Understanding and Counseling Those of Asian Descent

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Understanding and Counseling Those of Asian Descent

By | Feb. 2012
Page 1 of 1
In order to provide culturally sensitive counseling, we as counselors need to know and respect the traditional values of the particular ethnic group. We must also look at the wide variety of identities, languages, and cultures. Even within each ethnicity, differences in values, behaviors, and attitudes will vary based on the generation, ethnic experience, socioeconomic status, acculturation, age, gender, religion, region, sexual orientation, appearance, and history of discrimination. These factors will mold a person's perspective of himself or herself as well as how life is viewed. Naturally, counselors working with Asian American clients will need to complement their understanding of the basic information about the original culture. Initially, counselors must be knowledgeable of the basic traditions that have been recognized in this multicultural group of Asian Americans. Generalized values, behaviors, and attitudes cannot be unilaterally affixed to each client; however, an awareness of such traditions is an essential foundation for counselors' appreciation of the client's cultural background. As I was speaking with a good friend that is of Asian descent, I learned that self-control is highly valued among this ethnic group. Self-control may be demonstrated by exercising poise and calmness in the face of highly emotional experiences, maintaining dignity when confronted with pain or suffering, and sustaining modest and appropriate behavior. Modesty may be evidenced in depreciating one's own accomplishments rather than boasting about success. She also stated that an Asian you never want your family to shame you. They see shame an inappropriate behaviors that might tarnish the family's reputation. Any individual family member's failures impact the family as a whole. As a counselor in training I thought that this was very useful information for me that I will use and display often.

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