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Your work with clients benefits substantially from understanding cultural competence. Recognizing culturally competent practices before you begin to develop skills in this area is imperative. Understanding how your cultural differences intersect with your client and remaining mindful of your own assumptions and worldview have an influence on your counseling relationships.

Review the Learning Resources and focus on one of the mini–case studies (MCFC students, please choose one of the MCFC case scenarios) to complete your Assignment. Imagine you are the counselor for the individual in the case study and consider your own cultural competence within the counseling session.

The Assignment:

In a 2- to 3-page paper:

  • Select one mini–case study from the Learning Resources for this Assignment that represents a cultural group different from your own.
  • Imagine you are the counselor for the individual in the case study you selected and describe how you are culturally different from that person.
  • Explain how you might demonstrate cultural competence, providing examples to support your response.
  • Based on your current level of self-awareness, knowledge, and skill related to cultural competence, provide one or more strategies you could use to improve your cultural competence with this client.

Sue & Sue, Chapter 20, “Counseling Jewish Americans”

Background

Fran is 35-year-old single Jewish American female and a successful professor. She is well published and renowned in her profession. For many years, Fran has expressed her concerns with her department chair regarding the scheduling of classes. Many of the classes at her university are scheduled during the weekends (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), and often the classes are scheduled during major Jewish holidays. Students are required to attend all scheduled days to earn full credit for the class. Through the years she taught classes during the Jewish holidays, but has grown tired of the lack of consideration. Fran finally put her foot down and decided not to teach during Yom Kippur this year.

Presenting Concern

Fran decided to come to counseling to address some of her concerns. During the session, she expresses feelings of disrespect by the administration and her colleagues. Fran tried to address her concerns during a faculty meeting, and one her colleagues thought the best resolution was just to schedule her classes during “her holidays.” Fran is hurt by the lack of sensitivity from her colleagues and for the Jewish students who attend the university. She states, “I’ve never had to teach on Christmas or Easter.”

MCFC students review the following

Background

Fran is a 35-year-old single Jewish American female and a successful professor. She is well published and renowned in her profession. Fran lives with her 65 year old mother, Sarah, and her 15 year old niece, Rebecca. Fran adopted her niece upon her sister’s death 10 years ago. Rebecca’s relationship with Fran is strong; however, Rebecca began dating a boy at school last month and has started staying out past her 7 pm week night curfew. Sarah recently (within the last month) moved in with Fran and Rebecca after a period of chronic illness. Sarah’s health is currently stable; however, she relies on Fran for housing and financial support. Fran is worried about Rebecca and feels as though their relationship is growing more distant. In addition, Fran is concerned with how her department chair is scheduling classes. Many of the classes at her university are scheduled during the weekends (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), and often the classes are scheduled during major Jewish holidays. Students are required to attend all scheduled days to earn full credit for the class. Through the years, Fran has taught classes during the Jewish holidays, but as grown tired of the lack of consideration and the impact it is having on her family. Fran finally put her foot down and decided not to teach during Yom Kippur this year.

Presenting Concern

Fran asked Sarah and Rebecca to attend counseling with her to help ease the transition of their new living situation and the stress Fran is experiencing at work. During the initial session, Fran shares her concern for their family and the level of change they have undergone in the last 6 months. Rebecca rolls her eyes as Fran shares that she is feeling more distant from her niece. Rebecca says “Aunt Fran is just overprotective because I’ve started seeing Jacob- it’s really unfair that I have to come to these sessions!”

Related to her work stressors, Fran expresses feelings of disrespect by the administration and her colleagues. Sarah is disgusted that her daughter is experiencing this at work and suggests that Fran “just find a new job!”

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