Friday, June 5, 2015

Multicultural Family Counseling

Family Roles

● Egalitarianism in the husband-white relationship is a Euro-American value system

● Division of roles where husband is the protector and provider while wife cares for the home and family allows both to be influential and make decisions.
o Breaking role division is done only out of necessity.
o A wife would not typically make a family decision (e.g. setting up a family therapy appointment session) without obtaining agreement from her husband. Therefore it is imperative that the counselor be culturally aware and note this behavior is culturally based and not a lack of commitment to therapy.

Nuclear Family vs. Extended Family
o Many times if a client is asked to describe or even bring along “the family” to a session more than the nuclear family may arrive.
o In many cultures, such as Latin American culture, extended family and “family” such as long time family friends or godparents play an important moral, religious and spiritual role in the client’s life.

Classism
o The importance of counseling over missing work is a world view that differs often times between that of the counselor who may find it a necessary requirement for the well being of the client, and the lower SES family to whom that time off work has a significant impact on their livelihood.
o It is important to be aware that this flexibility is a middle-upper class luxury and should not impact our perception of our clients and apply negative behavior traits to them for such inability to be flexible.

Communication Approach
o Based on the assumption that family problems are communication difficulties.
o Therapists concentrate not on improving faulty communication but also interactions and relationships among family members.
o The therapist role is active but not dominating, attempting to show families how they are now communicating and prodding them to reveal what the feel and think about themselves and what they want from the family relationship through practicing new ways of responding.

Structural Approach o Emphasizes the interlocking roles of family members.
o Families are in constant stage of change in restructuring systems and subsystems and the health of the family is contingent on the member’s abilities to recognize boundaries, alliances, and communication patterns.