Overcoming Unintentional Racism In Counselling Summary

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“To be really helpful, a counselor must tune in to the client’s personal experiences” (p.85). These are the exact words of Charles R. Ridley, author of Overcoming Unintentional Racism in Counseling and Therapy. Charles refers to this as idiographic perspective. Based upon five different principles, idiographic perspective can be summarized as the practice of unbiased counseling by understanding that each client and his/her story is as unique as a fingerprint, therefore should not be generalized into a particular cultural group or identity. School or community counselors should be culturally competent in identifying client’s perspective and personal feelings. I believe to be culturally competent calls for more than having the understanding…show more content…
Walking into the Intersections exhibit at UCLA Fowler Museum, I immediately encountered varying masks from different countries as representation of their cultural beliefs. The Intersections exhibition features different objects from the countries primarily of Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas. These objects serve as a medium to communicate the stories from the past and how it connect to the present, as well as identify the social context that each item represents. For example, one of the items displayed is a silk shoulder cloth made in Sumatra. The shoulder cloth can be seen in ceremonial events. To display the shoulder cloth is to convey the significance of the textile, as well as serve as the primary marker of the female skill and status. This tradition is not much different from what we see in today’s world. Particularly with women, “name brand” clothing and accessories are much sought after as it play a significant role in elevating one’s social or economic status. Taking that perspective into the counseling world, a counselor does not associate the client who wears all name brand clothing as having such a significant role in society. A client’s disposition would alert the counselor such as if the client was unkempt and disoriented, and would be more of a concern to the counselor. In this particular instance, the…show more content…
This is just one factor that affords me to have a perspective from a different cultural background. A goal for myself after completing this graduate program is to become a multiculturally competent counselor who can truly connect with people of various cultural backgrounds. Visiting UCLA Fowler Museum, I found that the connection weaving between one culture to another is that the motif behind the objects are somewhat similarly valued culturally in each country. Hence, the name of the exhibition Intersections for in “many ways the objects conceptually intersect with each other”. In each culture from the varying countries of Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas, artistic objects play a significance in passing down traditions and teachings from one generation to another. Taking that into account in the counseling arena, the client’s perspective may or may not be obscured with traditions and stories are passed down from one family to another. The idiographic approach to counseling would serve best in a situation where the client has strong ties to family tradition. A multicultural counselor would discuss the family traditions, as well as the individual’s own perspective where he/she may fit into society and his/her stance in making own life choices. The counselor would connect where the individual’s own notion about life with his/her

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