Culturally sensitive counseling for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders.
There is a constellation of considerations for counselors dealing with Asian American/ Pacific Islander Pacific Islander
1. A native or inhabitant of any of the Polynesian, Micronesian, or Melanesian islands of Oceania.
2. A person of Polynesian, Micronesian, or Melanesian descent. See Usage Note at Asian. clients. In order to provide culturally sensitive counseling, counselors need to know and respect the traditional values Traditional values refer to those beliefs, moral codes, and mores that are passed down from generation to generation within a culture, subculture or community. Since the late 1970s in the U.S. of the particular ethnic group. Beyond this, the counseling process may be enhanced by attention to other salient factors involving acculturation acculturation, culture changes resulting from contact among various societies over time. Contact may have distinct results, such as the borrowing of certain traits by one culture from another, or the relative fusion of separate cultures. , enculturation enculturation
the process by which a person adapts to and assimilates the culture in which he lives.
See also: Society
Noun 1. enculturation , personal issues, and environmental variables. The task demands idiosyncratic id·i·o·syn·cra·sy
n. pl. id·i·o·syn·cra·sies
1. A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.
2. A physiological or temperamental peculiarity.
3. tailoring of the counseling process to meet the diverse needs of this growing ethnic minority group.
The strong multicultural component of the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. population has prompted the need for counselors to consider multicultural factors when communicating with their clients (Zhang & Dixon, 2001). Consequently, policies and practices in counseling have and continue to be revised to address this need. For example, new guidelines on multicultural education, training, research, practice, and organizational change have been drafted to reflect the knowledge and skills needed for the counseling profession in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of dramatic sociopolitical so·ci·o·po·li·ti·cal
Involving both social and political factors.
of or involving political and social factors changes in our society (American Psychological Association The American Psychological Association (APA) is a professional organization representing psychology in the US. Description and history
The association has around 150,000 members and an annual budget of around $70m. , 2002).
Among the many cultural groups, Asian Americans This page is a list of Asian Americans. Politics
Census Bureau , 2002). When Asian Americans are grouped with Pacific Islanders, this population makes up the fastest growing ethnic community (Maki & Kitano, 2002). As of 2000, there were reportedly 10.2 million individuals of this cultural group living in the United States, representing an increase of 46% since 1990 (Kim & Omizo, 2003). Recent immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. levels suggest that this number will grow rapidly in the near future.
Within the population of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders Islanders may refer to:
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of , Hawaii, Texas, and New Jersey (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1997).
Much diversity exists within this population of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders. There is a wide variety of identities, languages, and cultures. Even within each ethnicity, differences in values, behaviors, and attitudes will vary based on the generation, ethnic experience, socioeconomic status socioeconomic status,
n the position of an individual on a socio-economic scale that measures such factors as education, income, type of occupation, place of residence, and in some populations, ethnicity and religion. , acculturation, enculturation, age, gender, religion, region, sexual orientation sexual orientation
The direction of one's sexual interest toward members of the same, opposite, or both sexes, especially a direction seen to be dictated by physiologic rather than sociologic forces. , visibility (appearance), and history of discrimination. These factors will mold a person's perspective of himself or herself as well as how life is viewed. Naturally, counselors working with Asian American/Pacific Islander clients will need to complement their understanding of the basic information about the original culture with an exploration of these additional factors.
The Basic, Traditional Cultural Values
Initially, counselors must be knowledgeable of the basic traditions that have been recognized in this multicultural group of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders. Generalized values, behaviors, and attitudes cannot be unilaterally affixed af·fix
tr.v. af·fixed, af·fix·ing, af·fix·es
1. To secure to something; attach: affix a label to a package.
2. to each client; however, an awareness of such traditions is an essential foundation for counselors' appreciation of the client's cultural background. A myriad of value categories have been empirically identified in the literature related to this cultural group (Kim, Atkinson, & Umemoto, 2001; Maki & Kitano, 2002). These categories are identified and described below.
Self-control is highly valued among this ethnic group. Self-control may be demonstrated by exercising poise and calmness in the face of highly emotional experiences, maintaining dignity when confronted with pain or suffering, and sustaining modest and appropriate behavior. Modesty may be evidenced in depreciating de·pre·ci·ate
v. de·pre·ci·at·ed, de·pre·ci·at·ing, de·pre·ci·ates
1. To lessen the price or value of.
2. To think or speak of as being of little worth; belittle. one's own accomplishments rather than boasting about success, for example.
