Racial Cultural Identity Developement Model

Topics: Culture, Sociology, United States, Minority group / Pages: 7 (1560 words) / Published: Jul 25th, 2012

Racial/Cultural Identity Development Model

Ericka Ashe-Lane

Troy University

One of the most promising approaches to the field of multicultural counseling/therapy has been the work on racial/cultural identity development among minority groups. This model acknowledges within groups differences that have implications for treatment. The high failure-to-return rate of many clients seems to be intimately connected to the mental health professional’s inability to assess the cultural identity of clients accurately. The model also acknowledges sociopolitical influences shaping minority identity.

Atkinson, Morten, and Sue (1979, 1989, 1998; Sue & Sue, 2008) proposed a five-stage Minority Identity Development Model (MID) in an attempt to pull out common features that cut across various groups. The Racial/Cultural Identity Model is comprised of five stages; the Conformity Stage, the Dissonance and Appreciating Stage, the Resistance and Immersions Stage, the Introspection Stage, and the Integrative Awareness Stage. Within each, stage Atkinson et al., (1998; Sue & Sue, 2008) highlight the client’s attitudes for self, others of the same minority group, others of a different minority group and attitudes towards the dominate group.

In the Conformity Stage, minority individuals are distinguished by their unequivocal preference for dominant cultural values over their own. An example of the conformity stage is illustrated in the excerpt from Nisei student’s journal (1989; Sue & Sue, 2008). She identified more with the white culture having been born and raised in Arizona. She dislikes her Asian features and wanted Caucasian features. She found the Asian women unattractive and the Asian men less desirable than their Caucasian counterparts. Unlike minority groups,

References: Sue, S. & Zane, N. (1987). The role of culture and cultural techniques in psychotherapy: A critique and reformulation. American Psychologist, 42, 37-45. Wing Sue, Derald; Sue, David (2008). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ, US: John Wiley & Sons Inc. xxiii 552 pp.

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