ERIC Number: ED274937
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Feb-15
Reference Count: 0
Extending Counseling Cross-Culturally: Invisible Barriers.
Lauver, Philip J.
In order to develop competence in cross-cultural counseling, awareness of one's own culture must be developed. To survive, cultures incorporate both obvious mechanisms, like a distinctive language, and less obvious mechanisms, like patterns of thought. Culture acts as an invisible veil which prevents us from being aware of the cultural filters through which the world is viewed. Awareness of these less obvious filters, or barriers, is necessary before the effects of these barriers can be examined. The cultural predisposition is to call something that does not fit reality nonsense. By invoking nonsense, communication is closed and a barrier is created. A language barrier results from the function of language as representing experience. The tendency to overlook the powerful effects of language on perception and behaviors is testimony that culture is working to protect its own from the awareness of other realities. A need exists to stereotype, to perceive things in groups rather than attend individual instances. Things are seen only as there are words to describe them, thus providing another barrier. Descriptions can be implicit evaluations. Assertions may be misvalidated by addressing the object rather than the author. Extending counseling cross-culturally begins internally in the mind and heart of the counselor. The counselor who is aware that understanding another can be incomplete at best has hope of becoming an effective counselor. (ABL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the California Association for Counseling and Development (San Francisco, CA, February 15, 1986).