Introduction to Multicultural Counseling and Psychotherapy
This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book outlines that the need to recognize and respect individual differences and similarities within cultures becomes clearer when one considers the generational differences and social class differences among the African American, American Indian, Asian American, European American, and Hispanic American cultures. It examines cultural differences in terms of a lifespan approach and discusses their implications for counsellors and psychotherapists in multicultural settings. In summary, client differences such as culture, race, ethnicity, worldview, social class, lifespan, generation, gender, sexual orientation, and disability deserve counsellors' attention and should be reflected in all aspects of multicultural counselling. While initial efforts focused on Asian Americans, African Americans, and American Indians, the term multiculturalism was expanded to include other groups: various subcultures, racial groups, developmental periods, sexual orientation groups, gender groups, age groups, and social classes.