Cultural Heritage Impacts on Worldviews Essay
Culture is a topic that has been adversely addressed in various subjects. Its implications to today life remain important because naturally culture is not static. Culture defines various societies and therefore how people come out to deal with various life situations. In psychology culture influence how counselors handle their clients and how culture weights in the situation of clients. The first important point to be considered is the impacts of cultural influence on a counselor. This is an aspect to consider in the training of professional counseling because it holds the key to therapy success.
Key words: Culture, worldview, stereotype, counseling, cultural heritage
Cultural Heritage Impacts on Worldviews
The development of human society has been marred with the contrasting schools of thought of nature versus that nurture. The debate revolves around the acquisition of traits by individuals and group in the society. It places emphasis on how acquisition, transfer and progression of various life capabilities in people’s lives. This distinctive process is that through which a certain sense of identity is developed. This identity is culture. Culture is very important in understanding why certain things occur in such societies. Thus an act that is normal for a given group might be completely unacceptable for another. This paper seeks to show how an individual’s cultural heritage can influence their career in counseling. It emphasizes how my cultural background stimulates growth positively or negatively in the field of counseling. This is done with consideration of a worldwide view. The emphasis is how my personal identity is developing for success in counseling (Corey & California State University, 2013).
Culture is mostly referred to as a people way of life. It is meant to include all those aspects of doing things in the form of ideals, knowledge, traits and attitudes. It also includes forms of food, dressing amongst others. These aspects of culture are often learned through various processes and transferred from one generation to the next through the institution of the family. Culture is so exclusive by designing some ways of this transfer.
However, the transfer is never a holistic process especially in today’s world where societies are open and there are various human interactions. The interactions strongly define what proceeds to the next generation as some part of the culture die out. This tool is important in documenting what I perceived as my culture, and therefore normal before proceeding to interview members of my family (Corey & California State University, 2013).
Summary of Family Discussion and Personal Reflections
I have always believed that I am an American citizen because I was born here and more so as reflected in my identity card. I have in various occasions perceived my personality as a person of strong character eager to win. The dire need for success fronted by illusionary focus always felt hurt especially when I lost. In those instances when I lost to a male white it felt somehow bad but a bit normal. In other cases where I lost to a lady white, it was a question of how possible that could be. Nonetheless, in cases where I lost to a black, I often asked myself how that is possible. For instance, this tore me down in junior high whilst in a baseball game. A quick analysis of this bit of my personal development could to some extent depict me as a sexist, racist and a bad loser. The latter is probable a fact I can have easily admitted to. However, the former two were never in the picture. It is often an aspect of always being on the winning side.
In this development, everything seemed normal. This is attributed to the idea that though not being a Native American in a pure sense, I form part of the ‘new’ American based on the established culture. According to my father, I was supposed to be the best. In stances where my sisters outshone me, I had to feel the heat of not doing better amongst them. So again and again it felt like this was a family line of the Americans. After a talk with my family, I realized that my paternal origin is British while my maternal one has some aspects of German. Sparingly, my mother has always had a perfect American ascent to detect. Nobody admitted to knowing any member of our family who is not Catholic though at least the family is not that religious. Of course occasionally we would honor major events in the calendar of the church (Student Sir Name, 2014).
My cultural Aspects of Pride and Shame
The parts of my cultural heritage I am proud of include language, openness and outgoing. The language made it easy for my family to blend when they migrated into America. English for me remains the popular language and an important factor as a communication medium which is also a vital tool in counseling. The pride comes in speaking by association American English though it borrows heavily from British English. The nature of openness and outgoing is brought by the interaction of various cultures in America. I think in this set up, I have strongly developed in a multicultural environment. On the same note, as a person from the majority, it has been possible to have things in a bit easy way. It cannot go without mentioning that it is possible that this point might be detrimental based on the effects on other cultures from the American culture (Collins & Arthur, 2010).
The description above is somehow inherent that the attributes I exhibited are from the societies of United Kingdom and America. These attributes transferred or acquired contribute to the shaping of my worldview. However, this would be a barrier in two ways. In one way, it would be detrimental to assume that my therapy sessions will always be successful.
The second situation is the level of confidence in me as perceived by other patients. If clients, especially those from different cultural background as America, should hold a cultural view then it would imply that I cannot effectively help them out. As such, counseling development should be envisaged in many cultures, languages and races in that field. Equally, in my development as a counselor, I have stopped seeing losing as a possible normal phenomenon for certain segments of the society. This would be a barrier in normalizing certain situations and not dealing with them. It is important to appreciate how the clients would perceive their problems and situations (Collins & Arthur, 2010).
