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Counselling Assignment

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    It is a vital function of our memory systems. It also helps people to connect and relate with each other. However, stereotyping can also be based on assumptions and presumptions about people which leads to sentimentalism and can result in a bypass of the counselor’s capacity for empathy. As such, it is highly relevant to the counseling experience. Stereotypes are not fresh or born of the present moment and tend to reduce the full humanity of a person and obscure the bigger picture.

    Rather than deny that we make assumptions and operate from stereotypes, our tutors have reposed that it is much more healthy and helpful to the counseling process for the counselor to be aware of any stereotypes they might have. The value of recognizing a stereotype is that it frees both parties from inauthentic relating. Would guess that the more difference there is between the client and the counselor, the more likely a stereotype is to exist. To assess the worth or quality of the relevance of stereotyping and see both the strengths and weaknesses of it, I will take the following examples.

    As counselor, I would first of all need to be very aware of my own personal stereotyping. For instance, I do hold the view that onus people in their ass are too young to fully appreciate or relate to the value of money. This impedes me from being able to see the true values that a young client would be putting on money. They might not be able to organism their money or plan for things they want to do in the future due to inexperience, and they might need some help in this area, but the judgment I would be holding would not let me see this need.

    The relevance of stereotyping comes from people observing patterns of human nature in other people and perhaps in themselves. The danger of it being a shorthand is that it can mean we objectify other people ND do not allow ourselves to have a direct fresh up-to-date heartfelt relationship with the person who we are relating with. As a counselor to a young person in their ass, I would need to find simple open questions that allowed the client to explore his relationship with money. I might also reveal my own struggles with money management, in order to create empathy.

    Our tutors pointed out that honoring difference, valuing differences, can deepen the connection or bond between counselor and client by deepening the capacity for empathy. Personally, I feel I don’t carry many prejudices about people’s racial backgrounds. I’ve traveled a lot in my life and found many ways to connect with people of different races. However, because of difficulties I have had while working in Scotland, I do hold prejudices against Scottish people. The only strength or value can see of holding this stereotype or prejudice about the Scottish national identity would be if it were to be true for the client in any given moment.

    For instance, one aspect of this that feel to be true is that Scottish people hold themselves to be different, and generally to be badly treated by their English neighbors. It could be helpful to assess freshly with the client the veracity f this particular stereotype. If the stereotype is actually true, for the client, then they can be of value for it. If it is not true, this might be an opportunity for empathy in connection with the client. Where stereotyping might make a valuable contribution is when it holds a truth for the client at that moment.

    If the client uses a stereotype to present themselves, and it is true, it is no longer a stereotype. Many Scottish people have over the centuries been themselves victim of stereotyping and prejudice by the English neighbors. Discrimination. This is why they are unhappy about it. But to be on the receiving end of something that is historical and for which have no responsibility for his painful and irksome and makes me feel somehow invisible and unvalued as a person with individuality and a contribution to make to the present moment.

    Also, if the client is presenting them selves and talking about themselves as a stereotype, almost as a cliche of themselves, it would be helpful to look at this in terms of symbiotic identification and individuation processes. A client who says… “L am like my dad, like my beer, I like my dinner on the table at 6 o’clock, I like my women in short skirts and I support Gaston Villa”. Asking open questions that guide the client to an appreciation of the implicit exchange in his relationships might well be a challenge to somebody who has such a stereotypical view of himself.

    And to take another example, I would personally hold the news of a client revealing that she is pregnant to be positive. If a client, for instance, were to reveal that to me, and were to automatically assume that this is good news for the client, I might miss attuning to her real feelings about being pregnant. Being interested in her direct experience would be more helpful. So a question like… “L could imagine that this would be good news for some people but not so great for others, how is this news for you? Would help the counselor attune to the client’s direct experience of being pregnant. Language Issues. Assessing the worth or value of the relevance of language issues to the counseling process needs to be taken on a case-by-case basis. Competence in the shared language that the counseling process is conducted in would be an easy and comfortable assumption to make. The issue of the language that was used in the counseling process might be much less significant in cases where such specific circumstances were not present.

