PYB 6060 – Social and Cultural Diversity
Understand bias and how it can influence your work with others.
Duration: 16 weeks (Spring)
Required Prerequisites: Must be admitted to the Antioch Online Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program
Bias. Racism. Privilege. As a future counselor eager to help, you may think you’re not influenced by these terms and already see all potential clients on equal ground. The reality is, your own cultural background and societal messaging informs your beliefs and values in regard to culturally different groups. Uncovering and identifying your biases will help you address them and have greater awareness of how they can influence your work with clients, even unintentionally.We all have biases; it is recognizing them and what we do with them that is important.
This course will expose students to issues of ethnicity, race, gender, socioeconomic status, culture, sexual orientation, physical/psychological ability, religion, age, etc. as these relate to their development as counselors. Students will explore their own attitudes and beliefs through experiential exercises, small and large-group discussions. Through discussions of texts, novels, films, and lectures, students will learn about historical contexts and contemporary concerns of diverse groups. In order to provide a foundation for competent and ethical practice, students will examine strategies for working professionally as individual, group and family counselors with diverse populations.
Addressing bias will challenge you personally and professionally throughout your life. As a professional, being aware of biases is important in order to ethically and effectively work with clients.
Sample Project: Cultural Engagement Project
The challenge of this project is for you to engage and connect with a socially or ethnically diverse population about which you have little knowledge ,yet preconceived ideas. Your goals are to gain insights to the population you’ve chosen by engaging in an interactive experience with members of your identified group, noting what challenged and surprised you about the experience. Where did you feel most connected or disconnected? How might these insights impact your work as a counselor?
Sample Course Topics Include:
Throughout the course your studies will focus on a core set of topics that coincide with the course’s learning objectives. Sample topics are:
- Introduction to Social & Cultural Diversity
- Developing Self-Awareness
- Immigrants & Refugees
- Social Class
- Gender & Sexism; Sexual Orientation & Heterosexism
- Ableism and Ageism
- Religion and Spirituality
Learning about bias and how it applies to you and your work with others is a cornerstone of successful counseling. Though there’s no definitive end to learning about bias, by the end of the course you’ll demonstrate abilities to:
- Describe social background, ethnic identity, and socially and culturally shaped beliefs
- Understand how social and cultural influences inform personal values as counselors and interaction with clients of different backgrounds
- Appreciate the influence of cultural dimensions, oppression and discrimination on clients’ reality and experience
- Respect, acknowledge, and work with diversity in the counseling and therapeutic process
- Identify and acknowledge the impact of race, power, and privilege on the counseling and therapeutic process
- Show knowledge and appreciation of global and domestic family, religious, and societal structures and practices
- Practice basic competencies for communicating with clients from diverse social and cultural backgrounds in a conscious, informed and sensitive way.
- Adapt current mental health practices to meet the needs of diverse client populations that are consistent with ethical standards.
- Examine the history and nature of bias, prejudices, and process of intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination as manifested in the United States.
- Practice attitudes and behaviors congruent with the social justice perspective in counseling.
Culturally Alert Counseling With a Diverse Group
For the final paper, you will focus on providing culturally alert counseling within a diverse cultural group by examining an array of factors linked to cultural identity. This includes: cultural background and aspects of family, beliefs , values, practices, religion and/or spirituality, social and economic factors of a specified population. You’ll address what you might need to consider while working with people from this cultural group and why.
For more information about this course, or other courses in the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Antioch Online, please call (855) 792-1049, or request more information.