same cultural background or geographical place may have the same values and ideas. Some simple things, such as sitting and personal space, may be something to consider, since certain body postures, eye contact, and other gestures may be received erroneously by the customer. It is possible that the support structures that exist within different cultures will have an influence on the therapy relationship and process as well. Family, friends, and community are all sources of support for customers from South Asian cultures, which include many Sikhs. Other sources of support include religious and spiritual organizations as well as religious leaders. Many South Asians are uncomfortable discussing their feelings, and they are not used to conducting self-analysis. in their approach, and they would expect therapists to be authoritative and assertive in their approach
  3. This might jeopardize some therapeutic methods. Knowledge of the client’s culture, for example, the client’s function within the family or community, and how this effects the client, as well as the troubles that the client is experiencing, may be beneficial to the counsellor in some situations. It has been argued that there has been a propensity on the part of the host nation to attempt to assimilate immigrants by expecting them to forget about their own culture and embrace the culture of the host nation in order to achieve success. 5. These are, in our opinion, utterly absurd expectations, because the roots of a person’s culture are far too deep to be readily severed, nor can it be assumed that they will do so in the course of an endeavor to integrate. Their cultural and religious views, values, rituals, family structure, and dietary practices are all a part of their upbringing and contribute to the development of who they are as individuals 5. According to a psychological perspective, the importance of family structures, kinship patterns, and the laws that regulate their everyday lives cannot be overemphasized. This covers the status of women, what constitutes abuse in their society, how children are reared, the ways in which they grieve and mourn, and the importance that ritual and religion play in their everyday lives, among other topics. In the globe, the Indian healing tradition is one of the oldest healing practices still practiced today, dating back over 5,000 years. From as long back as 1300BC, healers and physicians in India had a comprehensive view of health, with mental and spiritual well-being being accorded a high priority. In this day and age, many South Asians who are stressed (or who are suffering from other more serious mental diseases) would frequently visit their religious place of worship in an attempt to find some inner peace, occasionally seeking counsel from the religious leaders inside these institutions. It was Neki 6 who recommended one of the psychotherapy methods to be used in India. As the Guru–Chela paradigm of therapeutic contact, it was thought to be particularly appropriate for Sikh patients. The words ‘Guru’ and ‘Chela’ are both derived from the Sanskrit words for teacher and spiritual guide or leader. For certain persons of South Asian heritage, this type of therapeutic connection is ideal, because it places the Guru in command of the mind and spirit, and the disciple is content for their teacher to lead him or her on a therapeutic journey that will ease their pain. If self-discipline is to be inculcated into clients, and direct assistance and counsel from the therapist is sought in order to build harmony between the client and society, then this is a viable strategy. 6.Aspects of Sikh culture are shared by the larger South Asian population, such as some traditions. Although similar to other cultures, it differs from them in terms of religious beliefs, spiritual traditions, conventions, and cultural behavioural patterns. Given that the teachings of the ten Gurus lie at the heart of Sikhism, the Guru-Chela paradigm is an excellent fit. For example, the name “Sikh” literally means “to study” or “learner” in Sanskrit. The ten Sikh Gurus preached a worldview that was diametrically opposed to the religious norms and teachings of the other major faiths in existence at the time of their passing. ‘The Guru Granth Sahib’ is the Sikh holy scripture that was proclaimed as the present-day Guru by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth living Guru, and contains all of these teachings in their entirety. Guru Granth Sahib (GGS) is the Sikh scripture that serves as the focal point of all Sikh religious activities and devotion. God is one
  4. Equality
  5. Voluntary service
  6. Meditation on the name of God and spiritual emancipation
  7. Earning by honest means
  8. And sharing with others are some of the fundamental themes of Sikhism. Religion and ethics are intertwined in Sikhism. It is essential to live a virtuous life in accordance with the five qualities outlined in the Guru Granth Sahib if one wishes to progress spiritually. Honesty is one of the five virtues. The others are compassion, generosity, patience, and humility. While the Gurus stressed the importance of these qualities, they also recognized that the human situation is such that we are susceptible to leading a less virtuous life and being pulled towards the five sins identified in the GGS as: kam (desire)
  9. Krodh (anger)
  10. Lobh (greed)
  11. Moh (attachment)
  12. And ahnkar (ego). It is only by self-discipline that one may live a worthwhile and ethical life. Self-discipline has three components: physical, moral, and spiritual. Service and charity, as well as sharing with others, are included in the physical discipline, which is done while still attending to one’s family obligations. Righteous living, honest earning, and rising above selfish wants are all examples of moral discipline. Belief in only one God is what spiritual discipline is all about. 7. Sikhism does not use the term “ego” to signify the same thing as it does in the psychoanalytic community. According to the Sikh worldview, the ego is the primary source of life’s misery since it is seen as the ‘I’ and as being distinct from, or different from, others, and as a result, it is the fundamental cause of life’s suffering. 4. Humans have a natural inclination to drift toward an ego-centered environment, but the Sikh religious objective is to experience unity with one cosmic essence that unites everyone. A fight for survival and long-term stability develops as a result. To put it simply, pain is a natural consequence of human life, and it is a result of the ego’s drive to satisfy four fundamental human needs: security
  13. Love
  14. Respect
  15. And independence. Spiritual freedom in Sikhism is achieved by the removal of one’s own ego. The result of doing so is that one gets more centered on God rather than on one self. “Sikh spiritual model of counselling,” designed by Dr. Kala Singh, explains the six phases that must be completed in order to obtain spiritual emancipation. This group includes the following individuals and organizations.

