The three types of micro aggression are racial micro aggression, gender micro aggression, and sexual orientation micro aggression. Racial micro aggression consists of subtle insults which can be verbal, nonverbal, or visual directed towards people of color, often automatically or unconsciously. It is a subtle form of racism. Racial micro aggression can take a number of different forms including: nullifying racial-cultural issues, making stereo-typical assumptions, and cultural insensitivity. They also play a role in unfairness in the legal system as they can influence the decisions of juries.
Gender micro aggression is related to acts that perpetuate stereotypical gender roles. An example of this could be a male faculty member asking his male colleagues to help him work out a glitch in a piece of equipment in his laboratory but not asking his female colleagues making the notion that a woman’s mechanical aptitude is inferior to that of a man’s. These gender micro aggressions include devaluing, minimizing, belittling, and demeaning comments about women and women associated activities. Sexual orientation micro aggression is associated with actions that maintain stereotypes about homosexuals.
An example of this would be assuming that all homosexual males personify women with high-pitched voices and manicured nails and that all lesbians have manly characteristics that signify that they are gay. The dynamics of micro aggression are the forces that tend to produce activity and change in racial, gender, and sexuality incidents. The dynamics behind micro aggression also tend to send messages towards people. An example of this could be when an white person asks an Asian American or Latino American to teach them words in their native language. This sends the message that they aren’t American and a foreigner.
Another example would be a white person stating that an African American is very articulate. The actual message it sends is that it is unusual for someone of color to be intelligent. There are four dilemmas that we face during micro aggression. The first is the clash of racial realities where white Americans tend to think that racism is on the decline and that African Americans are doing better in life than 30 or 40 years ago. On the reverse side, blacks view whites as racially insensitive. The second dilemma is the invisibility of unintentional expressions of bias.
This refers to the issue that in most cases racial biases are invisible and the wrongdoer is unaware of any injustice. The third is the perceived minimal harm of racial micro aggressions. This conveys the fact that when an individual is confronted with their micro aggressive acts the perpetrator usually believes that the victim has overreacted or is being overly sensitive. The last dilemma is the Catch 22 of responding to micro aggressions. The victim is usually perplexed about how to react whether it be deciding to do nothing or confronting the perpetrator. Sometimes, micro aggression can manifest in counseling.
Under Denial of Individual Racism, a common response by Whites to people of color is that they can understand and relate to experiences of racism. Under Color Blindness, for example, a client of color stresses the importance of racial experiences only to have the therapist reply, “We are all unique. We are all individuals. ” or “We are all human beings or the same under the skin. ” These colorblind statements, which were intended to be supportive, to be sympathetic, and to convey an ability to understand, may leave the client feeling misunderstood, negated, invalidated, and unimportant.
In clinical practice, micro aggressions are likely to go unrecognized by White clinicians who are unintentionally and unconsciously expressing bias. As a result, therapists must make a concerted effort to identify and monitor micro aggressions within the therapeutic context. CHAPTER 7 – CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE INTERVENTION STRATEGIES The communication styles identified in this chapter were verbal and non-verbal. Most communication specialists believe that only 30 to 40 percent of what is communicated conversationally is verbal. There are a number of non-verbal communication styles.
These are proxemics, kinesics, paralanguage, and high-low context communication. The two concepts presented in sociopolitical facets of nonverbal communication were 1. Nonverbals as reflections of bias – this is represented in the example of the white women walking down the street past the white, black, and latino teenager. When passing the black and latino teenager she automatically clutched her purse and switched it to the other side. The women who switched their purse were operating from stereotype, biases, and preconceived notions about what minority youngsters are like. 2.
Nonverbals as triggers to biases and fear – this is represented in the differences in that which cultures communicate. Whites often perceive black persons as a “threat” because of the way in which they communicate. Blacks are often high-key, animated, heated, and confrontational. They also believe the black male to be hostile, angry and prone to violence. Implications for Clinical Practice 1. Recognize that no one style of counseling or therapy will be appropriate for all populations and situations. 2. Become knowledgeable about how race, culture and gender affect communication styles. 3.
Become aware of your own communication and helping styles. 4. Try to obtain additional training and education on a variety theoretical orientations and approaches 5. Know that each school of counseling and therapy has strengths but they might be one dimensional 6. Use an approach in training programs that call for openness and flexibility in conceptualizing the issues and actual skill building. It is important to know this because communication styles are strongly influenced by race, culture, ethnicity, and gender. These implications lend support to the notion that various racial groups exhibit differences in communication style.
