Forum 4 Replies

Each reply must be a minimum of 250 words, APA format, cited, referenced, and biblical worldview 

Brianna-  This week was very eye opening through not only the literature that I read but also the lecture that I heard. It was very sad to see the history between black individuals and counseling and how they were often taken advantage of in sessions. One thing that Dr. Pride mentioned in the video that the word trust is very important for counselors who are white to understand for counseling individuals who are black “Pride, (2018a)”. I feel that trust is a very important thing to build within a counseling session. I am aware of the history that has taken place in America and the generational hurt and oppression that has been experienced by the African American culture. I want my clients to know that it is a safe space to talk, but I do want to build that trust. I think as a counselor I always want to be self-aware and check my own biases to make sure that I am not harming a client. Respect is very important, and I want to communicate that effectively (McGoldrick, Giordano, & Garcia-Preto, 2005). I also do not want to be naïve and pretend that racism does not exist. I am aware that it is still active and present. Black individuals have experienced and are still experiencing social, political, and economic oppression that affect everyday life (McGoldrick et al., 2005). “Their giving voice to feelings of fear and outrage at the injustices they experience may result in their being told that they are acting as victims or playing the race card” (McGoldrick et al., 2005, p. 84). I want to be culturally aware of the past and present-day racism and the injustice that many have experienced.

I think there may be a challenge to counseling African Americans. I know that it will be important to discuss my ethnic and cultural background and how it is different (McGoldrick et al., 2005). I cannot even imagine the hurt and oppression that was and still is experienced especially from white people. I want to focus on the presenting problem, but also be culturally aware and communicate respect and trust. I want to show the love that the Lord has for all peoples of all tongues, and of all nations. “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:31 [ESV]). Jesus showed his love to everyone and I want to be His hand and feet and give that to others.

Brandy –Some interesting things came up in Dr. Pride’s presentation on counseling African Americans. As counselors, we need to be very mindful and respectful of what name we attach to their ethnicity (Pride, 2018a).  Some people of that culture prefer the term “colored”, “black”, or simply “African American”. Pride (2018a) expressed the importance of asking your client from the very beginning what term she refers to herself as. Pride (2018a) went through segregation and integration, so he does not see “colored” as being an offensive term. By asking the client how he or she would identify themselves will show a sense of respect on the counselor’s end. It was surprising to learn that in the African American culture, there is a sense of shame that comes with seeking counseling. The culture has a lot of spirituality as well, so seeking counsel was almost like not trusting God to help you (Pride, 2018a).  Also, some African American’s are not seen as “people” and are often treated different because of their skin color. There was also a strong sense of family and togetherness (Hays & Erford, 2018). Members of the family were often the ones that would listen to them when something was bothering them.

In counseling African Americans, I find it very important to remember to ask the client first how he or she would like me to call her ethnicity. Hopefully by asking this question, the client will feel that I respect them as a person. Respect is a good first step to building rapport with our clients. I know that reading about this culture has given me a good idea of the culture norms and such, but as a counselor I should not just assume that those norms apply to my client. I should not come in the session with any preconceived ideas about how the client is going to be. In dealing with any culture that is different than our own, it is important that we not judge them based on their outward appearance. In learning this, I think of the song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children”. Jesus loves all the children regardless of color. If Jesus can look past our skin, then why can we not look past the skin of others?


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