How my Worldview Influence and Contribute to Counseling
The cultural background I posses offer strong insights that can urge and help patients overcome their situations in counseling sessions. Innately, I have always strived to win. This aspect opens a big opportunity in trying to help out patients with counseling sessions. This condition can be turned in designing successful feedback mechanism in counseling. The next aspect of my cultural heritage is openness. This makes it easy to blend with other cultures. Equally, the reception to information is improved including the adoption of modern day technologies and lifestyles. It is never easy to ignore the effects of globalization in people’s lives. In this line there are two cultures. On one side there is the culture from the society while the other is culture derived from the forms of globalization (Collins & Arthur, 2010).
Currently, there are various strategies available for counselors in solving cultural competence limitations. However, any counselor is expected to have a deep sense of their cultural ideas and shortcoming. This is done by taking detailed position on beliefs, knowledge and skills. The objective of these factors is to assist me, as a counselor, attain a non judgmental perspective. My development in a cultural setup should not negatively attach emotions which will eventually affect clients. Equally important is to understand the background of my culture and the possible ways it can conflict with that of clients. This is because by understanding how my culture has impacted on my lifestyle, it is easy to infer how it would on another person. The idea here is, by knowing how to overcome my cultural shortcoming; it becomes possible to do the same for clients. Nonetheless, it would not be very obvious to assume that all situations would be culture related (Corey & California State University, 2013).
Knowledge as a Cultural Competence Skill
I have always believed that the use knowledge can be adopted as a strategy to help overcome my prejudice in a counseling session. Let us take an example of a girl losing out to a boy which to my father and me was a stereotype. As a counselor, I need to obtain specific information about the development of girls. This knowledge should cover the capabilities in the form of strengths and weakness and how indifferent girls are from boys. Once equipped with this information, it will help me understand how this influences their behavior, personal identity, choices, mental strength and behavior. This induces a position of how such a case would end up in the long run. Consequently, other global issues such as historical injustices or political wills have had an impact on how I perceive this matter. Possibly too is how clients would connect it to my culture (Collins & Arthur, 2010).
Skill as a Cultural Competence Skill
On the other hand, I can also use my skills as a tool to deal with gender; a form of cultural prejudice. In this situation, I will be using researched work on the same issues. There is various detailed research on gender discrimination in education, workplace, sports and other facets of life. This will enable me stay on top of this situation or otherwise eliminate any possible prejudice I have on this issue. I will also need to improve my interaction sphere and interact with people who have managed to thrive in difficult situations with and without the help of counseling. Ideally, this experience becomes invaluable in developing cognitive skill that would provide insight which is not academic in nature. The best example is a person of the female gender who has risen to great success in a situation of gender discrimination without counseling (Collins & Arthur, 2010).
Though not exclusive, all these strengths and weakness in my cultural shape up continue to add up to my worldwide view. They are important in understanding my capabilities as a counselor since they enable me to understand my biases and prejudices well. This is significant in designing my roles as a counselor. The aim of a counselor is to help the clients handle their problems satisfactorily. This is done with compassion and agility to see them through their situations. In such a situation, it becomes possible to make gross mistakes from ethnocentrism. It is much different in my situation where I am dealing with a client from the same race, language and culture. Here, the focus shifts directly in assisting the client out with the situation at hand (Corey & California State University, 2013).
The next is the aspect of openness in my lifestyle that makes it possible to learn about other cultures. The reflective basis comes from a point where I can appreciate the dynamism within my own culture. The understanding from reading and interacting through a lifetime with various people opens up the culture. The important aspect here is how my culture would impact on my clients especially those from a minority group (Collins & Arthur, 2010).
How my Worldview Influence a Therapy Approach
There are various therapy models in counseling. They include; cognitive therapy, drug therapy, gestalt therapy and existence therapy amongst others. The use of existence therapy in counseling for instance can be affected by an individual’s worldview. The therapy has four major aspects and these are psychological, spiritual, social and physical. The existence therapy is often used in cases where people cannot continuously make good decisions for themselves. They can also show instances of not accepting the reality of their choices. Therefore, it is evident from the above discussions there is a need for me to be checking how decisive I am from my culture and from the worldwide view. This will be important in understanding the client’s background in the four therapy dimensions mentioned earlier.
Consequently, the level of sincerity is expected to deliver the success of this therapy. This refers to the level of openness in the existing worldwide views. Finally, it can be deduced that I easily fit in this form of therapy (Corey & California State University, 2013).
In conclusion, it is necessary to appreciate how an individual’s cultural heritage would impact on their worldviews. This enables them to develop various human capabilities, attitudes, values and traits. From such a perspective, it becomes very possible to develop a strong character on various life issues. However, a strong personality may not be suitable in the field of counseling because it portrays a sense of rigidity. Eventually, it becomes difficult to handle the situation with clients. In certain cases, it is possible to aggravate the problem of the patient after a session. Therefore, it is important to assess all cultural aspects that would cause prejudices and stereotyping. This should be done from a counselor’s approach as well as the client’s. A counselor has to have an open view to various sensitive issues. In general, a modern counselor has to develop in tandem with aspects of the global world.