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multicultural counselling and associated challenges

America is traditionally described as the melting pot because there is a collection of various cultures that are blended and assimilated as the immigrants frame their behaviours 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 for different reasons. However, the minority in American society needs equal rights in some elements like counseling, (Newlou and Arcinega 1981). The diversity of cultures develops major difficulties for multicultural counselling. The counsellor normally has his own culture, theoretical perspective, and attitude. However, the client also has a different culture and beliefs that are not similar to those of the counsellor. Therefore, there is the problem of the multiplicity of the variables that comprise the individual’s identity, (Pedersen 1986).

Counsellors’ getting clients from different cultures is one of the most beneficial experiences in the world. There, the counsellor should be sensitive to the cultural differences of the clients. As he provides assistance based on a particular culture (American culture), he should maintain their cultural identity. Therefore, the counsellor should be trained to be aware of himself and a client’s awareness. This will help the counsellor 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 parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents. 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-grandparents 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 associated with the agrarian and industrial revolutions, they passed through all sorts of discrimination from the whites and other communities who settled in the country. Due to their large number, this assisted them in maintaining their culture, beliefs, and attitudes. However, some aspects of our culture are not practised or are not changing because our people adopt other people’s cultures as they associate with them. 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 saviour.

In my Indian community, we greatly value our families, particularly our children whom we believe 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 members 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 the 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 group or family member will be willing to assist in solving that issue. Supporting each other is everyone’s initiative to increase relationships among group or family members.

During my childhood, we played our kid game with other children within our extended family. There was no barrier between us. Everyone of the same age as mine was considered my cousin, and we socialized freely without a problem. This assists us in developing a strong relationship with us that improves our unity and friendship. There was a problem when we joined schools because everyone joined different schools which led us to break our friendships and create 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 different cultures. We met with the students from different backgrounds, and the teacher’s background taught us. Therefore, it was used to exchange cultural practices. But my identity was obvious because of my skin colour. 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.

I am similar to people with the same identity in many ways. The first way we are similar is the appearance that our skin colour 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 am not interested in adopting other communities’ cultures.

Part 2

Family oneness is the main aspect of the American Indian culture. The aspect of family reunion is an essential ritual that contributes to Alaska families’ health care, survival, and endurance. This assists in maintaining 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 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 family structure 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 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 elders play a significant role because of their guidance and wisdom, which empower, authenticate, and solve conflict within the families or community. Also, the community sometimes holds gatherings to handle and communicate their community issues. However, they consider family reunions to be the 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 was responsible for handling all conflicts that may arise within the family. Another male family member was considered to provide security and the women cared for the family. The collection of elders from different families forms counsel of elders who are responsible for handling conflicts within the community. Therefore, elders in the Alaskan community were respected because of their wisdom and life experience. They educate other junior members of the community about their responsibilities 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 modern governance systems and technology improvement. Many aspects of the community’s ways of life have changed. The current governance of the country has eliminated the duties of the Council of Elders. Today, conflict among communities or individuals is solved in court. There is an administrative system that governs every region in the country. The improvement in technology regarding social media or networks has also affected families’ reunions. Many people prefer socializing with each other through social media to being physically present. Social media has interfered with the interpersonal relationships in the community and in families and has led to cultural misleads of the young members 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, people’s lifespans have been reduced. Many people in families die at an early age. This has led to fewer elders that can be used to educate youths. Therefore, youth have turned to social media to get information, 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, which 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, who 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 for handling 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 resembles their community member in India. However, because of technological improvements, the community’s way of life has gradually changed.

The way of life of the community 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 shows 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 the interviewee sometimes does not have full information about his community. Therefore, he gave me shallow information based on my expectations. Therefore, in my further schedule of the interview, I should look for a person who has full information about the subject I am researching. 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 prepare properly 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 the interviewee should get some allowance to motivate him in my research.


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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