    But if the client is foreign, or has a stammer a stutter, or has been severely abused for speaking their mind, the counselor would need to take into account the specific circumstances in order to attune to the needs of their client. The impact of the act of speaking might be very emotionally charged in these cases, in which case the counselor would need to place a very high value and importance on the language that they used and the impact that the language had on their client. As well as the emotional processes that were engaged by the client when they begin to speak.

    The way a unsolder speaks is also significant in the counseling process. If the counselor comes from a middle or upper class background, and speaks in a way that the client deems to be overly “posh”, it might be more difficult to establish a rapport with the client. Because the client might think that the counselor doesn’t have the same problems and experiences and difficulties that they do. I have faced this particular difficulty myself when working as a supply teacher in a special needs school.

    The young students came from deprived working class families and they did not believe that I could understand their difficulties and that I would e judging them. This prejudice was difficult to overcome in the short time that I had to work with them. I personally remember seeing a Gestalt therapist about 25 years ago with the issue of language became very significant to me. Found him critical of me for using “flowery language” to describe my experience. This became one of the significant reasons why I stopped working with him. Different Belief Systems.

    The area of religious belief can have a powerful impact on the way a client experiences their world. What affects the value is the strength with which the client holds to their belief systems. If the counselor is working with a person who has a strong belief in a Christian God, for instance, and they have experienced a tragic loss of their child, the client might be angry with God and suffer a crisis of faith because God has taken their child away from them, or on the other hand, might feel soothed and supported by a belief in a higher power that has a grand design for our lives.

    The counselor who does not respect such a faith will not be able to serve this client well. And if a counselor who is not a Muslim is counseling a Muslim, it might be difficult for them to understand not only the elisions but also the community links that are Muslim client might value. In this case it will be helpful for the counselor to be very direct about the differences and ask for the client to explain his own particular perspective.

    On the other hand, if the client does not hold beliefs that have been taken on from a religious code, it becomes important to look at the beliefs that the client has decided for themselves out of their direct experience of living in within their family and social culture. Family Structures. Neurologically, the family environment in which we grow up is immensely significant to the kind of person we become. I cannot evaluate the relevance of this theme of a family structures highly enough. I would value it as, generally, the highest of all influences.

    I come from a small family, with one brother, one auntie and two cousins who live in Italy. I find it difficult to understand people who grow up in a large family and the need to make a particular effort to compensate for my lack of experience in this area. I even find it difficult to imagine how somebody makes decisions about their life in relationship to their family’s demands and pressures. The rules of a family, be they spoken or not, are usually very powerful influences on the values and decision-making processes of the client.

    Particularly if the counselor is committed to exploring the implicit emotional experience of the client, and the client grew up in a family which didn’t do emotions or feelings, the counselor would need to attune his challenges and support for the client’s emotional journey to the capacities of the client to even feel their own emotions. Such a family would probably feel threatened by the values of a counselor who emphasizes feelings more than the family culture does.

    I have a friend who is the eldest child in a family of five; her mum had eve children with five different men, none of whom she married. And another friend who was the eldest child out of six children that her mother had. Her dad disappeared before he was 20, and the other five children were fathered by her stepfather. Both of my friends have issues of over-responsibility and difficulties to make decisions in their own self interest due to the family structure in which they grew up in. Conversely, I grew up in a male orientated family. My father and younger brother, and a pretty unfeminine mother.

    It feels to me that I have gone on a long journey to understand and appreciate to the degree I do now hat women are wired very differently from men. I became most intimately aware of this when I lived with a partner who had two daughters of ages six and nine. Realized during the 4 years we were together just how differently girls grow up from boys, and how their whole perspective on life, the physical emotional and mental filters through which they view their experience of the moment, is so different from boys’. And provides such different value systems from those of boys.

    I feel I still have a lot to learn about gender differences but at least have become aware of the different priorities of men and women. The question asks e to evaluate the relevance of family structures in the counseling process. Personally I would place a very high value on this, I can see no counter argument whereby family structures would not be significant in the counseling process. If the client I was counseling were to have a similar family structure to myself, that could be both simpler, but potentially more difficult, than somebody whose family structure was very different from my own.

