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Benefits/Oppressions of Culturally Diverse Populations

By keriolds Jan 21, 2013 413 Words
Course 6723: Week 1 – Application Assignment:
Benefits/Oppression of Culturally Diverse Populations
Keri Olds
Walden University

Course 6723: Week 1 – Application Assignment:
Benefits/Oppression of Culturally Diverse Populations
The history and theories of counseling and psychology have both benefited and oppressed culturally diverse populations. It is common knowledge that the founding fathers of counseling were all white males of the socioeconomic status of middle to upper class. Therefore, the majority of theories are rooted in research and evidence that assists this particular group. However, as the world becomes more and more diverse, the one size fits all counseling theories no longer service the needs of the clients. Therapists must be cognoscente of the populations he or she services and the techniques best suited to fit these needs.

As Sue & Sue state, “If deviations from the majority are considered abnormal, then many ethnic and racial minorities that exhibit strong cultural differences from the majority have to be so classified.” (p. 93). For example take IQ tests, achievement tests, and personality inventories. What is considered normal within one culture may be considered abnormal within another. It has been a long held belief that black males feel as though “The Man” is out to get them (Sue & Sue, 2013). It has been through various personality assessments that African Americans have been found to be suspicious, mistrustful, and paranoid (Sue & Sue, 2013). However, what was not considered throughout these findings was that African Americans have been discriminated against throughout time and therefore have reason to behave in such ways (Sue & Sue, 2013). In fact, in Grier and Cobbs’ book Black Rage (as cited in Sue & Sue, 2013), it was noted that African Americans had to use a variety of survival techniques in order to survive the racial society in which they lived. In essence what was perceived as abnormal behavior that of suspicion and mistrust, turned into the survival skills needed to protect this particular group from potential harm.

The counseling relationship is an ever-revolving process. There is no one set of standards and techniques that can be applied to each and every group. Throughout the years therapists have come to the realization that additional strategies need to be imposed and that not all situations can be viewed and evaluated with the same lens. The clinician must be introspective of his or her own particular world views and adjust his or her practice to meet the needs of the diverse populations he or she serves.

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