In this unit, we will begin to explore the effects of historical and current oppression on diverse populations, with a special focus on indigenous people. Although indigenous people, such as Native Americans and Alaskan natives, will be considered as a group, it is important to remember the point made by Sue and Sue (2013) about similarities and differences among people of the same group: Not all members of the same group will be just alike. Keeping this in mind will be critical as you assess, counsel, and advocate for your clients.
We will also consider how differences in culture, class, and language between the counselor and client could present barriers to effective multicultural counseling and therapy. Historically the counseling profession could be described in terms of ethnocentric mono-culturalism, or its alignment with mainstream values and behaviors. We will have the opportunity to assess our own alignment as compared to the cultural characteristics of the counseling profession, and diverse populations. This will help you to remain aware of the potential barriers as you develop your practice as a culturally competent counselor.
We will also explore the concept of counseling as interpersonal influence. Research findings related to counselor credibility and attractiveness as perceived by diverse clients will be presented, along with the psychological sets of clients. This will help us to anticipate how to most effectively use our influence as a counselor.
Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2013). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
• To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:
1. Analyze the influence of counselor characteristics, attitudes, and beliefs on culturally competent counseling practice.
2. Develop multicultural counseling approaches and competencies that are sensitive to diverse client characteristics and experiences.
3. Analyze the implications of client characteristics and concerns on counseling and advocacy strategies in terms of individual, couple, family, and group level and community level interventions.
4. Analyze the influence of internalized oppression and institutional racism on individuals and family systems.
Learning Activities Studies
Use your textbook, Sue and Sue’s Counseling the Culturally Diverse: Theory and Practice, to complete the following:
• Read Chapter 3, “Multicultural Counseling Competence for Minority Group Counselors/Therapists,” pages 57–85.
• Read Chapter 5, “Systemic Oppression: Trust, Mistrust, Credibility, and Worldviews,” pages 115–145.
• Read Chapter 7, “Barriers to Multicultural Counseling and Therapy: Individual and Family Perspectives,” pages 177–207.
• Read Chapter 10, “Non-Western Indigenous Methods of Healing: Implications for Counseling and Therapy,” pages 259–283.
• Read Chapter 15, “Counseling American Indians and Alaska Natives,” pages 379–391.
Use the Internet to explore the current demographics in your own state. You will need this information to complete the second discussion for this unit. Note: My own state is Texas.
The literature is rich with resources to help counselors and therapists delve more deeply into the topics being covered in this course and to pursue their own special interests. In each unit you will find a reference list compiled by experts in each of the specialization areas at Capella University; look to these for information and use as you wish in your professional development. Please note that it is acceptable to draw from these resources for your discussions and assignments; however, you should not rely exclusively on these resources in completing assignments that require library research.
• Read Dana’s 2000 article, “The Cultural Self as Locus for Assessment and Intervention With American Indian/Alaska Natives,” from Journal of Multicultural Counseling & Development, volume 28, issue 2, pages 66–82.
• Read Echo-Hawk’s 2011 article, “Indigenous Communities and Evidence Building,” in Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, volume 43, issue 4, pages 269–275.
• Read Garrett, Garrett, Torres-Rivera, and Roberts-Wilbur’s 2005 article, “Laughing It Up: Native American Humor as Spiritual Tradition,” in Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, volume 33, issue 4, pages 194–204.
• Read Gone and Calf Looking’s 2011 article, “American Indian Culture as Substance Abuse Treatment: Pursuing Evidence for a Local Intervention,” in Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, volume 43, issue 4, pages 291–296.
• Read Lane and Simmons’s 2011 article, “American Indian Youth Substance Abuse: Community-Driven Interventions,” in Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, volume 78, issue 3, pages 362–372.
• Read Larios, Wright, Jernstrom, Lebron, and Sorensen’s 2011 article, “Evidence-Based Practices, Attitudes, and Beliefs in Substance Abuse Treatment Programs Serving American Indians and Alaska Natives: A Qualitative Study,” in Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, volume 43, issue 4, pages 355–359.
• Read Moghaddam and Momper’s 2011 article, “Integrating Spiritual and Western Treatment Modalities in a Native American Substance User Center: Provider Perspectives,” in Substance Use & Misuse, volume 46, issue 11, pages 1431–1437.
• Read Children’s Program Kit: Supportive Education for Children of Addicted Parents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Identify a Cultural Event to Attend
As part of the preparation for the assignment in Unit 7, Culturally Relevant Strategies, you are required to attend a cultural event, such as a worship service, holiday celebration, festival, or open community meeting. The event you select should be held by a community that is outside of your group affiliation. The members of this group should reflect the type of individuals that you will likely counsel.
Look through different calendars of events in your community and start making a list of possible cultural events that you would be able to attend. Be prepared to take notes and to apply your observation skills. Your experience will be used to complete the assignment in Unit 7.
Question Discussion 1
Counselor and Client Characteristics
Referring to the unit readings and Tables 7.1 and 7.2, compare the generic characteristics of counseling with respect to culture, class, and language, with Native American characteristics in terms of culture, class, and language. Which characteristics most closely reflect your culture, class, and language?
Refer to Chapter 15 and at least one of the recommended readings and consider the types of mental health concerns you may be likely to encounter in counseling a Native American client, couple, family, or group (for example, the impact of educational disparities on career development). Address the following:
• How would your approach reflect your understanding of your own characteristics and those of your client or clients?
• How would the impact of historical and current oppression be important to your work?
• Discuss the implications of the client’s characteristics and concerns on your counseling and advocacy strategies in terms of problem assessment, goal setting, and interventions that take into account individual, couple, family, and tribal considerations. Note: 1 page needed with two references.
Question Discussion 2
Working With Culturally Diverse Groups
Research current information about the demographics of your own state. List the main minority groups and (if applicable) specific cultural subgroups living in your state, as well as living within your own part of the state. Note: My own state is Texas.
Select two of these groups and identify the steps you would take to become more knowledgeable about working with persons from these cultures. Include at least two articles or books specific to each culture in your references.
• What are some of the questions you have or issues you might encounter while working as a counselor with persons from these groups? Note: 1 page needed with two references. Please enclose each question answers with attachment and references separately. Thanks!