Cultural Awareness Paper

n the last unit, we began to consider the characteristics of counselors and clients with respect to culture, class, and language, and how important it is to be mindful of how we attend to these in our counseling practice. In this exercise we will be asked to take our personal exploration further by investigating our own cultural heritage and its impact on our worldviews.

Sue and Sue (2013) define worldview as the way “people perceive their relationship to the world” (p. 136) and explain that our worldviews are related to our cultural upbringing and experiences. They also explain that our worldviews are “composed of our attitudes, values, opinions, and concepts, [and] also affect how we think, define events, make decisions, and behave” (p. 137).

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For this assignment you will need to interview at least one family member, and you may wish to include more as you investigate your own cultural background. Based upon the data you gather from the interview process, your own reflections, and at least two peer-reviewed articles that address counselor characteristics and cultural heritage, address the following points.

Awareness of Your Cultural Heritage

  • Describe your and your family’s (either birth or adopted) cultural heritage (for example, your paternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from Italy, and your maternal grandparents emigrated from Ireland).
  • Share the cultural traditions that have been passed down in your family.
  • Does your family have one or more religious or spiritual traditions?
  • Consider your cultural heritage in terms of those aspects of which you and your family are:
    • Most proud.
    • Ashamed.
  • What aspects of your cultural heritage have been or currently do result in discrimination and oppression for you and your family?
  • What aspects of your cultural heritage have been or do currently result in privileges for you and your family?
  • How does your worldview contribute to your ideas about the purpose of counseling, role of the counselor, and approaches to therapy that you’ll be using in your work with clients from diverse backgrounds?
  • Consider potential barriers or opportunities your worldview could present in counseling a client of a different:
    • Ethnicity or race.
    • Gender.
    • Socioeconomic status.

Strategies to Overcome Your Cultural Competence Limitations

  • Identify and discuss at least one competency from each of the aspects of multicultural competence (awareness, knowledge, skill) that would be important to apply in ensuring that you eliminate these barriers.

Your paper should be a maximum of 7 pages long and should include at least two references from current peer reviewed journals. You may include your text as a reference as well. Use APA 6th edition format for all citations and references.

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