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7C:357 Advanced Group Counseling and Psychotherapy Dr. Nicholas Colangelo – Spring 2001 Multicultural Considerations in PowerPoint Presentation
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7C:357 Advanced Group Counseling and Psychotherapy Dr. Nicholas Colangelo – Spring 2001 Multicultural Considerations in Group Counseling Class Presentation #1. James Bethea Noel Estrada-Hernández Robinson A. Vázquez-Ramos March 7, 2001. Multicultural Perspectives.

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7C:357 Advanced Group Counseling and PsychotherapyDr. Nicholas Colangelo – Spring 2001Multicultural Considerations in Group CounselingClass Presentation #1

James Bethea

Noel Estrada-Hernández

Robinson A. Vázquez-Ramos

March 7, 2001

multicultural perspectives
Multicultural Perspectives
  • Multicultural/Bilingual overtones of the American population.
  • Socio-political factors (Civil Right Movement).
  • Demographic change in the Racial/Ethnic composition of the population.
  • Effective delivery of Group Counseling Services.
  • Client’s culture.
  • Sensitivity to individual differences
  • Professional Competences (knowledge, awareness, attitude and skills).
counseling approaches
Counseling Approaches
  • Many counseling approaches fail to meet the complex needs of various ethnic and minority clients.
  • The ethnic and minority clients perceive that the counselors have stereotyped perceptions about their needs.
  • Asian-American, African-American, Latinos, Native- American and members of other minority groups terminate significantly earlier than do European-American clients.
the dropout rate is often caused by barriers such as
The dropout rate is often caused by barriers such as:
  • Language difficulties.
  • Culture-bound values.
  • Stereotyped generalizations about social or cultural group.
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Pedersen (1989, 1990, 1994) views multiculturalism as the “fourth force” in the counseling field, along with the psychodynamic, behavioral, and humanistic perspectives.Pedersen believes that multiculturalism is the most important new idea to shape the profession in twenty years.

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Some of the basic assumptions Pedersen makes about multiculturalism have a significant impact on techniques in group work.
  • Culture is best defined broadly rather narrowly.
  • The multicultural perspective is relevant to all aspects of counseling practice rather than being limited to exotic populations and special interest groups.
  • Multicultural needs to be understood as a continuous in all fields of counseling rather than as an attempt to develop a new and separate field.
  • Multiculturalism can be the basis for people to disagree without one person being right and the other being wrong.
if the counselor intends to be involved in group work with culturally diverse population
If the counselor intends to be involved in group work with culturally diverse population:
  • He/She must be willing to modify their strategies to meet the unique needs of the members.
  • He/She must be aware that no one right technique can be utilized across the board with clients irrespective of their cultural background.
  • He/She must feel there is a need to develop culture specific strategies for diverse population.
advantages and limitations when using group formats with culturally diverse client populations
Advantages

Members can gain much from the power and strength of collective group feedback.

They can be supportive of one another.

As members see their peers challenging themselves and making desired change in their lives it gives them hope that change is possible for them.

Limitations

Some individuals may be reluctant to readily disclose personal material or share family conflict.

They may see it as shameful.

People from some cultures rely on members of extended family for help rather than seeking professional assistance.

Some individuals may not feel comfortable in a group.

Some may be hesitant to join a group because of their unfamiliarity with how group works.

Advantages and limitations when using group formats with culturally diverse client populations:
multicultural considerations in group counseling
Multicultural Considerations in Group Counseling

If you hope to become an effective multicultural group counselor, you need to be able to understand the importance of the following components:

  • multicultural awareness in group practice
  • multicultural skills as a group counselor
  • Issues and strategies leading culturally diverse counseling groups
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Multicultural Awareness and Skills in Group PracticeHow may a counselor work ethically and effectively with group members who are culturally different from themselves?

  • If counselors do not understand how their cultural background influence their own thinking and behavior, there is little chance they can work ethically and effectively with group members who are culturally different from themselves.
  • Understanding and respecting difference in people is included in the ACA’s code of ethics:
    • Counselors will actively attempt to understand the diverse cultural background of the client with whom they work. This include, but is not limited to, learning how the counselor’s own cultural, ethnic, racial identity impacts her/his values and believes about the counseling process. (A.2.b)
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Multicultural Awareness and Skills in Group Practice:Most of the code of ethics of the various professional organizations now give some attention to applying these principles when working with culturally diverse clients. For example, the APA’s Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs has developed guidelines for providers of psychological services to ethnic, linguistic, and culturally diverse population.

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Multicultural Awareness and Skills in Group Practice:Corey (1997) provides a sample of some APA’s modified guidelines for working with groups:

  • Group counselors acknowledge that ethnicity and culture influence behavior.
  • Group counselors consider the impact of adverse social, environmental, and political factors in assessing problems and designing interventions.
  • Group counselors are aware of how their own cultural background, attitude, values, believes, and bias, influence their work, and they make efforts to correct any prejudice they may have.
  • Group counselors respect the roles of family and community hierarchies within a clients culture.
  • Group counselors inform members about basic values that are implicit in the group process (such as self-disclosure, striding for independence and autonomy, risk taking expressing emotions, directness in communicating, and trust in the group).
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Intracultural Counseling

Ethnic similarity between counselor and the client represent the optimal pairing arrangement.

Cross-cultural Counseling

Believe that the counselor’s training and sensitivity can transcend ethnic differences.

Issues and Strategies Leading Culturally Diverse Counseling GroupsSome experts view culturally diverse counseling groups as being potentially disruptive to the general goals of counseling, whereas others see the composition of such groups as only a minor problem that can be dealt with effectively as a part of the counseling process.

multicultural considerations in group counseling1
Multicultural Considerations in Group Counseling
  • Group members bring with them their values, beliefs, and prejudices, which can quickly become apparent.
  • One goal of multicultural group counseling is to provide new levels of communication among members. This goal can prove helpful in overcoming stereotyped attitudes by providing accurate information about oneself and one’s racial, ethnic, or cultural group.
  • The second goal is to establish sensitivity, understanding, and trust with members of other cultural groups.
potential issues in culturally diverse counseling groups johnson et al 1995
Potential Issues in Culturally Diverse Counseling Groups(Johnson et al., 1995)
  • Extreme emotionality
  • Lack of communication
  • Group nondirection
  • Racial, ethnic and cultural identity
  • “Color blind norm”
  • Self-disclosure
  • Trust
  • “Feelings of belongingness”
  • Theoretical orientation of the leader
  • Educational preparation and technical experience of the leader
strategies and recommendations
Strategies and Recommendations
  • If possible, group counselors should avoid having a single member of a minority or “out-group” in group counseling, because such an arrangement may block communication and group cohesion.
  • It may be necessary for some types of group to have co-leaders from different racial, ethnic, and cultural background.
  • Change the way individual members interact with another.
  • Assess and explore potential prejudiced attitudes held by group members.
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Johnson, Torres, Coleman, and Smith (1995) provide some recommendations for group counselors interested in building cross-cultural awareness and competence:

  • Consultation or group co-leadership with minority counselors already serving specific cultural groups.
  • Participation in a cultural immersion experience.
  • Actively taking inventory of the needs and issues of minority groups in their communities.
  • Language training when possible, or at least becoming familiar with the correct pronunciation of ethnic names, values, and traditions.