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Project Implicit

By nicovah Oct 06, 2012 1028 Words
Project Implicit: Attitudes and Beliefs
Nicole Deirdre Vahai
Walden University
Application Week 2: Attitudes and Beliefs
Project Implicit: Attitudes and Beliefs
This application paper will discuss how the self-assessment tool provided by Project Implicit (n.d.) provides an opportunity to look at the degree of bias I how about bout various diverse populations. As suggested by Dermer, S. B., Smith, S. D., & Barto, K. K. (2010) correctly identify prejudice is an important first step in overcoming it in society and in counseling. I participated in two studies of populations involving diversity. The first was about preference between other people and Arab Muslims and the second was about my more positive implicit attitudes toward gay people (Project Implicit, n.d.). This application paper assignment will briefly summarize the results of the assessment and explain the insights I gained based on my assessment of the results and the impact on the delivery of counseling techniques. I will be specific and use examples to support my explanations. Brief summary

In my two self-assessments one concluded I had little or no automatic preferences between Other People and Arab Muslims and the other self-assessment I showed a moderate preference for Gay Men compared to Straight People. My data suggest a slight preference for Straight People compared to Gay People. Insights based on my assessments

I think the insights I learned based on my self-assessments are pretty clear. I was raised in an abusive household growing up and didn’t feel safe around straight men. I then married two rather abusive men and have had a number of partners that seemed perfectly safe, but were later abusive or lied and cheated. I don’t much trust my choice in men or the men who are attracted to me. I trust men who are attracted to other men. Perhaps, I extend this lack of trust to gay women as well, as a fear that gay women might also be abusive to other gay women. I have heard this stereotype and have had many gay female friends who have reported that this is true, at least to a small degree. So, generally speaking, I have problems in trusting sexual relationships, so I have a bias to like and trust gay men. I just had no idea that my bias was that noticeable. I have always been drawn to men that were non-threatening and I think of gay men as non-threatening, for whatever reason. Probably based on life experiences. I have had many gay male friends, I find them to be comforting, warm and generally trustworthy.

My other non-bias towards Arabs and Non Arabs comes from my Anthropological and worldview. I grew up in San Francisco and did our laundry two blocks from my house at an Arab laundry. The ladies at the laundry were always nice and I certainly didn’t see them as terroristists. I think this terrorist propaganda instills irrational fear in people. It demonizes people. The average person wants to raise children, live a decent existence and avoid violence and catastrophe. There are religious zealots, but they are not lurking behind every corner. I truly believe in the person centered view that people are basically good (Erford, 2010). While flying back from residency, I watched a movie I would highly recommend about the politics of the Middle East called “Salmon Fishing in Yemen”. This movie touched me profoundly and made me really think about the human element of the Arab nations. It illustrates how an influential prince tries to bridge the political, religious and cultural differences of the East and the West with inspiring but also tragic results. I think that it is important in our work that we keep an open mind when trying to solve complex problems of our pluralistic world that may involve our individual clients. The other influence is that I studied Anthropology in college and I think that studying the universals of culture and people makes me focus on our universals and our commonalties and all of the things we have in common, rather than on the insane things we fight about. Delivery of services

When I think of delivering counseling services, I would think what are my known biases I bring with me into the session and what are the assumptions or biases are present in society that might be inadvertently influencing me? While I may not be knowingly or willingly racist, I know racism exists, I am not naïve. In terms of delivery of service, I try to connect with people on a human level and get below race, gender and what is less important. I think I will have to be particularly focused on how to have a therapeutic relationship with couples and with straight men. I am currently pursuing counseling about some of my relationship issues, and will definitely bring this to the table as another thing that I want to actively evaluate. I try to acknowledge what is important to the person culturally, racially, in terms of gender and to accept, validate and appreciate the differences. When I worked as a residential mental health coordinator for group homes for three years, I would simply tell my potential residents, I work from a place of mutual respect. It seemed to work wonders for developing a good working relationship in that setting because it made people feel empowered (who had been homeless). I think when you honor someone as a person and not a type of person therapeutic relationship building begins. I really do try to analyze my own biases, even in everyday life. I think of it more as a philosophy and as an approach to being human. I think this is why I am drawn to the existential and Gestalt approaches to counseling as well (Erford, 2010). References

Erford, B. (2010). Orientation to Counseling Profession: Advocacy, Ethics and Essential Professional Foundations.

Dermer, S., Smith, S., & Barto, K. (2010). Identifying and correctly labeling sexual prejudice, discrimination, and oppression. Journal of Counseling & Development, 88(3), 325–331.

Project Implicit. (n.d.). (Executive Producers). Retrieved from

Salmon Fishing in Yemen Retrieved from

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