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As a student in the Mental Health Counseling Master’s program (year 3), I am find it interesting how the therapist assesses a client. My intent in sharing information I am learning is to educate readers about the counseling process in hopes this awareness will take some of the anxiety out of a first time visit.
It takes a lot of courage to go into counseling because, basically, this individual is vulnerable to the experience of the counselor. He or she must share their darkest and deepest secrets in order to uncover and process toxic thoughts and/or beliefs that may be causing a dysfunctional pattern.
As I am studying this process and learning about the 3 D’s of disorders, it makes sense to me that we need to understand how this impairment is impacting the client’s life (distress) and that we must figure out a diagnosis in order to uncover the root cause (dysfunction) and initiate the healing process but the deviation part of this analysis took my by surprise. The more I read about it, the more I understand that the norm for each culture and sub-cultures play a role in underlying beliefs. For example, some cultures believe in zombies and while in the United States we might wonder if this person talking about a real live zombie is psychotic, if the ethnicity of the client is Haitian, it may not be out of the ordinary depending on his or her upbringing.
I am curious about other cultures and intrigued to learn more as I find my way into a counseling niche. I am realizing that diversity in counseling is very complex and in order to fully understand a client, I must understand his or her culture as well.
What are your thoughts about my counseling articles? Could you care less about this information or is it beneficial to read? Drop me a note and let me know.