Individual rights, needs, and desires are suppressed in order to elevate the welfare of the group. There is a strong sense of commitment to and obligation in satisfying group interests and goals. This is operationalized by placing others' needs ahead of one's own needs.
In an effort to maintain group solidarity, differences of opinion are typically reconciled in order to retain harmony and reach consensus. Accommodations are made to show respect for the feeling of others and foster a spirit of cohesiveness. In addition, reciprocity reciprocity
In international trade, the granting of mutual concessions on tariffs, quotas, or other commercial restrictions. Reciprocity implies that these concessions are neither intended nor expected to be generalized to other countries with which the contracting parties in repaying another person's favor is expected.
Filial Piety The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page.
“Hyo” redirects here. For other uses, see Hyo (disambiguation).
Parental respect is a powerful value among this ethnic group. Children are expected to love their parents and obey the norms established by the family. Interdependence and trust are cultivated within the family system. Any individual member's achievement is attributed to the family's accomplishments.
Related to filial piety, shame is the mechanism used to deter inappropriate behaviors that might tarnish tarnish,
n 1. surface discoloration or loss of luster by metals. Under oral conditions, it often results from hard and soft deposits.
2. a chemical process by which a metal surface is discolored or its luster destroyed. the family's reputation. Any individual family member's failures impact the family as a whole.
Deference to Authority Figures
Age and intelligence are revered. Ancestors and elders are assumed to have more wisdom through life experiences and, therefore, deserve more respect than younger people. Individuals with advanced education command respect as authority figures, from whom much can be learned.
Hard work and tenacity are regarded as virtues. Applied to school and work, these virtues should facilitate success in academic and career accomplishments. Priority is placed on educational and occupational achievement.
There is no desire to attract special attention to the individual. This may manifest itself in an avoidance in utilizing psychological counseling. Relying on inner resources and self-determination, the individual may reject the help of others in order to evade the perception of weakness.
Counseling Implications for Clients Who Hold Traditional Values
Culturally sensitive counselors enhance the counseling process for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders. In a study by Zhang and Dixon (2001), the researchers examined the differential effectiveness of culturally responsive and culturally neutral counselors. Based on the input of 60 students who were interviewed under both conditions, the culturally responsive counselors were viewed as more experet, more attractive, and more trustworthy than the culturally neutral counselors.
What, then, are the conditions for orchestrating culturally sensitive counseling sessions for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders who hold traditional ethnic values? In response to this question, counselors should consider what the context of the counseling session will be, how the counseling sessions will be implemented, and who will conduct the counseling sessions in order to maximize positive outcomes.
What Content Might Be Targeted
There is a great need for psychological services among the cultural group to deal with a variety of problems including academic, interpersonal, health/substance abuse, dating, bicultural bi·cul·tur·al
Of or relating to two distinct cultures in one nation or geographic region: bicultural education.
bi·cul and biracial bi·ra·cial
1. Of, for, or consisting of members of two races.
2. Having parents of two different races.
bi·ra issues, family difficulties due to emerging cultural differences, marginality, difficulties relating within various subgroups, and the experience of racism (Leong, 1986). Yet, the level of need for psychological counseling in these areas has not been proportional to the rate of utilization of the services (Kim & Omizo, 2003). This may well reflect the traditional value of being unassuming and avoiding bringing negative attention to one's self or family.
In consideration of this, initial counseling sessions for a client who ventures out to seek help should be prudently planned. Since an interest in and value of educational and occupational achievement exists, a willingness to discuss these non-threatening issues may be pursued. Subsumed in these discussions should be the influence of parental expectations. Tang (2002) emphasizes the relevance of paternal PATERNAL. That which belongs to the father or comes from him: as, paternal power, paternal relation, paternal estate, paternal line. Vide Line. influence, in particular, as a powerful influence on career choice, Further, Kim and colleagues (2001) also advise the introduction of task-oriented content rather than personal-oriented topics. When trust and comfort is established, more sensitive issues may be gradually introduced. As Kim and Omizo (2003) suggest, when Asian Americans seek help for academic or career concerns, it may open the door for exploration of issues related to personal or health problems.
