Cultural issues in counselling
DOI link for Cultural issues in counselling
Cultural issues in counselling book
Despite the continual development of multicultural and pluralistic societies across Europe and North America, cultural differences are still viewed as barriers to effective communication rather than as opportunities to deepen our understanding of and compassion for diverse human experiences. It is widely accepted that attitudes and behaviours are learned in cultural contexts and that people develop multiple identities to help them manage a complex and changing world (Pederson, 1996). However, the politics of minority versus majority cultures represents a key additional dimension within the cross-cultural counselling or helping relationship. This chapter discusses this phenomenon within a British context and focuses on the relationship between majority teachers and minority students. In particular, it focuses on the challenges and opportunities involved in counselling and supporting students whose lives have been affected by the additional experience of racial discrimination. Children of African and Asian descent will be discussed because of the degree of psychological harm resulting from being stereotyped, racially abused and excluded from dominant white British cultures (Henley and Schott, 1999). Throughout this chapter, such children will be referred to as ‘black’. In this way the centrality of colour in relationships between black students and white teachers is highlighted and developing pride in black identity is presented as an aide to self-esteem and an antidote to racism.