“What Is Intercultural Counselling And How Does It

3250 Words13 Pages
Kareem 1978 defined intercultural therapy as: “A form of dynamic psychotherapy that takes into account the whole being of the patient – not only the individual concepts and constructs as presented to the therapist, but also the patient’s communal life experience in the world – both past and present. The very fact of being from another culture involves both conscious and unconscious assumptions in patient and therapist.” (edited Dupont-Joshua 2003 p3) We are increasingly a ‘global village’ world where a greater than ever number of people are on the move, looking for work or economic security, dispossessed by war, escaping persecution, or simply retiring to the sun. All contemporary societies are becoming multicultural and as such there is a growing need to live with a better understanding of our differences. Since 9/11 and the advent of the ‘war on terror’ cultural misunderstandings and tensions have had some deadly consequences. In our society there are large groups of people living with the difficulties of racism, profound fear, hopelessness and loss. This makes the area of intercultural counselling increasingly important and relevant. Other mainstream counselling approaches do not give us the opportunity to explore the impact that race and identity has on the counselling process. It also provides us with a way of investigating the concerns that we all share regardless of our heritage or background. In our multicultural society we need to learn to live with difference in a constructive way. Difference should not be seen just as a problem but as a potential for growth. Both clients and counsellors bring with them certain cultural attitudes, values, beliefs and behaviours. Societal and political events apply pressures and condition us and through these events we become socialised and learn what is expected of us. We see our roles as fixed and
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