It is believed that the ego is at the heart of all life stresses because it is the ego’s desire to meet a person’s core needs of security, love, freedom, and respect that causes spiritual liberation to be delayed. It is the pursuit of the fulfillment of these core needs that prevents spiritual liberation from being achieved. Like many other South Asian cultures, Sikhs do not often view talking therapies as a viable option for dealing with concerns and challenges in their life. There is still a social stigma linked to mental illness, and counseling would be considered a last choice in the event that all other options had failed.

  1. It is possible to live in the temporal world where these five vices exist without being impacted by them, but this is not always the case.
  2. The practice of the five virtues can aid in the improvement and maintenance of a person’s mental health.
  3. So, how does all of this affect the therapeutic relationship and the therapeutic process?
  4. Due to the client’s expectation that the counsellor will operate in a directive and prescriptive manner, the counsellor finds himself or herself in a position of authority right away.
  5. Each of these sources will have provided advice and direction, with a significant portion of that advice and direction directing the person to look within the Sikh religion and teachings for the answers.
  6. Many Sikhs, however, may be reluctant to publicly share their concerns due to feelings of shame and stigma.
  7. Sikhs have a tendency to debate problems in an impersonal and communal setting, and they do so in a philosophical style rather frequently.
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4.

This would then allow the counsellor to enter the Sikh client’s frame of reference and accompany them on their therapeutic journey, which would be beneficial.

It is possible that verbal transmission of emotions across cultures would be difficult and subject to misunderstanding.

10.

Due to the fact that verbal communication can sometimes contradict nonverbal communication, clients may find nonverbal gestures to be more believable than verbal communication.

We believe that by writing about these concerns, counsellors will feel more educated about the issues they are facing.

A person-centred counsellor, Jasbinder Singh holds a BA(Hons) in counselling and psychotherapy studies from the University of Central Lancashire and is now pursuing a certification in this field.

The University of Central Lancashire’s School of Health is home to Dr Peter Madsen Gubi, PhD, MBACP (Snr Accred) who is a senior lecturer in counselling. Counseling and spirituality are two areas in which he is interested in conducting study.

References

It is believed that the ego is at the heart of all life stresses because it is the ego’s desire to meet a person’s core needs of security, love, freedom, and respect that causes spiritual liberation to be delayed. It is the pursuit of the fulfillment of these core needs that prevents spiritual liberation from taking place. Like many other South Asian cultures, Sikhs do not often regard talking therapies as a viable option for dealing with concerns and challenges in their life. The stigma associated with mental illness persists, and counseling is generally considered a last resort after all other options have been exhausted.

  1. It is conceivable to live in the temporal world where these five vices exist without being impacted by them, but this is not a realistic possibility.
  2. Individuals’ mental health may be improved and maintained by practicing the five virtues.
  3. So, what is the influence of all of this on the therapeutic relationship and the therapeutic process, specifically?
  4. Due to the client’s expectation that the counsellor will operate in a directive and prescriptive way, the counsellor finds himself or herself in a position of authority immediately after completing this step.
  5. All of these sources will have provided advice and direction, with a significant portion of that advice and direction directing the person to look within the Sikh religion and teachings for the answers.
  6. Due to shame and stigma, many Sikhs, on the other hand, may be hesitant to publicly discuss difficulties.
  7. Sikhs have a tendency to debate problems in an impersonal and communal setting, and they do so in a philosophical style rather frequently.

When we talk about the human condition, it becomes more normalized, and gaining support from others while experiencing hardship (such as loss) helps a person to gain the information that will help them to lessen their suffering.

Acquiring a grasp of the Sikh notion of living a meaningful life while meeting one’s basic requirements will assist the counsellor to have a better insight of the inner world of the Sikh client.

Because persons of South Asian ancestry tend to respond largely to nonverbal communication, nonverbal communication is a crucial tool in showing empathy to a Sikh client.

