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Multicultural Therapy Reaction Paper

By:   •  Research Paper  •  811 Words  •  March 25, 2010  •  845 Views

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Multicultural Therapy Reaction Paper

Multicultural Therapy Reaction Paper

When I was given multicultural counselling/therapy to do as my counselling theory I was apprehensive at first as it was one of the few theories that I was unaware of. After much research it was evident to me that multicultural counselling is still being defined and refined today. Not so much a theory like most counselling perspectives which give a specific way of approaching and conducting therapy but information that can also make use of the other theories. It is information on how to be effective as a counselor in a multicultural counselling relationship. Locke (as cited in Gladding, 2000) states that Multicultural counselling may be viewed generally as counselling �in which the counselor and client differ’. According to many texts this difference refers to not only race and ethnicity but also religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, socioeconomic status and physical ability.

Here for me lies my first problem with multicultural counselling, this can apply to every counselor-client relationship because no two people are exactly alike! That said, it seems that supporters of multicultural therapy would like to specify how to counsel these different groups of people, and has tried to do so in many written works. However if we are going to try and specify how to counsel all the different types/groups of people this would be a never-ending text.

There are other problems that also come with prescribing how to counsel a certain group of persons. For instance, with regard to those belonging to ethnic minority groups Patterson (1996) writes that the �assumptions regarding the characteristics of ethnic minority groups leads to the self-fulfillment prophecy.’ More importantly Patterson also says that �descriptions of various groups are generalizations describing the modal person … the result is a proliferation of stereotypes.’ Stereotypes that just may negatively influence the counsellor.

I am not dismissing the importance of knowing how to counsel individuals different from ourselves. Clearly what is important is that we are aware that there are differences. However one should be able to counsel any individual if they stick with the basics of being a good counsellor one of these characteristics is the ability to empathize. So how does an upper-middle class white man council a black woman from a low socioeconomic background if he does not know what it is like to be a black woman? My view is he listens and learns and uses empathy while adhering to the basic therapeutic rules of counselling. If a woman who was raped came to me for counselling one could similarly ask how would you counsel her if you do not know what it is like to have been raped? I would counsel her through being empathetic and dealing with the issues she is facing as a rape victim. Surely all rape victims do not have the same issues, nether do all black women and it is still not as simple as that. This is why Multicultural counselling is such a complex topic.

There is an argument that the existing theories

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