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Reflection on Future Role as a Counselor for Minority Groups (Essay Sample)


With reasons, identify minority groups that you have a desire to work with in future as a counselor. What are some of the challenges these groups face? How will you handle them in your counseling sessions?


Reflection on Future Role as a Counselor for Minority Groups
Name of Student
University Reflection on Future Role as a Counselor for Minority Groups
As a future counselor, I have a strong desire to work with minority groups. These groups include racial minorities, criminal offenders, multiracial, as well as sexual minority groups (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals). The main reason I wish to work with these groups is because they constitute a marginalized section of society that is usually misunderstood as a result of social and racial stereotyping, prejudice, and rigidity of societal norms. Racial profiling, in particular, is associated with depression and other psychological disorders (Ontario Human Rights Commission, 2004). In addition, I intend to apply my knowledge in intercultural communication to work with cultural minorities. Professionally, I feel challenged to work in an environment that will expose me to cultural diversity and unique situations. I understand that working with these groups effectively requires one to shed off culture-based biases and prejudices, as well as resist popular stereotypes about minority groups.
Cultural and Racial Minorities
Cultural and racial minorities comprise groups of people who make up a small percentage of a culturally diverse society. For instance, African-Americans, Asians, Latinos, Red Indians, ad Chinese constitute the minority groups in the U.S. On the other hand, Caucasians (whites) constitute the dominant racial group. As a result of their insignificant numbers compared to the majority group, cultural and racial minorities are often sidelined in decisions and policies that affect them. A case in point is the failure of the constitution to recognize customary laws that govern marriage institutions among minority groups, which illustrates the way in which these communities are marginalized. For instance, some communities in the U.S, such as Asians, are still governed by patriarchal principles, which recognize the man as the head and sole bread winner of the family. On their part, women are regarded as men’s subordinates in marriage, whereby they have to submit to the authority of their husbands. This situation presents cultural challenges when one is counseling couples experiencing family problems as a result of the wife’s unwillingness to conform to societal expectations of her. For example, a modern Chinese wife may wish to pursue her career by taking up a job. This may conflict with what a patriarchal society expects of her; engaging in domestic chores like child rearing and home keeping.
In counseling this group of clients, I will aim to resist stereotypical descriptions of cultural minorities, which paint them as uncivilized and steeped in archaic practices (Corey, 2012). I will approach counseling sessions by having an open mind and appreciating the value of their culture’s values. One mistake that counselors may make is to admonish the man for being out of touch with the modern society in which men and women have equal rights under the constitution. Thus, I will first seek to win their trust and confidence by understanding how their culture dictates husband-wife relationship in marriage. My role as a counselor is not to prescribe solutions, but to help the clients understand their situation and make appropriate decisions on their own. For instance, I’ll ask the man if he can sufficiently provide for the family’s needs without his wife’s help. I’ll point out the ways in which allowing his wife to work will help him and the family. I will then encourage them to discuss their financial situations, family responsibilities (taking care of children), and consider if getting a maid to help with household chores can solve their problem. In this way, I will help couples from minority groups see themselves as important individuals and authors of their own destiny, and not victims of western values.
Sexual Minorities
Sexual minorities are individuals whose sexuality is regarded as unnatural and, therefore, unacceptable in society. They include lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender individuals, collectively labeled as LGBTs. Individuals who belong to any of these groups are often stigmatized and marginalized from the mainstream society due to their queer sexual behaviors. Consequently, persons who are anything but heterosexual are usually emotionally alienated from the rest of society, including the peers, friends, and family members. Consequently, they are often afraid of social rejection, castigation, and moral condemning from other members of society. In this regard, my interest to work with this group of clients is informed by my awareness of the challenges they face living in a society that frowns upon same-sex relationships. My goal is to help these socially rejected groups to “come out” and live open and fulfilling lives. I also hope to work with young people, who constitute a large number of the LGBTs and are the most affected by their unconventional sexual orientation. This is mainly due to the “pressures within the school and peer environment as well as struggles with “coming out’” (Sue & Sue, 2013, p. 478). Adolescents face a bigger problem because they depend on their families and relatives for emotional, financial, and moral support. The fear of social rejection may prevent them from leading normal lives, because revealing their sexual identities is likely to disconnect them from other family members both socially and emotionally. For cultural and racial minorities who are also gay or lesbian, their situation is made even worse as a result of double marginalization; rejection from their own ethnic members on the one hand and racism from the dominant culture on the other (Sue & Sue, 2013, p. 479). Adults may face the additional challenge revealing their sexuality when looking for marriage partners.
In this consideration, my role as a counselor for sexual minorities is to help affected individuals develop “coping and survival skills” that will enable them deal with “possible rejection from friends and family members” (Sue & Sue 2013, p. 477). Therefore, my role will be encouraging clients in same-sex relationships, bisexuals, and transgender individuals to come out in the open and discuss their sexuality as one way of coping with phobias that result from “internalized and external heterosexism” (Sue & Sue, 2013, p. 479). The concepts of “internalized and external heterosexism” refer to the set of societal values and beliefs about the proper sexual relationships, i.e. those that are accepted by society as “normal.”
My approach in dealing with this group of individuals is by avoiding misconceptions about the psychological condition of LGBT persons. Counselors may be tempted to think along societal beliefs that being a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is a symptom of a psychological or social disorder. This reasoning may tempt counselors to use treatment therapies aimed at reversing their clients’ sexual orientation. Although well-intended, this approach may convince the clients that their natural sexuality is questionable and, therefore, not acceptable in society. With this understanding, my approach will involve helping sexual minority groups accept their sexuality as normal and develop coping skills to allow them overcome prejudices, social rejection, and rejection.
Individuals with Multiracial Descent
Multiracial individuals in...
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