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Clinical Supervision: Models, Role, Legal & Ethical, Cultural Competency, & Transference
Introduction to Cultural Competency in Supervision
The emphasis on the importance of cultural differences and the introduction of constructivism raises the question as to whether all counseling is multicultural. (When questions are stated, the learner/supervisor needs to be aware this is a suggestion for a question you might ask your supervisee.) Do you ever wonder if multicultural counseling has just become a politically correct term for emphasizing the differences that exist among individuals and groups?
In this section, we will discuss the supervisee’s need to move beyond stereotypes in counseling culturally different clients. I have found that there are three approaches to moving beyond stereotypes in multicultural counseling. These three approaches are, 1. Intercultural versus Intracultural Differences, 2. Transculturalism, and 3. the Tridimensional Approach.
Three Approaches to Moving Beyond Stereotypes
#1 Intercultural versus Intracultural Differences
Do you agree? Thus, what distinguishes the anthropological concept of culture from the psychological concept is the serious consideration of intracultural differences in the psychological concept. The implications of this distinction for supervisees is to ask how the client is the same as his or her cultural group, as well as how the client is different from his or her cultural group. This question is important, as you know, because if multicultural counseling is limited to intercultural differences alone, the result is overgeneralization, stereotyping, and ineffective counseling.
According to Ho, to avoid these hazards of overgeneralization and stereotyping, it is important to adopt two theories to sensitize multicultural counseling to group differences. These two theories are the cultural identity development theory and the second-culture acquisition theory.
According to the cultural identity development theory, culture is resilient as cultural traditions survive and persevere over time. However, in addition, the second-culture acquisition theory states that culture is modifiable by both internal and external influences. In taking the intercultural versus intracultural differences approach, I feel that to set appropriate boundaries, multicultural counseling needs to adopt both theories despite their apparent contradictions.
The point of the transculturalism approach is to emphasize that all counseling is cross-cultural because no two individuals have the same internalized culture. Thus, clearly, the ability to transcend your own culture, as a supervisor, will enhance your ability to avoid culturocentrism and stereotyping of your culturally different clients. To set appropriate boundaries, the degree to which you are aware of your own cultural biases is the degree to which you can be a sensitive cross-cultural supervisor. Ethically, you may need to explore your own internalized culture, as well as your culturally different client’s internalized culture.
#3 Tridimensional Approach
I have found that with the tridimensional approach, you may want to consider an analysis of your client’s subjective reality, as well as how that subjective reality may overlap with his or her primary culture. As you may have guessed, this approach, like the transcultural approach discussed earlier on this track, emphasizes a need for supervisees to be aware of their own world view before they can understand, accept, and work within the world view of their culturally different clients.
In other words, a supervisee should be aware of how his or her subjective world view is interfacing with his or her culturally different client’s world view. As you know, this can be done by identifying the similarities and differences between the supervisee’s world view and the client’s world view. Obviously, this requires the supervisee to adopt a belief that his or her culturally different client is their cultural equal despite the differences between supervisee and client.
In this section, we have discussed three approaches to moving beyond stereotypes in multicultural counseling. These three approaches were, 1. Intercultural versus Intracultural Differences, 2. Transculturalism, and 3. a Tridimensional Approach.
In the next section, we will discuss the "Four Common Approaches to Multi-Cultural Training". These four common approaches are the Universal Approach, the Ubiquitous Approach, the Traditional Approach, and the Race-Based Approach.
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