Systems and Multicultural Approaches
August 5, 2015
Systems and Multicultural Approaches
In today’s society most career counseling and guidance practitioners would readily acknowledge that each client is unique, and that individual differences must be accepted and respected. As a result many theories or approaches have come into play taking these factors into consideration. However, practice - based on theories taught during initial training and subsequently developed into 'action theories' in the field - often reflects the assumption that a particular interviewing approach is transferable across a wide range of clients. Multicultural Therapy and the Systems Approach challenge these views. Multicultural Therapy or Counseling refers to a counseling relationship in which the client and therapist are of different ethnicities, cultures, races and backgrounds. These include race, sex, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, language, geographical location or socioeconomic backgrounds. A counselor or client’s racial or cultural identity influences how problems are defined and dictates or defines appropriate counseling, goals or processes. The therapist sees a client’s description of their life stories as different ways of constructing meaning out of their life experiences. The multicultural approach has gone global and is used all over the world and many feel that a counselor can no longer ethically treat a client if they do not understand the cultural influences in the therapeutic relationship. The Systems Theory consists of environmental factors that can shape and mold a person’s personality and behavior. The systems theory helps social workers understand how the client’s surroundings and the client’s environment help determine and are determined by those who make up the environment in which the client lives or is involved in. Once the social worker can determine the dynamics of the situation the social worker is better able to figure out a way to create a positive change in the client’s situation to help bring about a better more positive way of living. In the first case study you could use both the multicultural approach and the systems theory as a method of counseling. My reason for this is at the age of 78 is not being taken seriously when he says he wants to work. He is well trained as a landscape architect and helped to design recreational areas in five cities. These are things that you forget just because you get old. They send him away at the community center by saying he’s not current when the reality is he could have probably helped with some community gardening or some other task. So he starts to act out he is lonely and now frustrated because they didn’t hire him. He resorts to solicitation because he is lonely and because it’s a way to strike out and prove that he is aware enough of the local trends to know where to go and pick up a lady of the night. It fits the multicultural approach because of his age and his concerns about how the jurors would view him at trial and the systems theory because his loneliness and rejection from the community center plus the fact that his family is so far away caused him to act in the manner that he did. Counseling to help him deal with his loneliness in a constructive manner and possibly find a hobby other than solicitation to help keep him occupied.
In case study number 2 this case study falls under the multicultural approach. David is a 22 year old gay male who is being forced to continue a relationship for fear that his partner might out him if he ends the relationship. David is also concerned that he may have to quit his job because of bias at work if his colleagues found out he was gay. In addition also concerned about possible jail time because he has an outstanding warrant and afraid inmates may treat him badly if they find out he is gay. This would deal with the multicultural issue of the fears of the gay and...
References: Flamand, L .General Systems Theory in Social Work . 2010
Parrott, III, L. (2003). Counseling and Psychotherapy (2nd ed.). : Thompson Learning
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