How Counseling Sessions Might Be Implemented
To provide more effective cross-cultural counseling, counselors must be aware of their communication style, counseling style, and client expectations. A large repertoire of verbal and nonverbal non·ver·bal
1. Being other than verbal; not involving words: nonverbal communication.
2. Involving little use of language: a nonverbal intelligence test. behaviors will be beneficial (Zhang & Dixon, 2001). Language barriers may be mediated by action-oriented and artistic therapies. For example, concrete activities such as sand play could allow clients to express their worlds and engage in self-discovery of subconscious subconscious: see unconscious. themes, emotions, or beliefs (Enns & Kasai, 2003). Such action-oriented sessions could be structured to match a client's competence in language (O'Sullivan, 1994). Kim, Liang, and Li (2003) examined the relationship between counselor nonverbal behavior and counseling session outcomes. European American A European American (Euro-American) is a person who resides in the United States and is either the descendant of European immigrants or from Europe him/herself.
Overall, as the largest group, European Americans have the lowest poverty rate  counselors who tended to smile more and make postural shifts more frequently that their Asian American A·sian A·mer·i·can also A·sian-A·mer·i·can
A U.S. citizen or resident of Asian descent. See Usage Note at Amerasian.
A counterparts received high scores on productivity and involvement in the session by 112 volunteer clients. Nevertheless, Zhang and Dixon (2003) report seemingly contradictory findings, indicating that Asian international students preferred counselors of similar ethnicity.
Deliberate selection of counseling styles/ approaches must complement appropriate communication style in order to enhance outcomes with Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders. Individuals who adhere to adhere to
verb 1. follow, keep, maintain, respect, observe, be true, fulfil, obey, heed, keep to, abide by, be loyal, mind, be constant, be faithful
2. traditional ethnic values can experience greater comfort when the focus of the session is on the expression of thoughts rather than feelings. This is consistent with the value of retaining self-control in an unassuming manner (Kim et al., 2001). In encouraging the sharing of thoughts, counselors of this cultural group are advised to use a directive approach that is characterized by hierarchical authority. Clients prefer to attribute high levels of respect and wisdom to their counselors (Kim et al., 2001).
In addition, counselors need to present themselves as culturally responsive. In the Zhang and Dixon (2001) study, culturally responsive counselors displayed pictures and crafts from the native land, had a world atlas with a map of Asia visible, used salutations in the client's own language, and expressed interest in knowing more about the client's culture. The perception of participants was that these counselors were more open to different cultures, more capable of relating to relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc people of different cultures, and more capable of being helpful in resolving problems than culturally neutral counselors. Realistically, being culturally responsive does not imply a comprehensive knowledge of each culture; rather, it means conveying an interest and respect for other cultures, evidencing an eagerness to learn about other cultures, and appreciating the particular heritage of the client (O'Sullivan, 1994; Zhang & Dixon, 2001).
A final consideration in cross-cultural counseling is to identify the expectations of the client. Clients with a high adherence to ethnic values may strive to maintain a role in counseling that protects the family honor. And, clients may expect immediate symptom relief from a goal-oriented authoritative counselor (Kim et al., 2001). Symptom relief could be realized by identifying resources to meet the client's needs, suggesting problem-solving options, and offering specific advice.
Who Conducts the Counseling Sessions
Only tentative conclusions can be drawn from the current research to address this issue. Kohatsu, Dulay, Lam, Concepcion, Perez, Lopez, and Euler (2000) caution that racial mistrust can influence the counseling process. These researchers report that Asian Americans do harbor racial mistrust of African Americans African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. . In another study referred to by Zhang and Dixon (2003),Asian international students reportedly preferred to seek help from an older counselor of similar ethnicity. Certainly, more studies are needed in this area to support or refute these contentions. Of greater significance seems to be the culturally responsive nature of the counselor, since empathetic em·pa·thet·ic
empa·theti·cal·ly adv. involvement has been demonstrated to be a key predictor of counselor credibility Akutsu, Lin, & Zane, 1990).
