- Series: International and Cultural Psychology
- Hardcover: 174 pages
- Publisher: Springer; 2015 edition (November 4, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1493912828
- ISBN-13: 978-1493912827
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,400,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Decolonizing “Multicultural” Counseling through Social Justice (International and Cultural Psychology) 2015th Edition
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From the Back Cover
Multicultural counseling and psychology evolved as a response to the Eurocentrism prevalent in the Western healing professions and has been used to challenge the Eurocentric, patriarchal, and heteronormative constructs commonly embedded in counseling and psychology. Ironically, some of the practices and paradigms commonly associated with “multiculturalism” reinforce the very hegemonic practices and paradigms that multicultural counseling and psychology approaches were created to correct.
In Decolonizing "Multicultural" Counseling through Social Justice, counseling and psychology scholars and practitioners examine this paradox through a social justice lens by questioning and challenging the infrastructure of dominance in society, as well as by challenging ourselves as practitioners, scholars, and activists to rethink our commitments. The authors analyze the ways well-meaning clinicians might marginalize clients and contribute to structural inequities despite multicultural or cross-cultural training, and offer new frameworks and skills to replace the essentializing and stereotyping practices that are widespread in the field. By addressing the power imbalances embedded in key areas of multicultural theory and practice, contributors present innovative methods for revising research paradigms, professional education, and hands-on practice to reflect a commitment to equity and social justice. Together, the chapters in this book model transformative practice in the clinic, the schools, the community, and the discipline. Among the topics covered:
- Rethinking racial identity development models.
- Queering multicultural competence in counseling.
- Developing a liberatory approach to trauma counseling.
- Decolonizing psychological practice in the context of poverty.
- Utilizing indigenous paradigms in counseling research.
- Addressing racism through intersectionality.
A mind-opening text for multicultural counseling and psychology courses as well as other foundational courses in counseling and psychology education, Decolonizing "Multicultural" Counseling through Social Justice challenges us to let go of simplistic approaches, however well-intended, and to embrace a more transformative approach to counseling and psychology practice and scholarship.
About the Author
Dr. Rachael D. Goodman is an Assistant Professor in the Counseling and Development Program at George Mason University. Dr. Goodman's interests focus on social justice issues in counseling, with an emphasis on trauma counseling, including historical/transgenerational trauma, systemic oppression/marginalization, immigrants and refugees, and disaster response/community outreach. Her research and clinical work has included outreach and trauma counseling among marginalized populations, particularly in communities that have experienced oppression or natural/human-made disaster. Currently, Dr. Goodman is conducting research using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) model, focused on the experiences of immigrant and refugee children and families, including transgenerational trauma and resilience.
Paul C. Gorski is an Associate Professor of Integrative Studies at George Mason University, where he teachers courses on social justice, human rights, and animal rights. He is a Research Fellow in the Center for the Advance of Well-Being and on the board of directors of the International Association for Intercultural Education. His recent books include Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap, The Big Lies of School Reform (with Kristien Zenkov), The Poverty and Education Reader (with Julie Landsman), and Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice Education (with Seema Pothini). He lives in Falls Church, Virginia, with his cats Unity and Buster.
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Beyond the need for building a fresh egalitarian environment in society, the mental and emotional baggage and damage of the experience of colonization is likely to fall to the responsibility of the counselor and the psychologist. People do not seek help on a personal level because they have been colonized; rather it is the impact of colonization that shows up beneath challenges to self-esteem, relationship problems, and the host of other things that send people in search of advice and help from mental health professionals. Their own cultural cautions may also incline them not to seek help from those sources.
While multicultural counseling has been a growing part of the curriculum for professional education and formation for some years now, it has still to realize the unfettered potential needed to fully do justice to situations involving social justice in which its diverse clientele is often trapped. This book tells how to identify those dynamics and realize the obligation of advocacy, as well as providing insights into the directions that such work needs to take in a social justice framework. If this dimension and responsibility for it is not recognized, and adjustments are not made, interventions are more than likely to reinforce rather than alleviate the effects of colonialism. Activism and advocacy, as we are coming to see it in other fields as well, is not separate from practice, but present at least in a higher level of consciousness and more focused quality of interventions that explore and address people’s deeper histories in the effort to improve adjustments or “fixes” to everyday life. The deeper identity narrative and context of its formation need to be recognized rather than ignored in the therapeutic process. It’s not enough to bemoan the marginalization of a culture. Therapy must draw on the residual strengths that exist in the human narrative for health and well-being, whatever the identified problem for which a person seeks help. Helpers must be fully aware of the impact of social, economic, racial and ethnic biases integrated into that history.
it’s necessary to deconstruct from various points of view the models of education and intervention to discover where they fail in this regard, to see where a superficial multiculturalism impedes rather than aids healthy adjustment to one’s own personality in the contexts that challenge it. Incisive essays look at inadequate models and norms of personality development applied in practice to certain groups such as Blacks, gays, Native Americans and women, and how these approaches may unwittingly reinforce rather than alleviate marginalization. In therapeutic as well as intercultural interventions, tendencies to superficial essentialism must be recognized and dealt with. Diagnosing malfunction by mainstream values is one of the negative outcomes of failing to recognize essentialist interpretation. Traditional as well as Increasing diversity and hybridity in the population are rapidly contradicting earlier typecasting and assumptions, to the point where the distinction between general and multicultural counseling has become a false dichotomy.
Assumptions we make that contain norms reinforcing colonialism. For example, many helping professionals insist in affirming those who are different, but this is generally a practice done by those whose culture is dominant and therefore is likely to carry a message of condescension. While root practices of the counseling professions are sunk deep into the need to acculturate people to successful survival in their environment, it is the environment itself that functions on colonial premises. The counselor may not be aware of this if she or he or the professional curriculum has been designed and generated from their standards of the dominant environment. Lack of social justice is frequently the context of traumatic events and social conditions, such as poverty are operative sources of oppression in the patient’s life.
Several chapters focus on problems of information gathering. Problematic research methods may be either too intrusive or ignore the narrative context of the individual or group experience. Inability to find research methods that are both acceptable and effective for exploring and scientifically validated story data, particularly in unfamiliar indigenous communities inhibit both participation and skew the accuracy of the results. Styles of research eliminate or damage the integral content of oral traditions and their contexts, reducing them to anecdotal data bits. One must look into, for example, historical events that have led a community to address a particular issue. These events and how they are dealt with then become a part of the culture and the identity narratives of subsequent generations. Much of the same can be asked about the knowledge of the ongoing political social and economic conditions that directly affect members of a specific community.
Worth noting, the focus of this volume is largely on the USA with a couple of Australian outtakes. As both Anglo nations are heir to historically the world’s largest colonial empire, it would be interesting to hear from a more varied group. This is not criticism of the quality of the contributions, but a concern for variety, particularly since the DSM as has been pointed out by other authors has been imposed as a form of colonialism in its own right on the field.
Despite their subtlety, and occasionally blatancy, dominance discourses can be awarded social capital in contemporary US society and become self fulfilling prophecies in the lives of people. Such discourses tell the story of a people even before actions and events take place. The central ideal of cultural pluralism, while admirable and desirable, will never be possible until colonizing dominant discourses are identified and interrupted. Tacit collusion stemming from unconscious bias undermines therapy as well as intercultural work. This insight is encapsulated in the words of Howard Zinn, “One cannot be neutral on a moving train.”
Anthony J. Marsella blesses this project with a splendid and motivating afterword summary.