Cultural Issues

"I don't know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby

Anonymous Discussions: Express yourself -- devoted to topics such as these.

Cultural Differences

We live in a society that includes many ethnic groups and many cultural and sub-cultural differences in the way we measure happiness and fulfillment, in the way we relate to family and community.From whatever background we come, there is a dominant mainstream, Northwestern Euro-centric culture that s represented throughout most media and institutions of our society. To interact effectively in the culture-at-large, most of us must find a way to negotiate between our cultural orientation and the mainstream.

This negotiation can cause a great deal of stress and tension, and sometimes it may help to have a counselor with whom we can process our discomfort. When we add this to the reality of oppression in a society that has historically discriminated against many ethnic groups, from the Irish to the Iranians, from the Indigenous people to the children of slaves, there is likely to be a lot of baggage to sort through.


If you choose to pursue counseling either in response to these issues or any other sources of distress, you may not find a practitioner who has a similar background, but it is critical and appropriate to expect that he or she be sensitive to the realities of your background.

For a number of years practitioners have been offered multi-cultural training as part of their continuing education. While you're asking other questions about a therapist's qualifications, consider including a question about whether the they have attend a multi-cultural workshop.

What's likely to matter most, however, is not that they have some bits of information, but that they demonstrate respect for you and your differences.

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