Academic Master

Psychology

Multicultural Counseling Essay

America is traditionally described as the melting pot because there is a collection of various cultures that is blended and assimilated as the immigrants frame their behaviors and beliefs to dominate white culture. Therefore each community maintained its cultural identity as it learned and associated with other communities’ cultures. Many immigrants flock to America from different origins in the world base on their reasons. However, the minority in the American society needs equal rights some elements like counseling, (Newlou and Arcinega 1981). The diversity of cultures develops major difficulties for multicultural counseling. The counselor normally has his culture, theoretical perspective, and attitude. However, the client also poses different culture and other beliefs that are not similar to the counselor. Therefore there is the problem of the multiplicity of the variables that comprise the individual’s identity, (Pedersen 1986).

Counselors getting the client from a different cultures is one the beneficial experiences in the world. There the counselor should be sensitive to the cultural differences of the clients. As he provides assistance based on particular culture (American culture), he should maintain their cultural identity. Therefore the counselor should be trained to be aware of himself and also be a client awareness. This will help the counselor to have the ability to identify the culture of the client and possess knowledge about the race, which is very significant when advising the client.

Part 1

I am an American citizen as they are my parent and also my grandparent and great-grandparent and great-great-grandparent. Thus, I am Native American. I am from one of the indigenous communities of America. It is known as Alaska or American Indian. My great-great-grandparent migrated to America before the reign of the agrarian revolution and the industrial revolution. They were looking for pasture and land to settle on the Asian continent. During the period of colonization that was associated with the agrarian revolution and the industrial revolution, they passed through all sorts of discrimination from the whites and other communities who settle in the country. Due to their large number, this assisted them to maintain their culture, beliefs, and attitudes. Although, some of the aspects of our culture are not practiced or changing because our people adopt other people’s cultures as they associate. But we still possess the core values of our culture and even our appearance, speech pattern and in some cases, names identify us as American Indian. Some of the community members are Muslims, but I am a strong Christian believer. And I believe Jesus is my savior.

In my Indian community, we greatly value our families, particularly our children who we believe they are gifts from God. Therefore there is a strong social relationship that is more emphasized in our community. This aspect of the social relationship is important in case of conflict within the community. Thus the resolution of the conflict is done with the member of the community. Furthermore, equilibrium and peace may easily be restored in the community. Hence it increases the unity of the community.

Additional another aspect that we value in our community culture is the unity of the community. As you consider our life, we are normally in groups that are notion of unity, oral tradition, extended families, survival of the groups, extended kinship network, and control of the environment. We are always in the group that shows oneness within that group. In case of disaster or problem, every member of the group or family will be willing to assist to solve that issue. Supporting each other is everyone’s personal initiative to increase relationships among group members or family members.

During my childhood, we used to play our kid game together with other children within our extended family. There was no barrier between us. Everyone of the same age as mine was considered my cousin we socialized freely without a problem. This assists us to develop a strong relationship with us that improved our unity and friendship. There was a problem when we join schools because everyone joined different schools which led us to break our friendship and create the new ones. At school, there was racial discrimination from other communities more so from the white children. I was isolated because of my appearance. Another thing that I noticed at school was that it was a melting point or place for a different cultures. We met with the student from different backgrounds, and teacher’s background taught us. Therefore it was placed to exchange cultural practices. But my identity was obvious because of my skin color. Therefore I was easily identified at school as Alaska. Currently, as I am an adult, there is no different aspect I have noticed based on my identity. I exercise my freedoms and rights as an American. It is like that because the amendment was done to the American constitution that gives everyone the right and freedom to live regardless of the race and religion he or she comes from. However, initially, there was racial discrimination that affected mostly our community and black Americans.

In many ways, I am similar to people who share the same identity. The first way we are similar is the appearance that our skin color always separates us from other communities. I also believe that our social relationship with the community is still strong. People still live in an extended family that increases our unity and friendships. The only difference between my colleagues and me is that I fully believe in myself and I value my community culture. Therefore I don’t have an interest to adopt other communities’ cultures.