    Simpler because I might have similar experiences to refer to in myself, but potentially more difficult because might assume that my client would respond in the same way and develop homeless in a similar way to me. This would be a very dangerous presumption to bring into the counseling space. Family Life Experiences have had a girlfriend who was Turkish. When she had been divorcing her husband, named Atilt, all her family relatives and all his family relatives met for a very long meeting one night to discuss whether their marriage should continue or not.

    The counselor needs to understand how their client’s decisions might be affected by the size of their family as well as the traditions of their religion or country of origin. During childhood we learn very powerful lessons bout money, sex and power from how our parents relate to money sex and power, for example. If the counselor has had a difficult relationship with money, feeling they are not rewarded properly for instance, and they are counseling a client who has a lot of money or has inherited a lot of money, there may be particular challenges within that working relationship that the counselor needs to be aware of.

    If the counselors own relationship with their sexuality as a heterosexual person has not being comfortable, due to their father coming out as gay half way through the counselor’s childhood, it might be difficult to ounces the client who might be deciding to relate more openly to their previously suppressed homosexuality, and in particular how they might present this to any children they may have. I remember a close friend of mine during my university days, when I was 22, deciding that she needed to tell people that she was a lesbian.

    I was the first person that she told. This was a very powerful and moving moment in her life. She was mainly terrified. A counselor might be the first person that young person shares what might have been a secret for them up until then. This will be a very significant opportunity for the counselor to develop rust with their client. And in terms of power, I remember visiting a friend of mine’s family for New Year’s Eve meal, where perhaps 15 of their family were present. Deiced that no one in the family was willing to take the lead and make a decision about any shared activity that we would participate in that evening. I contrasted it to other families that I have visited where them was one powerful leader of the group, or two or three family members who are quite capable of expressing their opinions on getting what they want in conflict and opposition with other family members. The relevance of family life experiences can mediate usability very significantly. Member meeting a woman in her mid-ass who had a form of dwarfism. As got to know her I realize that she grew up in a really loving family is one of five children in Newcastle. She was passionate about her job, working in the job centre to support other people with disability and because she had had such a loving family environment she was able to face the difficulties common to all humans with many more resources than an able- bodied person who did not have such a loving family structure to support their development in their childhood.

    Unfortunately, due to her dwarfism, she was enable to find a good man – “all the men I go out with are knobs” was her precise phrase. I remember being very touched by her situation – she clearly had so much love to give, and was so loved by her family, but due to her body shape she was unable to attract a man worthy of her heart. As with the previous sub section to this question, I feel that family life experiences are highly relevant for both the counselor and the client.

    The main way that they become less relevant is for them to be shared openly, by the client in the counseling room, and by the counselor with their supervisor, if they are particularly triggered by this case; such sharing should allow for empathy to be created and the bond or connection between the counselor and client to be deepened. Learning Outcome Two. 2. 1. Explain what is meant by cultural divisions and heritage.

    Cultural divisions refers to the way groups of people in a country feel affiliated to people who share specific aspects of their identity in terms of religion, culture, beliefs, national identity, class, the traditions of a family or a community, sexuality or the ethnic background in which they grow up. For instance the civil rights movement in USA divided the country along the lines of race or ethnic background. The issue f abortion creates conflict and division between those for and those against which can cause extreme violence and even homicide.

    Same sex marriage is another theme which can create cultural divisions within a society. I am guessing the second part of the question refers to “Cultural heritage”. In which case this would refer to the way a religion, a national culture, a national identity, class or the traditions of a family or a community or sexuality or the ethnic background of a group within a larger society has historically influenced those groupings in a way which people either want to adhere to these values or want to break away room them.

    In Greece, for instance, pensions have traditionally been offering unsustainable levels of income (up to 90% sometimes) to the elderly because of the value Greeks place on their parental heritage. Religion endorses cultural heritage in the form of certain practices around the year – Christmas, Ramadan, the Marching season in Northern Ireland, the Chinese New Year. Ways those groupings mourn and bury the dead. 2. 2. Using examples, analyses how the cultural heritage of clients might influence one-to-one counseling interactions. Religion. It feels easiest to me to begin with some more extreme examples.

