Cultural Resources In Counselling

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“Anything that has meaning to a person can be viewed as a cultural resource”. (McLeod, J. 2015). As a novice counsellor I have personally encountered the difficulties of encouraging clients to access their own cultural resources, mainly due to them viewing me as the expert and them being unaware of the fact that they can have agency and their own preferences within the counselling relationship. Another difficulty to overcome is to help the client realise that they can have access to these resources, but have not been in a frame of mind which would enable this, due to their specific issues in daily life. One of the major benefits of actively using cultural resources with clients is that it provides them with a stage on which they can pursue…show more content…
These are my own personal cultural resources and I have an understanding of how these resources can affect my mood, my wellbeing and my mental health and also how I can access these resources when required. Because I find it extremely easy to access my own personal cultural resources I began to think about how difficult it could be for a client who has serious issues going on in their life such as depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts to even contemplate accessing their own cultural resources. The question arises how can we, as counsellors actively encourage and facilitate our clients’ cultural resources through their agency and pre-existing resources, knowing that they can be of great benefit to their wellbeing, mental health and general mood? As I commenced working as a trainee counsellor in placement, I found that clients tended to look at me to provide them with cultural resources, and it became quite clear to me that in order for a client to access their own cultural resources they must have some agency within the counselling relationship. The competent skills required to enable this I feel, are lacking and could be an area for future research in the training of counsellors in a pluralistic…show more content…
The role of counselling or psychotherapy is a “means of gaining access to cultural resources that can be used to solve or resolve problems in living and to construct a life that has meaning and purpose”. (McLeod, J. 2005). Cultural resources from a pluralistic stance focus on the strengths of a client (Duncan, Miller and Sparks, 2004). They are viewed as both a form of resilience and strength, but also as a means by which a client can be connected to a social network outside of the therapy room. In many instances, clients are actively trying to deal with their issues before they come to counselling and this is often ignored or overlooked by the therapist. Clients may try many forms of alternative therapies or access cultural resources which they are already familiar with. The positive impact on wellbeing and mental health using alternative therapies such as spirituality, mindfulness, exercise, diet, yoga, walking, music, etc. are all well documented. The prior knowledge of these resources by the client should be valued as having an active and effective role in therapy. From a pluralistic perspective we have to take into consideration the expertise and prior knowledge of the client. The field of counselling often acknowledges that clients play a central role in
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