According to Clinton and Ohlschlager (2002), it would prove quite inappropriate, on the part of a counselor, to pay little attention to what happened to be the particulars of the treated client’s ethnocultural affiliation. The reason for this is that, while aware of what accounts for these particulars’ discursive significance, a counselor would be more likely to choose in favor of the most circumstantially suitable counseling-strategy. The following, are my answers to the provided questions, in regards to the population of Latino-Americans.
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What are some of the key psychosocial issues for this population?
Probably the main psychological issue, associated with Latino-Americans, is that the specifics of their underprivileged social status and the technical aspects of these people’s early upbringing, naturally cause many of them to be somewhat emotionally unstable. In its turn, this prevents many Latino-Americans from being able to attain a social prominence – hence, causing them to experience the sensation of an existential inadequateness. What adds to the issue even further is that, while preferring to lead ethnically secluded lifestyles (this refers to the existence of Hispanic ‘ghettos’ in just about every large American town), many Latino-Americans are being denied the opportunity to fully integrate into the American society. It is understood, of course, that the described situation cannot result in anything else, but in creating a number of the objective preconditions for many of the population’s representatives to be affected by the deep-seated anxiety of self-loathing. This appears to be the main reason why the population of Latino-Americans is being considered ‘neurosis-prone’, in the first place.
What are some of the central therapeutic approaches?
While choosing in favor of a particular therapy, meant to be applied to the Latino-American clients, one must remember that Latino-Americans have traditionally been known for the sheer strength of their affiliation with the religion-based ‘traditional values’ (Ray, Steffen & Hunter, 2012). The foremost implication of this is that Latino-American clients would be so much better off being exposed to the so-called ‘holistic’ therapies. Methodologically speaking, the ‘holistic’ approach to counseling is based upon the idea that for a religiously (traditionally) minded person to be able to benefit from being counseled, he or she must be encouraged to appreciate life, as a ‘thing in itself’, while trying not to focus on negativity. Moreover, given the fact that Latino-Americans tend to stay in close touch with their relatives (most commonly numerous), councilors should also strive to turn their awareness of this fact into a ‘counseling asset’. This suggests that the application of the ‘family-based’ therapy would be quite in place, as well.
Examine your prejudices and worldviews. How might this population be difficult for you to work with? Are there any psychosocial issues this population constitutes that may evoke an emotional reaction in you?
Even though I am perfectly aware that the specifics of one’s ethnocultural uniqueness do have a certain effect on how the individual in question perceives the surrounding reality, it does not mean that I tend to stereotype people, based on their culture/race – quite on the contrary. In my opinion, people are equal – regardless of what happened to be the color of their skin. Such my stance is thoroughly justified, in regards to the recent discoveries in the field of genetics, which expose the conceptual fallaciousness of the very term ‘race’. It appears that the behavioral patterns of just about anyone are determined by primarily the environmental factors, which in turn suggests that there can be no good reason to be willing to hold prejudices against differently colored/cultured people, in the first place. Therefore, I cannot have any psychological issues with counseling Latino-Americans, by definition.
Clinton. T. & Ohlschlager, G. (2002). Competent Christian counseling: Foundations and practice of compassionate soul care. Colorado Springs: Water Brook Press.
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Ray, M., Steffen, P. & Hunter, B. (2012). A comparison of religious orientation and health between Whites and Hispanics. Journal of Religion & Health, 51 (4), 1261-1277.