    If the client had grown up in a family culture where religion was very important, I can imagine that it might be difficult for them to find their own sense of self and create decisions based on their own organic experience of their lives, as a humanist might. An obvious example might be someone growing up in a strongly Christian Bible-based religious community, which condemned homosexual activity, and that client would be homosexual. All sorts of conflicts and difficulties that arise as they repeat the injunctions against homosexual activity, and struggled to value their own sexual orientation.

    Personally, do not hare the Christian injunctions against homosexual activity, and I believe it is important for where men and women to enjoy their sexual preferences free of any dogma whatsoever. But I’ve never had to experience the intense feelings of guilt and shame that can be felt by people whose family of origin takes a religious position against such a personal, intimate and private experience. A friend of mine grew up in her family of five; her father was a Protestant minister in France and a mother was heavily involved in caring for the needs of their Protestant community to the detriment of caring for the needs of her family.

    It was a family where personal needs was sacrificed for the greater good of the community. Both her father and mother had grown up as orphans, her father being 15 years old and the eldest son to 4 other children when his parents died. There was never any space for grieving the loss of his parents because of his position of responsibility. At the age of 22, her 29-year-old elder brother died on a Friday. That Sunday he preached a sermon as usual and didn’t mention the loss of his son. For my friend, this was something she finds very emblematic of her childhood circumstance and is unwilling to forgive her father for.

    In this family circumstance grieving was not allowed due to the religious tenets and duties that the parents upheld. My friend hashed problems with asthma and her lungs since her adolescence. And is only recently embarking on a journey of individuation from the power of her family’s belief systems are. Being unable to feel grief has contributed enormously to her difficulty to feel love and loving in her personal relationships. Since grief returns us back to our hearts. Cue True. Some estimates put the number of Polish people who have settled in the United Kingdom over the last 15 years at over 1 million.

    Many of these will have experienced their childhood under a communist regime, and virtually all of them will have had at least parent or grandparent rule has been severely affected by the Second World War. The individual and family trauma of experiencing war being waged in your own country, in your own town, around your own house, can only have a devastating effect on your capacity to regulate your emotions, to share your emotions with other people, and to parent your children; but this is something we as a human race are only just recently becoming aware of, and be able to address openly.

    And then to consider the national trauma of a entry that lost 18% of its population in the Second World War. 18% is virtually one in five people; 6 h million people dying and 27 million people surviving. How trauma is passed down from generation to generation as each tide faces the difficulties of human existence is something that I find very difficult to engage with; but I imagine I will at some point face working with people of Polish extraction.

    The challenges of working with people from Muslim Indian cultures would also be very interesting and challenging. I imagine that I would find it difficult to understand how somebody who grows up as one of eight children in family of, say, 12 uncles and auntie’s and 60 nephews and nieces. Remember a Turkish tour guide I worked with for a number of months saying that the difference between Westerners and Turkish people is that we spend time alone and we make decisions alone. “You live for yourselves”, he said, “We live for our families”.

    He had an interesting cultural background himself, with his father being Muslim and his mother being Christian. They divorced very early after their marriage. Counseling him with his proclivity for young Russian prostitutes would be a very challenging experience. Beliefs. Append to be associated through my role as step-parent with two people who have a very strong Christian faith; when they got married their wedding cards depicted two people walking on a path through clouds to some nebulous vision of heaven.

    With my own commitment to living in the present here and now, and an interest in a Gestalt approach to life, I can imagine it will be very difficult to work with people who believed that the most important thing in their lives was preparing for heaven, and that this life is merely a vale of tears that is preparing us for the promised land. I find it difficult when people priorities their conceptual levels about other people in front of their heartfelt relationship with those other people. And discriminate against them.

