Culturally Sensitive Approaches

Category: Education

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Culturally sensitive approaches: 

Culturally sensitive approaches Catharine Humphrys 17.2.03


Ethnicity Common ancestry through which individuals evolved shared values & customs Tied to & transmitted by family Transgenerational Reinforced by community Sense of identity

Factors influencing ethnicity: 

Factors influencing ethnicity Migration Economics Race Class Religion Politics geography


Ethnicity influences family life /personality/sense of belonging/historical continuity: Patterns behaviour, thinking, feeling, life choices, celebration of holidays & rituals, attitudes to life/death, illness and health Language and customs influence whether or not a symptom is labelled as a problem

Ethnicity training (Mc Goldrick, Giordano): 

Ethnicity training (Mc Goldrick, Giordano) Therapist understands her own ethnic identity Assess importance of ethnicity to clients and families Validate and strengthen ethnic identity Be aware of/use client’s support systems Help family resolve ‘value’ conflicts Pros and cons of being in same ethnic group as client

Race and Racism: 

Race and Racism An issue of political oppression Not cultural or genetic Ignatiev (1995) states: “no biologist has ever been able to provide a satisfactory definition of ‘race’.” The invisible knapsack of White privilege Pro-racist ideology Colour blindness

Cultural dimensions in Family Rx: 

Cultural dimensions in Family Rx a set of common adaptive behaviours and experience derived from membership in a variety of different contexts: Ecological (rural/urban) Religious values Ethnicity & nationality Migratory pattern/acculturation stage Partake in similar historical moments

Therapeutic task : 

Therapeutic task People differ in : Experience of pain What they label as a symptom Communication about pain/sx Beliefs about cause Attitudes to helping profession Treatment desired/expected

Family Myths : 

Family Myths Normal families are problem free Normal families are/should remain INTACT Maintain traditional male/female role division (counter: supermums do it all) The nuclear family is isolated from extended family Hansen, Falicov (1983)

Errors ‘agents of change’ make: 

Errors ‘agents of change’ make To assume the presence of a problem in family is necessarily a sx of family pathology Fail to recognize family strengths/misjudge them, as dysfunctional We fail to note family pathology in assuming a ‘problem free’ family is normal

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