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Carter Case Analysis

Discussion Question 275 word minimum-must cover all prompts
Carter Case
Identify and discuss the major issues, themes, needs, and challenges faced by multiracial
individuals as presented in the readings of this unit and the Carter Case Study you viewed,
and relative to what you learned about racial identity development models.
Describe how multiracial individuals are similar to and different from other groups; be
sure to address identity development.
Consider the case of the Carters from your specialization area (for example, you are a
mental health counselor) working with the Carters, who James’ parents have told him he
had to see).
What bio-psycho-social characteristics or concerns stand out to you as salient in this case
and why?
Imagine that you are the counselor-propose three culturally relevant strategies you would
use in helping your client to resolve conflicts and to promote optimal wellness and growth
in terms of mind, body, and spirit.

Carter Case Study
The Carters are a middle class family who live in a predominantly white area. Mrs. Carter
is African American, and Mr. Carter is European American. They are concerned as their
son James, a junior in high school and honors student, is adopting music, clothing, and
behaviors associated with low-SES African-Americans when they have tried to raise him
not to identify with those parts of Black culture. In the past month they have experienced
conflict with James who has challenged their expectations. They have also noticed that he
has smelled of alcohol when returning home from spending the evening at friend’s house,
and just this week they received a call from one of James’ teachers reporting he may fail a
Carter Case Analysis Scoring Guide Grading Checklist Activity Weighting
Identifies the characteristics and concerns of multiracial individuals and families. 20%
Summarizes contextual and systemic dynamics (gender, age, socioeconomic status, et
cetera) that impact counseling. 20%
Identifies appropriate strategies for resolving conflict and promoting optimal wellness in
individual, couple, and/or family counseling. 20%
Articulates theories of identity development to inform counseling practices with diverse
populations. 20%
Exhibits proficiency in writing, critical thinking, and research; adheres to APA style and
formatting. 20%
Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2013). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (6th
ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Carter Case Analysis

Multiracial adolescents are reported to have higher problem behavior rates. Adolescence
is acknowledged as an extremely challenging period for all children and a result; many youths
find themselves in various problem behaviors including risky sexual behaviors, substance use,

delinquency, and interpersonal violence (Milan & Keiley, 2010). James is challenging the
expectations of his parents since he wants to associate himself with the traits associated with the
low-SES African-Americans and which the parents are against. John is also likely to fail in class
and is engaging in alcohol drinking. The Carters are facing an identity crisis since they do not
want to be associated with the low-SES African Americans.
According to Sue and Sue (2013), human races are viewed as separate and natural
divisions. Human species’ physical variations mean nothing except the social meanings human
beings put on them. The concept of the race is prominent in the US where race justifies
mistreatment of the inferior ones and prejudicial attitudes. The American society places a huge
emphasis on race and, therefore, there is a need to understand the Carters’ racial identity
development since it is necessary to engage James in psychotherapy (Milan & Keiley, 2010).
The Carters’ case fits perfectly with the PCRIM (People of Color Racial Identity Model)
where self concept is determined by general personality features such as traits (reflected in self-
esteem and psychopathology) and reference group orientation. In the pre-encounter stage, there
is a belief that the African Americans primarily identify themselves with the mainstream culture/
European American. The dominant ancient White world view is idealized while the Black world
view is denigrated (Sue & Sue, 2013). The second stage is characterized by James’ adoption of
behaviors, clothing and music and as a result, the parent’s original world view s threatened.
Counseling will assist John and his parents to reach the internalization phase.
When counseling, a number of factors will be considered including the self-esteem and
self-identity issues, failure in class, alcohol problem, conflict with parents, peer pressure, and
adolescence issues (Sue & Sue, 2013). A psycho-educational approach, Biopsychosocial
perspective, and Biopsychosocial-spiritual model can be used during counseling.



Milan, S., & Keiley, M. (2010). Biracial youth and families in therapy: issues and interventions.
J Marital Fam Ther., 26305–26366.
Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2013). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (6th ed.).
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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