As a result, nonverbal communication may be more suitable in some situations.

Due to the fact that verbal communication can sometimes contradict nonverbal communication, clients may find nonverbal gestures to be more believable.

As a result of our writing on these topics, we expect that counselors will be more educated.

A person-centred therapist, Jasbinder Singh holds a BA(Hons) in counselling and psychotherapy studies from the University of Central Lancashire and is now pursuing a certification in person-centered counselling.

The University of Central Lancashire’s School of Health is home to Dr. Peter Madsen Gubi, PhD, MBACP (Snr Accred), a senior lecturer in counselling. Counseling and spirituality are two of his study interests.

Multicultural Concerns

Diversity involves a wide range of themes and identities, including those related to race, religious affiliation, ethnicity and culture, as well as sexual orientation and/or handicap. Culture, which includes the practices, ideas, and products of various organizations or individuals at any one moment, may have a significant impact on how people interact with one another and how we perceive one another–both favorably and negatively. As a result of their differences from a dominant culture, people from diverse cultural groups may be unfavorably stereotyped or heavily discriminated against.

There are still many more ethnic and religious minorities who are discriminated against or persecuted in various regions of the world.

Tolerance, compassion, and a willingness to learn about others’ differences may all contribute to the development of good social situations, regardless of one’s origin or ancestry.

  • Is there a connection between multicultural issues and health? Immigration concerns? Can therapy help with multicultural issues? Does multicultural training for therapists make a difference?

How Do Multicultural Issues Relate to Health?

Throughout one’s life, one’s race or ethnicity can have an impact on one’s health in some way. Several studies have found that some ethnic groups are at greater risk for certain health problems than others. Coronary heart disease, HIV/AIDS, and osteoporosis are all more common in underprivileged communities. In addition, certain persons of race are more vulnerable to disorders such as overeating or food allergies than others. Multicultural characteristics may have an impact on how a person is treated in the medical setting, or even whether they receive care at all.

Violence resulting from misunderstandings and/or ignorance of cultural differences may result in bodily harm, which may necessitate the need for medical treatment.

Many minorities may be unable to receive treatment because of a lack of resources.

Immigration Concerns

The reasons why people and families opt to migrate are numerous and varied, ranging from health benefits in a new nation to avoiding terrorism and danger in their native countries. People relocate in the hopes of finding better living conditions, higher-paying employment, healthier settings in which to raise their children, superior medical treatment, and a slew of other benefits in a new location. If they are able to locate such components, they may be able to live and prosper in a new nation once they have relocated there.

  • In terms of how immigrants and asylum seekers are permitted to enter the nation, how long they may remain, and what rights they have after they arrive, every country has its own set of regulations.
  • A larger proportion of people on temporary visas suffer from mental health problems such as worry, financial stress, health difficulties, discrimination, loneliness, and isolation.
  • It has been discovered that refugees in detention suffer from persistent stress, depressive episodes, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which manifests itself in the form of flashbacks, melancholy, and a sense of helplessness.
  • Working conditions, housing, education, welfare, and even access to essential health care services are regularly denied or restricted in detention camps.

It is possible that these variables will worsen whatever mental health difficulties and unpleasant experiences that immigrants have had previous to being placed in prison.

How Therapy Can Help with Multicultural Issues

In psychotherapy, culture is incredibly important and plays a significant influence. Cultural issues have a significant impact on the likelihood of a person seeking assistance, the kind of therapies accessible to mental health specialists, and the success of mental health therapy. Other mental health disorders, such as depression or other mental health conditions, that are considered a justification for treatment in one culture, may be considered a subject that should be addressed by family or religion in another society.

A therapist who is well-versed in multicultural problems will be able to determine if the client is suffering from depression or adjustment concerns.

For example, a person who grew up in a very tiny tribal culture where she knew everyone she saw on the street every day could find it difficult to cope with the masses and anonymity that are so prevalent in American society today.

Even though multicultural concerns are not a primary focus of the therapy sessions, it is critical for the therapist or mental health professional to be aware of any potential cultural disparities that may exist between the individual in treatment and themselves.

Multicultural Training for Therapists

When it comes to psychotherapy, culture is incredibly important. Cultural variables have a significant impact on the likelihood of a person seeking assistance, the therapies accessible to mental health specialists, and the success of therapy. Other mental health disorders, such as depression or other mental health conditions, that are considered a justification for treatment in one culture, may be considered a matter to be dealt with by family or religion in another society. While a recent immigrant to the United States may be suffering from melancholy, she may also be struggling to adjust to the very different cultural environment of her new country.

Aside from that, they may provide advice on how to adjust to a new culture and identify potential challenges.

Culture has an important part in the dynamics of a psychotherapy interaction, and this is true for both the therapist and the individual in treatment involved.

