Counseling Clients

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, Mental health professional, Identity Pages: 7 (1930 words) Published: September 3, 2013
Case Study in Cultural Identity

Walden Student

Walden University

Case Study in Cultural Identity

Mental health counselor at some point in counseling will address complexities in determining some identity of clients. Racial identity and consideration is “paramount” to the mental health of any client (Sue & Sue, 2008). Counselor’s must recognize cultural perspectives; understanding how clients see the world, and function as products of their environments. Navigating through complexities of identity will be dependent upon the therapist ability to understand how clients respond to the race of the counselor; which will depend on his or her racial identity development (Sue & Sue, 2008).

Keeping in mind that the evolution of counseling digressed from Western European ideologies, in which its theories reflect groups of study and research (Sue & Sue, 2008). This ideological perspective creates problems in cross cultural counseling. A developed theory such as the ADDRESSING Framework introduced by Pamela Hays supports a more diverse population of groups that are main focuses of study (Hays, 2008). According to Hays, the ADRESSING Framework model can encourage counselors to examine their prejudices, biasness, and effects of oppression on clients; the expression of group affiliation and the determination of persons that have been misrepresented by the dominant culture (Hays, 2008). For our specific case study we explored aspects of our interviewee’s cultural identity; focusing on nine main cultural influences which are addressed below.

Interviewee Profile

The interviewee for this case study is a 32 year old, Caucasian; male who is married in a heterosexual marriage. He identifies as middle class, owning his home and maintaining full-time dependable employment. He identifies as a practicing Catholic in which religion is salient in various elements of his family life. Our interviewee, most interestingly expressed a deep appreciation for his early childhood upbringing. Early socialization contributed to his success as a productive law abiding citizen; in which he feels a moral and ethical duty to his fellow man and woman.

ADDRESSING Framework/Model

|Age |32 years of age born in 1981, in Fresno California. | |Disabilities |No visible signs of disabilities mentioned; is in stable and excellent visible health. | |Religion |Raised as a Catholic and still practices Catholicism. | |Ethnic & Racial Identity |White, European American with English and German ancestry. | |Social Class |Owning and Middle class (with access to higher education). | |Sex Orientation |Heterosexual. | |Indigenous Heritage |Non-native. | |National Origin |U.S. born. American citizen. | |Gender |Male |


Sue and Sue (2008) encourage the significance of examining multicultural identity from three perspectives, seeking to conceptualize the complexity of understanding global approaches to counseling. Aspects of identity associated with our interviewee included the following: impacts of race/culture on worldviews, socio-economic affiliations, and religious identity. The following questions were presented:

• If you can please list any...

References: Hays, P. A. (2008). Addressing cultural complexities in practice: Assessment, diagnosis, and therapy. (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2007). Multicultural counseling [Course media]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Obst, P., & Stafurik, J. (2010). Online we are all able bodied: Online psychological sense of community and social support found through membership of disability-specific websites promotes well-being for people living with a physical disability. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 20(6), 525-531.
Rao, S., & Petroff, J. (2011). 'He is more like us, looking for a person to date and eventually share his life with ': Perspectives of undergraduate students on being a member of a 'circle of support. Disability & Society, 26(4), 463-475.
Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2008). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice.  (5th ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
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