Racial Sensitivity and Multicultural Training

By Martin Strous | Go to book overview

8
Difference and Interplay between
Anticlient and Proclient Positions:
Initial Research Findings
According to research conducted at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Strous, 2001; Strous & Eagle, in process), the anticlient and proclient positions can be differentiated in terms of polarized characteristics. However, counselor behavior is not fixed in one particular position. Counselors tend to weigh up the pros and cons of anticlient and proclient claims and intermittently flip-flop between their attendant and opposing dynamics.
INITIAL RESEARCH
The first investigation into the Anticlient-Proclient Model (Strous, 2001) aimed to investigate how counselors’ negative attitudes to interracial counseling reflect ideologies pertaining to racism in South Africa and South African psychology, how their positive attitudes reflect positions related to racial sensitivity, and how these competing positions are negotiated when counselors reflect on them. In order to explore these aims, psychologists in private practice were interviewed as to:
1. their inner dialogue that was therapy-facilitating,
2. their inner dialogue that was therapy-hindering, and
3. the likely resolution and influence of their therapy-facilitating and therapy impeding inner dialogue(s).
During the course of each interview, a structured exercise based on the Anticlient-Proclient Model was introduced. Participants were asked to adopt the personae, alternatively, of their therapy-hindering (anticlient) side and their therapy-facilitating (proclient) side. The researcher interviewed these different personas. The participants were then asked to alternate between their therapy-hindering and therapy-facilitating voices, in order to get these parts to dialogue with each other.The role personification of therapy-hindering and therapy-facilitating notions held by counselors seemed to have facilitated increased self-disclosure on the sensitive topic of racial attitudes through, inter alia:
1. The fictional separation of the participants and the role-play situation, which may have permitted greater “leakage” of self.

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