Culturally Relevant Strategies
COUN5336 Counseling and Advocacy with Diverse Populations
February 24, 2013
Dr. Kaisha Thomas
Mental health counseling was not the career path in which I envisioned myself embarking on. Becoming a mental health counselor has many challenges and benefits. Along my career path I have had the pleasure of getting to know a variety of positions within mental health. Finding the definition of a mental health counselor can be defined as having compassion, being inquisitive, and having the need to help the mentally ill. Mental health counselors must have in place the right tools in order to properly aid those who are seeking mental health counseling. Mental health counselors face a very daunting task that will probably never seize to end but is a task that is well worth doing. Mental health counselors do indeed advocate for people within a marginalized society. Mental health counselors often act as change agents for both the community and individuals, thus leading the way for both consultation and advocacy within the profession. The end goal of completing my degree and becoming an LCPC is to counsel the aging population hopefully at the VA. A role I will take on as my professional career takes off in the direction of a mental health counselor will be that of consultant with the intent and abilities to advocate for more client services. The mentally ill population consists of people from all walks of life and age groups. Counseling the mentally has it’s rewards for all groups of mental ill persons. A diverse group, in which I am not a member of, yet will be counseling often are elderly African Americans. This will be a group a will need to be more resourceful with when it comes time to counsel them. “African Americans have a high rate of therapy termination. Termination often reflects a counselor’s inability to establish a therapeutic alliance.” (Sue & Sue, 2013)
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Chandler, D., A 'Vant, E. R. & Graves, S. L. (2008). Effective Communication With Black Families and Students. Vol. 37, #3. Retrieved February 24, 2013 from http://www.nasponline.org/publications/cq/mocq373blackfamilies_handout.aspx
Koenig, H. G. (2009). Research on religion, spirituality, and mental health: A review. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 54(5), 283-91. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/222845928?accountid=27965
Moe, J. L., Perera-Diltz, D., & Sepulveda, V. (2010). Are Consultation and Social Justice Advocacy Similar?: Exploring the Perceptions of Professional Counselors Counseling Students. Journal For Social Action In Counseling & Psychology, 2(2), 106-123.
Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2008). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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