CHAPTER 8 – MULTICULTURAL FAMILY COUNSELING AND THERAPY There were five components of the multicultural family counseling and therapy: a conceptual model. 1. People Nature Relationships 2. Time Dimension 3. Relational Dimension 4. Activity Dimension 5. Nature of People Dimension Activity Dimension The primary characteristic of White U. S. cultural values and beliefs is the action orientation. They believe that we must master and control nature, we must always do something about a situation, and that we should always take a pragmatic and utilitarian view of life.
Counselors expect clients to master and control their own life and environment and to take action to resolve their problems. It is evident everywhere and is reflected in how White Americans identify themselves by occupation. American Indians and Latinos/Hispanics prefer a being or being-in-becoming mode of activity. The American Indian concepts of self determination and noninterference are examples. The Latinos/Hispanics believe that people are born with dignity and deserve to be treated with respect. They are born with innate worth and importance.
The inner soul and spirit are more important than the body. Both the Asian and African Americans operate from the doing orientation. However, the “doing” manifests differently than in White American lifestyle. The active dimension in Asians is related not to individual achievement, but to achievement via conformity to family values and demands. African Americans exercise considerable control in the face of adversity to minimize discrimination and to maximize success. Nature of People Dimension Middle class White Americans generally perceive the nature of people to be neutral.
Environmental issues such as conditioning, family upbringing, and socialization are believed to be the dominant forces in determining the nature of the person. People are neither good nor bad but are a product of their environment. African Americans tend to have a mixed concept of people, but like their White counterparts, they believe people are generally neutral. Asian Americans and American Indians tend to emphasize the inherent goodness of people. Latinos may be described as holding the view that human nature is both good and bad. The Key Points for Clinical Practice
1. Know that our increasing diversity presents us with different cultural concepts of the family. 2. Realize that families cannot be understood apart from the cultural, social, and political dimensions of their functioning. 3. When working with a racial/ethnic group different from you, make a concerted and conscientious effort learn as much as possible about their definition of family and the values along with it. 4. Be attentive to cultural family structure and extended family ties. 5. Don’t prejudge based on your own ethnocentric perspective. 6.
Realize that most minority groups view the wifely role as less important than the motherly role. 7. Utilize the natural help giving networks and structures that already exist in the minority culture in community. 8. Recognize that helping can take many forms. These forms often appear quite different than our own, but they are no less effective or legitimate. Multicultural counseling calls for the counselor to modify our goals and techniques to fit the needs of minority populations. 9. Assess the importance of ethnicity to clients and families. 10. Realize that the role of family counselor cannot be confined to culture bound rules.
Effective multicultural counseling may include validating and strengthening ethnic identity increasing ones own awareness and use of the client support system, serving as a culture broker, and becoming aware of the advantages and disadvantages of being from the same or different ethnic background as your client. You shouldn’t feel you need to know everything about the ethnic group, you should avoid polarization of cultural issues. 11. Accept the notion that the family therapist will need to be creative in intervention techniques when working with minorities. Bold = most important points in clinical practice
CHAPTER 9 – NON-WESTERN INDIGENOUS METHODS OF HEALING Culture bound syndromes are disorders specific to a cultural group or society but not easily given a DSM diagnosis. These illnesses or afflictions have local names with distinct culturally sanctioned beliefs surrounding causation and treatment. They include amok, ataque de nervios, brain fag, ghost sickness, koro, mal de ojo, nervios, and rootwork. It is very important for mental health professionals to become familiar not only with the cultural background of their clients, but to be knowledgeable about specific culture bound syndromes.
A primary danger from lack of cultural understanding is the tendency to overpathologize or overestimate the degree of pathology. The principles of indigenous healing 1. The healing begins with an opening prayer and ends with a closing prayer. The pule creates an atmosphere for healing and involves asking the family gods for guidance. The gods aren’t asked to intervene but grant wisdom, understanding and honesty. 2. The ritual elicits a truth telling sanctioned by the gods and makes compliance among participants a serious matter.
The leader states the problem, prays for a spiritual fusion, reaches out to resistant family members, and attempts to unify the group 3. Muhiki occurs which is a process of getting to the problems. The foregiving, releasing of wrongs, the hurts, and the conflicts produces a deep sense of resolution. 4. After the closing prayer the family participates in pant, the ritual in which food is offered to the gods and the participants. Implications for Clinical Practice 1. Do not invalidate the indigenous practices of your culturally diverse client. 2.
Become knowledgeable about indigenous beliefs and healing practices. 3. Realize that learning about indigenous healing and beliefs entails experimental or lived realities. 4. Avoid overpathologizing and underpathologizing a culturally diverse clients problems. 5. Be willing to consult with traditional healers or make use of their services. 6. Recognize the spirituality is an intimate aspect of the human condition and a legitimate aspect of mental health work. 7. Be willing to expand your definition of the helping role to the community work and involvement.
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