Ethnicity Impact Introduction Professional counselors should bear in mind that the culture and ethnicity of the client significantly impacts the direction of counseling strategies and their outcomes. Ethnicity and culture are the key elements of successful counseling therapies. Counselors should understand ethnical implications of counseling, to meet the needs of clients, to realize their potential for becoming healthy, and to choose the most effective counseling approaches as applied to particular ethnic backgrounds.
Gladding (2007) writes that in addition to general guidelines for working with culturally different clients, counselors should keep in mind some general considerations when working with specific cultural groups. This is particularly relevant in case with Asian immigrants, whose cultural heritage should serve the basis and the context for developing the most appropriate counseling techniques. Asians have traditionally been denied their right for citizenship. As a result, they are constantly accompanied by a feeling of being mistreated and maligned (Gladding, 2007).
As a professional counselor, I should not forget that Asian immigrants need special attention as related to the communicational patterns, which are traditionally accepted in Asian immigrant communities. With their communication being less direct and more discrete, I will need to address these challenges and to guarantee that the Asian client is able to express her needs and concerns without concealing them. When counseling Asian immigrants, special attention should be paid to religion.
It is widely believed that religion plays a strong role in some of Asian views about the origins of mental health and mental illness (Gladding, 2007). Furthermore, Asians may rely on the power of supernatural forces when trying to explain the reasons of their mental health disorders (Gladding, 2007). In this case, I will have to clarify the real causes and implications of the clients mental health disorder, in terms and wording that is familiar and understandable to the Asian client.
To build trust and rapport with Kathleen, I will need to be particularly cautious with the genteel way of communication Asians use in daily interactions with each other and with other ethnic communities. Genteel ways of communicating stem from cultural traditions and must be dealt with positively if a strong counseling relationship is to be established (Gladding, 2007). In general terms, I will have to be more attentive to what Asian culture has to say to a professional counselor.
Religion, the eternal search for self-confidence, and the desire to establish themselves as a nation will always drive Asian immigrants, and will also determine the quality of counseling care they need to achieve their life goals. The sensitivity towards their own history will serve the background for establishing closer ties with Asian clients in counseling. Successful assessment of Kathleens problem will depend on my ability to explore the family implications of her mental health state. I will need a closer look at Kathleens family dynamics and the impact of family relations on her behavior.
Kathleen should be encouraged to name those who are aware or are involved into the problem; taking into account her Asian background and genteel way of communication, this part of assessment may be particularly difficult. It is essential that Kathleen is able to tell her story in full detail; this assessment approach will produce the two-fold positive effect: on the one hand, I will possess the fullest information about the problem; on the other hand, respectful listening will help develop closer spiritual ties with the client (Patterson et al, 1998).
Conclusion Working with Asian immigrants, professional counselors should be particularly attentive to cultural and historical heritage of Asian nations. To establish trust and rapport, it is critical that counselors take into account peculiar characteristics of genteel Asian communication and recognize religion as the essential element of effective approaches in counseling.
To make assessment relevant and effective, counselors should encourage foreign clients to communicate their problems in full detail. These stories will help develop reliable solution-based approaches to the issues Asian immigrants face in their daily performance.
Gladding, S. T. (2007). Counseling: a comprehensive profession. Pearson. Patterson, J. , Williams, L. , Grauf-Grounds, C. & Clamow, L. (1998). Essential skills in family therapy. The Guilford Press.