Diversity and Counselling Assignment Essay

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iversity UNDERSTANDING CULTURAL DIVERSITY 2012 10/1/2012 UNDERSTANDING CULTURAL DIVERSITY 2012 10/1/2012 When we think of our society “our community”, we usually think of a group of people living closely together who share one and the same culture. However, this is not always the case; we live in a multicultural society which means we live in a society where people of different races, cultures and religions, live, work and communicate. To be able to counsel people in our diverse society, a counselor must have knowledge of different cultures in order to provide effective counseling techniques. Culture encompasses the customs, norms, traditions, shared values, history, arts, folklore and institutions belonging to a group of people. When working with people from various cultures, we need to consider whether they were brought up in an individualistic society or a collective society. Individualistic societies, such as Canada, focus on the individual person, praise independence and tend to revolve on what is best for each individual. Collective societies are less individualistic because individuals learn to work for the good of the entire family. If a counselor can't speak the language of the client, he/she should have translators available or a relative of the client who can interpret if the client is comfortable with that. There are many different dialects in some cultures, so familiarity with dialect is important. Misunderstandings can occur if the interpreter is unfamiliar and interprets incorrectly. Acknowledge cultural diversity and appreciate its value to aid the client. To further help in understanding cultural diversity and what we as counsellors can do, I chose the peoples of El Salvador as an example culture. First some basic facts: El Salvador is located in Central & South America, the

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