Coming from a religiously active and culturally White-oriented background, some of the most important cultural beliefs would be ethnicity, religion, and social class. Ethnicity is a major determinant in counseling due to the influence of cultural beliefs. Different cultures instigate different beliefs and different ways of thinking. Different ethical backgrounds may cause a clash with beliefs and may either build or mislead any of the two parties involved in counseling, the client, and the counselor. It is due to the influence of religion on beliefs such as equality and spirituality on life. Social class, on the other hand, determines psychological standards; fostering beliefs such as the rich cannot understand poor peoples problems.
My grandparents would be interested in any information on counseling and would consider counseling useful. It is because many of the elderly do consider the new world to be very hectic and with little time for emotional and psychological support, leading to confusion. The most important advice they might offer me would be how to deal with the youth, whom they find to hold very differing views on life than themselves. They would advise me to try and find an even ground with all ethnic groups as well as all age groups. It would enable me to not only have an all-rounded look at life and counseling, but also to have the fodder necessary to make an actual change during therapy.
The most influential ritual in my culture is fellowshipping. Fellowshipping is the coming together of people with whom I share the same beliefs to share our beliefs, strengths and weaknesses in following our faith. Fellowshipping is a very psychotherapeutic activity since it offers one of the best examples of cultural counseling. During this practice, people get to share their experiences, the challenges they are facing in life and how it has influenced their success or failure in overcoming these challenges. Therefore, many of those participating get a chance to receive advice from other people who have faced similar challenges.
Counseling activities help in building my understanding of the different ways of thinking by people under different circumstances. Since counseling entails the understanding of peoples situation and providing the best advice on how to deal with their situation, such cultural activities as holding a fellowship with others provide important information on counseling. It is because this activity in itself is a form of counseling. Through this activity, I get to understand how to provide counseling to people without being judgmental while making sure that I follow up to ensure there is progress in my work.
However, my cultural values may influence choices in my counseling approach. The most influence possible would probably be taking a personal approach to counseling. There is the advantage that I may end up understanding my clients at a much deeper level. It is a good starting point in understanding their situations and providing the best counsel. However, it has the disadvantage of holding the risk of mixing work and personal matters.
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