Building a relationship with someone from another culture is difficult. Learn to appreciate how his or her worldview differs from your own. Use the following tips to build your cross-cultural relationships: Expand your base by building a broad cross-section of relationships – gender. 6 Ways to Manage the Differences in Your Relationship. Things are And I haven't even mentioned religious, ethnic and cultural differences.
In order to expand their skillscounselors must acknowledge their own racial and cultural heritage and the effects of oppression, racism, discrimination, and stereotyping. Counselors must also seek out additional learning opportunities to improve their understanding of different cultural populations. Counselor Awareness of Client Worldview: To achieve this understanding, counselors must be aware of their emotional reactions to other racial and ethnic groups, possess knowledge of the population with whom they work, and familiarize themselves with culturally appropriate research.
Culturally Appropriate Intervention Strategies: Counselors must understand the characteristics of therapy and its impact on cultural groups. Counselors should also maintain knowledge of family dynamics, hierarchy, bias in assessments, and discriminatory practices that may impact their client. Counseling professionals who are culturally skilled are able to engage in communication — both verbal and nonverbal — that transcends race or nationality and eliminates prejudice.
The Importance of Multicultural Counseling As the population becomes more diversethe need for multicultural counseling grows more apparent.
Cultural and Worldview Frames | Beyond Intractability
Changing demographics of the United States population demand that counselor education programs provide training experience that facilitate the development of multiculturally competent counselors. The growing population of diverse individuals in the United States will put more pressure on counselors to be culturally competent in their service of delivery.
Younger generations illustrate this diversity. Pew Research indicates that 43 percent of adult millennials are non-white. Some clients are affected by their religion through transcendental experiences that extend beyond the ordinary. Others may identify with no religion at all. This type of maturity involves the ability of an individual to respond to a situation or their environment in an appropriate manner based upon their psychological strengths and needs.
Physical, cognition, and psychological skill development affects how an individual experiences challenges at different points in life. Stressful situations can put individuals at risk for psychological dangers when the ability to cope with them become ineffective. What did you learn in school about a particular group? Was there a lack of information about some people? Are there some people you shy away from?
10 Multicultural Factors to Consider in Counseling
Ask people questions about their cultures, customs, and views People, for the most part, want to be asked questions about their lives and their cultures. Many of us were told that asking questions was nosy; but if we are thoughtful, asking questions can help you learn about people of different cultures and help build relationships. People are usually pleasantly surprised when others show interest in their cultures.
If you are sincere and you can listen, people will tell you a lot.
Read about other people's cultures and histories It helps to read about and learn about people's cultures and histories. If you know something about the reality of someone's life and history, it shows that you care enough to take the time to find out about it. It also gives you background information that will make it easier to ask questions that make sense.
However, you don't have to be an expert on someone's culture to get to know them or to ask questions. People who are, themselves, from a culture are usually the best experts, anyway. Don't forget to care and show caring It is easy to forget that the basis of any relationship is caring. Everyone wants to care and be cared about.
Caring about people is what makes a relationship real. Don't let your awkwardness around cultural differences get in the way of caring about people.
Listen to people tell their stories If you get an opportunity to hear someone tell you her life story first hand, you can learn a lot--and build a strong relationship at the same time. Every person has an important story to tell. Each person's story tells something about their culture.
Cultural and Worldview Frames
Listening to people's stories, we can get a fuller picture of what people's lives are like--their feelings, their nuances, and the richness of their lives. Listening to people also helps us get through our numbness-- there is a real person before us, not someone who is reduced to stereotypes in the media.
Additionally, listening to members of groups that have been discriminated against can give us a better understanding of what that experience is like.
Listening gives us a picture of discrimination that is more real than what we can get from reading an article or listening to the radio. You can informally ask people in your neighborhood or organization to tell you a part of their life stories as a member of a particular group. You can also incorporate this activity into a workshop or retreat for your group or organization.
Have people each take five or ten minutes to talk about one piece of their life stories. If the group is large, you will probably have to divide into small groups, so everyone gets a chance to speak. Notice differences in communication styles and values; don't assume that the majority's way is the right way.
We all have a tendency to assume that the way that most people do things is the acceptable, normal, or right way. As community workers, we need to learn about cultural differences in values and communication styles, and not assume that the majority way is the right way to think or behave.
You are in a group discussion. Some group members don't speak up, while others dominate, filling all the silences.
The more vocal members of the group become exasperated that others don't talk. It also seems that the more vocal people are those that are members of the more mainstream culture, while those who are less vocal are from minority cultures. How do we understand this? How can this be resolved? In some cultures, people feel uncomfortable with silence, so they speak to fill the silences.
In other cultures, it is customary to wait for a period of silence before speaking.
If there aren't any silences, people from those cultures may not ever speak. Also, members of some groups women, people of low income, some racial and ethnic minorities, and others don't speak up because they have received messages from society at large that their contribution is not as important as others; they have gotten into the habit of deferring their thinking to the thinking of others.
When some people don't share their thinking, we all lose out. We all need the opinions and voices of those people who have traditionally been discouraged from contributing. In situations like the one described above, becoming impatient with people for not speaking is usually counter-productive. However, you can structure a meeting to encourage the quieter people to speak. For example, you can: Have people break into pairs before discussing a topic in the larger group.
At certain times have each person in the circle make a comment. People can pass if they want to. Follow a guideline that everyone speaks once, before anyone speaks twice. Invite the quieter people to lead part of the meeting. Talk about the problem openly in a meeting, and invite the more vocal people to try to speak less often.
Between meetings, ask the quieter people what would help them speak, or ask them for their ideas on how a meeting should be run. A high school basketball team has to practice and play on many afternoons and evenings. The coach is angry with the parents for this requirement, because it takes his player away from the team.
Families have different values, especially when it comes to family closeness, loyalty, and responsibility. In many immigrant and ethnic families, young people are required to put their family's needs first, before the requirements of extra-curricular activities.
Young people from immigrant families who grow up in the U. As community workers, we need to support and respect minority and immigrant families and their values. It may already be a huge concession on the part of a family to allow a teenager to participate in extracurricular activities at all.
We need to make allowances for the cultural differences and try to help young people feel that they can have both worlds--instead of having to reject one set of values for another. As community builders, it helps to develop relationships with parents.
If a young person sees her parents have relationships with people from the mainstream culture, it can help her feel that their family is accepted. It supports the teen in being more connected to her family and her community--and also, both relationships are critical protective factors for drug and alcohol abuse and other dangerous behaviors. In addition, in building relationships with parents, we develop lines of communication, so when conflicts arise, they can be more easily resolved.