    I can imagine it will be difficult to bring my own integrity forward in a way that respected their different approach, particularly children were involved. National Identity. Find people who are proud of their national identity rather boring and shallow. This is my own particular perspective. Know somebody who seems to believe that people who are English are just naturally better than people who are not. They have the English flag in their garden. I would want to direct their attention o personal differences and also to the way they use this stereotype to justify their choices and actions.

    American people tend to adore somebody who speaks with a British accent and an American client might idols an English-speaking counselor in a way that will be detrimental to their own personal growth. They might project their positive virtues onto the counselor and the counselor would need to pay close attention to the power imbalance in these relationships. Class. Found myself liking to think that class is less significant in our society than it was when I was growing up 30 or 40 years ago. However, the sketch from TWO, ‘That

    Was the Week that Was”, with John Classes, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett, where each actor introduced themselves as upper middle and lower class, in accordance with their physical stature, still has a lot of pertinence in our British society, I believe. People make choices about how safe they feel with, for instance, young men of a lower class. As a counselor personally I would feel threatened and afraid of somebody who might be intimidated by perceiving me is from a middle-class background; if they were strong vigorous and kinesthesia I would feel personally threatened by the potential of them to attack me.

    Conversely, I have found people expect me to be wealthy, effective and successful in the ways of the world because they perceive me to be well educated intelligent middle-class. Because these have not been my actual values it has been sometimes difficult to bring my experience of myself to them as I am in the face of their expectations and presumptions and assumptions. The traditions of a family or a community. Patterns of attachment play out very strongly in family and community affiliations.

    To belong and be accepted by our family of origin and our community is one of the most powerful drives in our neurological destiny as human beings. Where each person falls either side of this has a massive impact on their identity and the way they live their lives and how the experience satisfaction in their lives. There tend to be two main options within this frame: either one is basically successfully valued and accepted within the family of origin and community, or one falls on the other side of this pattern of identification and forms a sense of self in opposition to what outside the family or community groups.

    If one ends up on the inside track, the client might be identified with upholding the values and rules of their parents and community. I’m thinking of the way the Laotian Gordon Brown presented himself to the British people as somebody who followed the values of his family (his father was a minister in the Church of Scotland). He grew up as the middle son of three brothers and identified himself very closely with the values of his family and community. He experienced himself as a defender of these values on the world stage.

    The loss of these values was something that he felt deep concern about and expended most of his political life trying to avoid. And there will be many examples of clients who land on the other side of the tracks of their family and communities conditioning; perhaps the son f successful pioneering surgeon who just wants to be a farmer, or an artistic young woman who wants to dance but grows up in a family of accountants, or a person who grows up in a family of bankers and wants to do humanitarian work in Africa. Sexuality.

    As young people grow up to discover and embrace their sexual self-expression, they will inevitably be comparing themselves to be compared to the sexual orientation of their parents and their community. Communities that have strong sexual codes such as those Muslim and Hindu cultures that support arranged marriage might be unwilling to accept the difference of a son or daughter with ay or lesbian interests. Or even a person with very little interest in creating a sexual connection with another person, or simply don’t want to get married. Remember my own father saying how relieved he was that am not gay.

    I remember the example of a friend of mine whose marriage was falling apart; she was very unhappy with her husband, with whom she had a son, and there was a lot of pressure from friends and family to stick with the marriage. Remember saying to me that she sought out a counselor at this time because the counselor was the only person who didn’t have any advice or any agenda for her. She had fallen in love with another man but was unable to share that with her family and community for fear of their judgment and criticism. And this was an apparently liberal English community without any particularly strong religious affiliations.

    Ethnic Background. The ethnic background of both counselor and client will inevitably have a powerful influence on one-to-one counseling interactions. If both counselor and client are white Caucasians, it would be reasonable to expect that a significant amount of presumed values could be inferred, and would not necessarily need to be enquired into together. If the counselor were white and the client were black, the differences might be significant; and might turn around the perception of racial superiority and inferiority, or racial hatred, that both members of the process might have.