Beyond the Basic Traditional Values: Additional Factors, Additional Complexities in Counseling
A significant influence on the effectiveness of multicultural counseling is the level of acculturation and enculturation. Acculturation is the extent to which the individual assimilates the American culture into his or her values, attitudes, and behaviors. Enculturation is the degree to which a person retains and identifies with the culture of origin. The interaction of these two variables results in four characterizations: (1) high in assimilation and low in enculturation; (2) high in assimilation and high in enculturation; (3) High in enculturation and low in assimilation; and (4) low in enculturation and low in assimilation (Maki & Kitano, 2002).
These four characterizations will account for increasing complexity in the counseling process. Individualizing sessions to mesh with the client's levels of acculturation and enculturation should facilitate more salient outcomes. Clients who are determined to be high in assimilation and low in enculturation have embraced the American culture and have a command of the English language English language, member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Spoken by about 470 million people throughout the world, English is the official language of about 45 nations. . Typically, individuals fitting this description have spent a longer time in the United States Time in the United States, by law, is divided into nine standard time zones covering the states and its possessions, with most of the United States observing daylight saving time for part of the year. functioning in integrated, mainstream settings. Maki and Kitano (2002) recommend that counselors possess a knowledge of the American culture and language to deal more effectively with these clients.
People who reflect high levels of both acculturation and enculturation are comfortable with the American culture as well as the native culture. Contacts and interactions straddle In the stock and commodity markets, a strategy in options contracts consisting of an equal number of put options and call options on the same underlying share, index, or commodity future. both the dominant society and the ethnic community. Counselors must, therefore, demonstrate culturally sensitive practice.
Immigrants and older generations with limited exposure to the dominant culture will probably represent low assimilation and high enculturation. These clients adhere to traditional ethnic values and may possess limited language skills. Counselors need to rely on action-oriented activities, learn a limited but functional vocabulary in the client's native tongue, and assume a culturally sensitive role.
Finally, low levels of acculturation and enculturation suggest clients who reject both the American culture and the ethnic culture. These individuals present deviance in assimilating into society in general. More clinical challenges may be faced with these clients, as counselors search to uncover the cause of such alienation.
These suggestions are further complicated by a variety of client variables (Kim et al., 2001). These variables encompass personal factors such as generation, age, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, educational level, prior counseling experience, and language proficiency Language proficiency or linguistic proficiency is the ability of an individual to speak or perform in an acquired language. As theories vary among pedagogues as to what constitutes proficiency, there is little consistency as to how different organisations . In addition, environmental factors such as geographic location, peer group, family system, religion, and political climate will produce differential interaction effects.
There is a constellation of considerations for counselors dealing with Asian American/Pacific Islander clients. In order to provide culturally sensitive counseling, counselors need to know and respect the traditional values of the particular ethnic group. Beyond this, the counseling process may be enhanced by attention to other salient factors involving acculturation, enculturation, personal issues, and environmental variables. The task demands idiocycratic tailoring of the counseling process to meet the diverse needs of this growing ethnic minority group.
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American Psychological Association (2002). Guidelines on multicultural education, training, research, practice, and organizational change for psychologists.
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Kohatsu, E., Dulay, M., Lam, C., Concepcion, W., Perez, P., Lopez, C., & Euler, J. (2000). Using racial identity theory to explore racial mistrust and interracial in·ter·ra·cial
Relating to, involving, or representing different races: interracial fellowship; an interracial neighborhood. contact among Asian Americans. Journal of Counseling and Development, 78, 334-342.
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Noun 1. NSW - the agency that provides units to conduct unconventional and counter-guerilla warfare
Naval Special Warfare : Hale and Iremonger Press.
Tang, M. (2002). A comparison of Asian American, Caucasian American, and Chinese college students: An initial report. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 30, 124-134.
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Zhang, N., & Dixon. D. (2001). Multi-culturally responsive counseling: Effects on Asian students' ratings of counselors. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 29, 253-262.
Zhang, N., & Dixon, D. (2003). Acculturation and attitudes of Asian international students toward seeking psychological help. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 31, 205-222.
Alexis Ann Schoen, Graduate Student, School Counseling Program, Holy Family University.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ms. Alexis Ann Schoen, 211 W. County Line Road. Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006.