13/01/16 Oswald Bennie Level 4 Diploma in Christian Counselling
Learning Criteria: ( K 7.1 ) Explain, in a counselling context a working definition for
culture, diversity and transcultural counselling.
Culture as defined in The Oxford English Dictionary ( OED ), is: ' the ideas, customs and social behaviour of a particular people or society ' (OED, 2012). Culture is a social concept that includes values, attitudes and behaviour common to a group of people. Culture informs the essence of our being, shaping our upbringing and our view of the world around us. Culture has a bearing on how we think, feel and process our experiences.
People who come for counselling could be from a variety of social and economic backgrounds, for exanple, different ages, gender, culture, sexuality or disability. They bring with them different life experiences, such as, power, discrimination or powerlessness.
Diversity, as defined in The Oxford English Dictionary ( OED ) is: 'The state of being diverse; a range of different things' ( OED, 2012 ), whilst difference is defined as, 'a point or way in which people or things are dissimilar' ( OED, 2012 ). In society we assume difference and diversity is anything that diverts from the accepted norm, which presumes that there is a 'right' way of being. For example: a gay man might take exception to the assertion by some in society that heterosexuality is 'normal' and being gay is 'abnormal'. The term 'diversity' can include someone who is black, gay, lesbian, transgendered, bisexual, disabled, Muslim, Christian, Buddist, etc.,...
In the counselling context, diversity is likely to exist between the counsellor and the client no matter how well matched the are in terms of the same gender, ethnicity or culture by the fact that they both bring into the counselling room their own unique life experiences.
Transcultural or Cross-Cultural Counselling