    I have heard black people complain about there not being enough black counselors for their race, and I have heard of clients making choices about who their counselor will be depending on their racial origin. Racial diversity seems to be less here in Devon than in the major cities of the United Kingdom; but if the client feels that the counselor is unable to hear them fairly thou being viewed through a prejudicial lens, is unlikely that the counseling process will be successful. For either members of the exchange.

    The counselor will need to own the difference perspectives that their racial background brings into the space and check them out on a moment by moment basis with the client. Some clients might not be happy with the amount of time that is taken with this process may grow impatient with the counselor and with having to explain what seems obvious to them and their counselor. 2. 3. Using examples, evaluate how your own cultural heritage might impact on counseling interactions with clients. Religion. Grew up in a household with no particular religious orientation.

    My father believed that God had betrayed him (so he stopped believing in him) and my mother decided, after growing up in a Methodist family, that God did not exist, but the values of Methodism were wholesome and worth using as guidance for her life. As a child and as a teenager I was interested in religions, particularly Buddhism. I was fortunate enough to visit India at the age of 20 and was very influenced by the experiences there which took me out of my cultural respective and gave me something much wider, more open and interesting than I had ever experienced in England.

    In my early ass I found the Zen teacher in pursuit my studies within the Zen tradition. At the beginning my early ass I became disenchanted with certain aspects of my teachers approach, and found a teacher within the Vagrancy tradition with whom I have been working for the last 18 years. I do not see the approaches of Zen or Vagrancy as a religion. I hope that the wide journeying that I have undertaken in my life will hold me in good stead to work with people who are interested in Mindfulness counseling in reticular.

    And I feel an openness to people sharing their spiritual experiences. Where I feel I might be challenged is if people take what I might find to be a narrowly conceptual approach and one that favors historical narratives over present time experience. Culture. Grew up in England until was 19, but have found so much to excite educate interest and broaden my experience of myself through traveling in other cultures.

    In fact in my previous job as a tour guide, I very much enjoyed being the one who introduced the travelers within my groups to other cultures. Explaining owe other cultures worked and what their values were and how and why they are different from not only the British people who took around Europe, but also Americans, Canadians, Indians, Philippines, Australians and New Slanderer. I would hope that this would stand me in good stead to being sympathetic and sensitive to different cultural perspectives that the client might bring.

    But, on the other hand, a small amount of information about a person’s culture might also open me to making too many assumptions and stereotypical presumptions to the detriment of nourishing their relationship with the client in front of me. This loud be something to take into account as a counselor. Beliefs. Within the Buddhist traditions that I have studied, beliefs are seen to be of mixed value. A lot of echoic identity can be observed to rest on some very fundamental beliefs that are held by our ego structures.

    They can have value in terms of how we relate with other people, helping us give our gifts and helping us getting our needs wants and desires fulfilled. But they can also become part of what maintains the mental chatter that fills the empty mind. And on examination, all beliefs can be found to be empty. I would hope that my beliefs would not make t difficult to work with people of any particular religious faith. The beliefs that I hold most consciously are about living in the present moment and being aware of the activities of my mind I feelings in my body.

    I would hope that I would be able to help people become more aware of the activities in their own minds, feelings and bodies in order to help them find clarity about whatever brought them to the counseling process and whatever belief system they adhere to. I believe in the value of experiencing the implicit within ourselves, and opening our hearts to find the truth inside them that can guide us in our lives. In this sense would hope that my beliefs would support me in my counseling practice. National identity. M English born and bred. For many years this is something I found quite embarrassing. When I was mistaken for a Dutch person I took it as a compliment. But I have also benefited immensely from being English, when working with Americans and Canadians and also in Central Europe where the reputation of the British Tommy from WI still holds a certain prestige. Australians, Scottish and Irish people have tended to show different results because of the cultural heritage associations that pertain n these cultures.

    Depending on who I am with, the fact of my national identity will have a different impact on that particular relationship. If it were to become a problem I would hope to underline our common humanity and seek to develop the counseling relationship by deepening empathy. Class. Come from a middle-class family and the way I speak is clearly middle-class southern England. I went to an all-boys private school and I believe this has helped me speak with a certain area of authority that somebody without this educational heritage would not have. I know that this has stood me in good stead

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