Culture and intercultural therapy are topics that most therapists are trained or educated on, and therapists who want to learn more can pursue continuing education opportunities.

  • Different methods to therapy in different cultures, as well as the ways in which culture may amplify the stigma associated with mental illness Spiritual ideas regarding mental disease are included in cultural beliefs about mental illness. Making use of a person’s spiritual beliefs as a healing aid may be quite beneficial
  • Racism and ethnocentrism are something to be aware of. a study of cultural values and the ways in which culture influences family relationships, ethics, basic beliefs, and communication styles Communication that is sensitive to cultural differences, including the avoidance of potentially upsetting phrases and figures of speech
  • Dissimilarities across cultures in terms of communication techniques
  • Some cultures like intimate touch, while others want more distance during a treatment session. Cultures differ in their encouragement of individuals to be open and energetic, while others urge individuals to keep their troubles to themselves.

There are differences in therapeutic practices across various cultural groups, and there are differences in the ways that culture can accentuate the stigma of mental illness. Mental disease is influenced by cultural ideas, which may include religious views. It might be beneficial to use a person’s spiritual beliefs as a therapeutic aid. Racism and ethnocentrism are things that make me uncomfortable. Cultural values, as well as the ways in which culture influences family relationships, ethics, basic beliefs, and communication styles Communication that is culturally sensitive, including the avoidance of potentially offending phrases and figures of speech; Dissimilarities across cultures in terms of communication techniques; some cultures like intimate touch while others want more space during a treatment session.

Individuals from some cultures are encouraged to be open and energetic, while others are encouraged to keep their issues hidden away.

  1. Alegra, M., Chatterji, P., Wells, K., Cao, Z., Chen, C. N., Takeuchi, D., and Meng, X. L. Alegra, M., Chatterji, P., Wells, K., Cao, Z., Chen, C. N., Takeuchi, D., and Meng, X. L. (2008). Uneven treatment outcomes for depressive disorders among racial and ethnic minority communities in the United States. Psychiatric Services, volume 59, number 11, pages 1264-1272. Carollo, K., ed., retrieved from (2011). Minorities are more likely to get the following five illnesses. According to ABC News. Cusido, C., ed., retrieved from (2015). Eating disorders can be triggered by societal messages such as “Eat up.” NPR. Escobar, J. I., Nervi, C. H., and Gara, M. A. (2001) retrieved from (2000). Mexico’s immigration policy and the mental health of Mexican Americans in the United States The Harvard Review of Psychiatry, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 64-72. La Roche, M. J., and Maxie, A. (2001) retrieved from (2003). In psychotherapy, there are ten things to consider while dealing with cultural differences. 180-186 in the journal Professional Psychology Research and Practice, volume 34, number 2. Momartin, S., Steel, Z., Coello, M., Aroche, J., Silove, D. M., Brooks, R.
  2. Momartin, S., Steel, Z., Coello, M., Aroche, J., Silove, D. M., Brooks, R. (2006). A comparison of the mental health of refugees with temporary protection visas vs those with permanent protection visas is presented. Medical Journal of Australia, volume 185, no 7, pages 357-362. Silove, D., Steel, Z., and Watters, C. (2001). Retrieved from (2000). Policies of deterrence and the mental health of asylum seekers are two important topics to discuss. Journal of the American Medical Association, 284 (5), 604-611. Steel, Z., Momartin, S., Bateman, C., Hafshejani, A., Silove, D. M., Everson, N., and Mares, S. retrieved from Steel, Z., Momartin, S., Bateman, C., Hafshejani, A., Silove, D. M., Everson, N., and Mares, S. (2004). The psychological well-being of asylum seeker families that have been detained in a distant detention center in Australia for an extended length of time. 527-536 in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, volume 28 number 6. Steel, Z., Silove, D., Brooks, R., Momartin, S., Alzuhairi, B., Susljik, I. N. A., Susljik, I. N. A., Steel, Z., Silove, D., Brooks, R., Momartin, S., Alzuhairi, B., Susljik, I. N. A., Steel, Z. (2006). On the mental health of refugees, the impact of immigration detention and temporary protection has been well documented. The British Journal of Psychiatry, volume 188, number 1, pages 58-64. Sue, S., ed., retrieved from (2003). Supporting the importance of cultural competency in psychotherapy and treatment The American Psychologist, vol. 58, no. 11, p. 964. Sue, S., and Zane, N., eds., retrieved from (1987). Critical and reformulative examination of the function of culture and cultural methods in psychotherapy American Psychologist, vol. 42, no. 1, p. 37. Wohl, J., ed., retrieved from (1989). Integration of cultural understanding into psychotherapy is a recent development. It is published in the American Journal of Psychotherapy. This information was obtained from

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