Imagine that you are the counselor working with the client(s) or student in this situation.
Identify the areas of multicultural competence needed for working with this student or
- In terms of self-awareness, how would your own personal identity, values, and beliefs
impact your reaction to the student or client(s) and any biases or assumptions you may
have about the student or client(s) and the presenting issues?
- What knowledge would you need in order to provide effective counseling in this
- What culturally-appropriate skills or intervention strategies would you need to develop
in order to work with the student or client(s)?
Provide specific examples to illustrate your ideas, and support your discussion with
references to the professional literature.
Multicultural Competence Case Study
Multicultural Competence on Mental Health Case Study
Mental Health Counseling:
CASE STUDY Information follows:
You are a staff counselor working at a community mental health clinic. Your caseload
includes working clients from diverse backgrounds who have serious and chronic mental
disorders. One of your clients, a 20-year-old man from Central Africa, has been diagnosed
with schizophrenia. One day his parents are present when you make a home visit. They
want to invite the extended family to a healing ceremony for their son and have asked a
local shaman to perform a ritual to banish any bad spirits that are interfering with their
son’s cure. Because you have been successful in establishing a relationship with their son,
they respect you and want you to take part in the ceremony.
Culture and Schizophrenia
- Self- Awareness – “Clinicians should critically assess their own concepts of psychosis and
psychotic disorders and reflexively determine how these concepts may be projected onto
the client. Clinicians should avoid the modern tendency to view schizophrenia as an
incurable brain disease. In less developed countries, schizophrenia generally has a more
benign course and better outcome than it does in the most economically developed
countries. Be aware of your own beliefs of the illness and do not project your notions/beliefs
on to a patient (Castillo, 1997).”
- examine your own understanding between the relationship with spirituality and
psychology. There tends to be a bias in Western psychology that discredits the use of
spiritual interventions. However, there is a growing body of research that supports the use
of spirituality in psychological interventions, especially when the patient requests it and
spirituality is part of their worldview and self-concept.
- Spirituality in the counseling session
- Effective Counseling session- Client centered therapy
- Have a good therapeutic rapport
- Being present
3 Agree on the intervention
- Agree on definition of “symbolic healing” ie. Shamanism.
If you have never done this before,- read, ask questions. In these ritual healing events, often
the patient is put in a trance, they will involve the patient’s intellect and emotions with
MULTICULTURAL COMPETENCE – CASE STUDY 2
transformational symbols. These symbols take form as schemas. The shaman heigtens’s
hypnotic suggestions to persuade, cajole and threaten the demon to leave.
- Ask what is your role in this whole ritual.
- Cultural appropriate skills would be to clearly understand symbolic healing and its
effectiveness in the culture of the patient. ASK questions of the shaman so that you will be
helpful and use your skills to make this healing ritual successful.
I gathered some information and the book references are below.
Remley, T. P., Jr., & Herlihy, B. P. (2014). Ethical, legal, and professional issues in
counseling (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Culture and Mental Illness a client centered approach by R. Castillo (1997) Pacific Grove,
Multicultural Competence – Case Study
Naturally, everyone has a tendency to think or do things in a particular way acquired
from the culture socialized to. This is evidenced when we encounter people from different
cultures and we find out that we have differences either in the way we view things, eat, or dress.
It becomes a bias when we think that our ways are better than of others. A bias is having a one
sided view of things (Wilcox, 2011).
A counselor should be more sensitive to cultural differences as this may affect ones work
especially when dealing with multicultural clients. In this case, the client is from central Africa
and they do not view mental illness in the same way that psychologists do. One might be tempted
to treat the illness using their own culture as opposed to the client’s culture hence, making things
worse (Cannon, 2008). Mental illness is a topic that is highly sensitive in Africa and is not
addressed causally (Castillo, 1997). The counselor has to draw the trust of the client and
approach the subject as is “culturally correct” according to the client to bring about harmony.
MULTICULTURAL COMPETENCE – CASE STUDY 3
The knowledge one may need in order to provide effective counseling in this situation
includes adhering to a framework of multicultural competences adopted having three levels. The
first is developing “awareness” that there are many cultures. Next is get to comprehend client’s
culture and last develop appropriate skills to bring about healing (Sue, 2007).
Various training models to help counselors acquire multicultural skills have been
developed. One is the Pedersen’s (1997) Triad Training Model. It shows how when three people
interview one person, they get different results. This is because when two people speak, there are
three conversations going on at the same time i.e. the verbal exchange, the counselor’s internal
dialogue and the client’s internal dialogue (Remley & Herlihy, 2014).
In this case, use the Multicultural competence framework that starts with being aware of
the differences between you and the client. Then comprehend the client’s culture and learn more
about his culture and that ceremony. Lastly, develop skills i.e. find out what role you shall be
playing in the ceremony and learn what you need to do (Wilcox, 2011).
MULTICULTURAL COMPETENCE – CASE STUDY 4
Cannon, E. P. (2008). Promoting moral reasoning and multicultural competence during
internship. Journal of Moral Education, 37(4), 503-518.
Castillo, R. (1997). Culture and Mental Illness a client centered approach. Pacific Grove, CA:
Pedersen, P. B. (1997). The cultural context of the American Counseling Association code of
ethics. Journal of Counseling and Development, 76, 23-28.
Remley, T. P., Jr., & Herlihy, B. P. (2014). Ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling.
4th edition. Pearson Education. Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2007). Counseling the culturally different: Theory and practice (5th ed.).
Wiley Pub. New York, NY
Wilcox, C. W. (2011) Bias: The Unconscious Deceiver. Bloomington, IN: Xlibris Corporation