Working Inter-Culturally in Counselling Settings

Working Inter-Culturally in Counselling Settings

Working Inter-Culturally in Counselling Settings

Working Inter-Culturally in Counselling Settings

Synopsis

'Working Inter-Culturally in Counselling Settings' explores how racial issues can be recognized and worked with in a practical, clinical setting.

Excerpt

Aisha Dupont-Joshua

What does it actually mean to work inter-culturally? This is a very big question and by way of an introduction into this, I will begin by talking about myself and my involvement in the inter-cultural movement, and why becoming involved with this way of thinking has had so much impact on my life and work. In 1990, I had the privilege of training with the late Jafar Kareem, the founder of the Nafsiyat Inter-Cultural Therapy Centre in London. This training in intercultural therapy included anthropology, sociology, and challenged both eurocentric assumptions in counselling (eurocentric being based on European thought and concepts) and psychotherapeutic models of thought. It was revolutionary in counselling training in Britain and was very significant to me in my development, and selfconcept as a black woman of mixed race, an immigrant, living and having been brought up in Britain, and as a counsellor. Issues of race and culture had never been on the agenda before in my experience of the counselling world, and this different way of thinking opened up new avenues of understanding for me and has become an essential part of my perception of how I relate to the world. It has also given me an understanding and a willingness to work with the emotional problems facing black and other ethnic minorities, living in a white host society. My training and subsequent friendship with Jafar Kareem gave me tools and a vocation to work with the problems of living in a multi-cultural society.

Jafar Kareem, who was originally from India, founded the Nafsiyat Inter-Cultural Therapy Centre in 1983 to provide a special psychotherapy service for black and other ethnic and cultural minorities, as a result of his experience of working as a psychotherapist in the National Health Service in Britain. Kareem (1992) says that his experience showed him that non-European clients were

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