Part 2

Family oneness of the main aspect of the American Indian culture. The aspect of a family reunion is an essential ritual that contributes to the health care, survival, and endurance of Alaska families. This assists to maintain cultural heritage on many occasions. The family remains the core of the culture of the Alaskans from the time of slavery to the present. The community starts to teach their children about their culture at an early age, and as they grow up, children know what they should do or what they are supported to do at a particular time. Educating is a life process, and anyone in the community is the teacher of the other as far as he knows what he is teaching. The structure of the family begins with great-grandparents thus it has an extended family structure.

The family reunion is used as a method through which community cohesiveness can be restored and also culturally revitalized. Its rituals are too capable of stabilizing and strengthening the Alaskan families, also it’s a tool to build a strong and viable foundation for the coming generations. Alaskan elder plays a significant role because of their guidance and wisdom, which intern they empower, authenticate, and solve conflict within the families or community. Also the community on some occasion hold gathering to handle and communicate their community issues. But they consider family reunions as most important and useful.

Initially the extended family of the Indians was headed by the great-grandfather. He was seen as the head of the family, and he was responsible for handling all conflicts that may arise within the family. Another male member of the family was considered to provide security and the women were responsible for caring for the family. The collection of elders from different family form counsel of elders that are responsible for handling conflicts within the community. Therefore elders in the Alaskan community were most respected because of the wisdom and life experience they pose. They educate other junior members of the community about their responsibility in the family and cultural practices. They also lead the whole community in religious and traditional ceremonies. This was possible in the initial days when there was no advancement in the technology and development of a modern system of governance.

However, nowadays the traditional way of life has been changing with the development of the modern governance systems and improvement of the technology. Many aspects of the community’s ways of life have changed. The current governance of the country has eliminated the council of elders’ duties. Today conflict among communities or individuals is solved in court. And there is an administration system that governs every region in the country. The improvement in technology regarding social media or network have also affected families’ reunion. Many people prefer socializing with each other through social media to being physically present. Social media have interfered with the interpersonal relationship in the community and also in families that have led to cultural misleads of the youth member of the community. Due to technology respect that the youth have over the elders has declined. Youth learn misleading information from the internet, and others get involved in drug trafficking that destroys their lives. On the other hand, the lifespan of people has been reduced. Many people in families die at an early age. This has led to a reduced number of elders that can be used to educate youths. Therefore youth have turned to social media to get information, and it’s where they are misled by adopting other community cultures.

 Part 3

The initial community way of governance and conflict resolution is well instructed in the interview. Each family had an overall head who was the eldest male person in the family. Also, the community was headed by the elder who was elected from the council of elders of the community, which has the responsibility of resolving conflict within the community and also leading the community in ceremonies. However, I differed with the interviewee about the title given to the head of the community. According to other reading resources, American Indians adopted the ruling system from their motherland they were led by the chief who was inherited. He was responsible handle conflict in the community and headed the community to resist community harassment from the whites. The community has a special way of clothing and domestic work that resemble their community member in India. However, because of the improvement in technology, the community’s way of life has gradually changed.

The way of life of the community is what specifies the culture of that particular community. Therefore the individual identity is based on the cultural practice he believes in. Hence Alaskans inherited their cultural practice from their motherland and implemented it in the foreign land where they settled. This show that the identity of the individual is complex because it illustrates the history of that particular community.

According to my initial interaction with my interviewee. I have noted that in some cases the interviewee does not have full information about his community. Therefore he gave me shallow information based on my expectation. Therefore in my further schedule of the interview, I should look for a person who has full information about the subject I am researching for. To make my interview more successful, I will give notice to the interviewee and provide him with humility in his research so that he can have full information about the subject researched.

I learned a lot in my first interview. It is important to proper preparation for the interview in advance so that the research should be successful. Proper preparation means that I should do my survey before the interview date and also the interviewee should get some allowance that will motivate him in my research.

References

Arciniega, M. a. (1981). A Theoretical Rationale for Cross-Cultural Family Counseling. THE SCHOOL COUNSELOR.

Bernal, F.-O. (1982). Latino Families in Therapy: Engagement and Evaluation. JOURNAL OF MARITAL AND FAMILY THERAPY.

Haley. (1976). The Saga of an American Family.

King, D. A. (2004). The Emergence of ‘Family Integrity’ in Later Life. Family Process.

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