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Krisve Beato

on 14 September 2013

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All counseling theories arise from a cultural context and are highly culture bound.

These theories represent different worldviews, each with its own biases, values and assumptions about human behavior.

The cultural context of each theory shapes the definition of the problem and influences the appropriate therapeutic response.

Theories of counseling and psychotherapy that arose from Euro-American culture reflect the values, customs, philosophies and language of that culture

Derald Wing Sue (1992)
“Counseling has been used as an instrument of oppression, as it has been designed to transmit a certain set of individualistic cultural values. Traditional counseling has harmed minorities and women."

1995: He has gone on to generate the basics of MCT theory

1996: These ideas have been expanded into detailed

Allen E. Ivey
Paul B. Pedersen
Approaches to MCT
MCT may best be described as a metatheoretical approach that recognizes that all helping methods ultimately exist within a cultural context.

The MCT framework is concerned with counseling and psychotherapy as liberation – the viewing of the self in relation to others and to social and cultural contexts.

MCT hopes to see clients and therapists work together in the society to alleviate and prevent future concerns and problems.

(1) Universal Approach
Fukuyama (1990) argues for a transcultural, universal approach to multicultural counseling and psychotherapy, meaning that certain factors are important regardless of culture.

He argues for a counseling curriculum that:

Defines culture in a broad, inclusive and universal way.
Teaches about the danger of stereotyping.
Emphasizes the importance of language and loyalty to one’s own cultural group.
Provides information about acculturation and oppression.
Discusses the importance of gender roles.
Facilitates identity development.
Builds self-esteem and awareness.
Facilitates understanding of worldview.

In this approach, one starts with awareness of culture and then later seeks to understand how individual or family issues relate to cultural background.
Focused Culture-Specific Approach
Locke (1990) argues that it is important “to see people
both as individuals and members of a culturally different group”

The counselor examines his or her own racial beliefs and attitudes.

Discusses racially relevant topics and is willing to work on issues of oppression.

The counselor views clients on two levels: Individual and as members of a group.

One way to solve this debate in practice is to focus on the issue that is most important to your client
Major Theoretical Propositions
Proposition 1
MCT is a metatheory of counseling and psychotherapy. It holds that each theory represents a different worldview.
Proposition 2
Counselor and client identities are formed and embedded in multiple levels of experiences (individual, group, universal) and contexts (individual, family and cultural).
Proposition 3
Cultural identity development is a major determinant of counselor and client attitudes toward the self, others of the same group and the dominant group.
Proposition 4
The effectiveness of MCT is most likely enhanced when the counselor uses modalities and defines goals consistent with the life experiences and cultural values of the client.
Proposition 5
MCT theory stresses the importance of multiple helping roles developed by many culturally different groups and societies.
Proposition 6
The liberation of consciousness is a basic goal of MCT theory.
The Afrocentric Worldview
- it is holistic, emotionally vital interdependent and oriented toward collective survival.
Nwachuku’s Theory

Introspective Developmental Counseling
Naikan Therapy
Is aimed at assisting clients in finding meaning in their lives and in repairing damaged relationships. It moves the client from self-centeredness to awareness of interpersonal relationships.
Introspective Developmental Counseling and Life Review
Tamase’s work combines Eastern and Western frameworks.

The Integrative Life Patterns Model
This is a decisional counseling model that raises a person’s awareness of multicultural issues.

A lifelong pattern of identifying our primary needs, roles and goals and integrating these within ourselves, our work and our family.

Clients make decisions about their total development: Physical, intellectual, social/emotional, vocational, sexual etc.

Four major life roles: Loving, learning, labor and leisure.

Network Therapy

Integrates community relationships and community into family therapy.

Can include the nuclear family, extended family, important neighbors, and key figures from the community (priest, teacher, the police etc.)

One focus is to help the client build meaningful community and interpersonal relationships to foster positive mental well-being.

Constructing Culturally Appropriate Techniques and Strategies
Implies a nonhierarchical relationship between counselor and client.

Counselors modify their techniques and strategies to fit the client rather than making the client fit the therapy.

Takes into consideration that what may be appropriate for one client in one cultural context may be inappropriate for another client in another cultural context.

Characteristics of the Culturally Competent Counselor
Should value their clients and their beliefs

Does not assume that their culture is superior

Helps their client within the client’s cultural

Strives to understand the dynamics of:
Bias and prejudice
Racism and stereotyping
Oppression and discrimination

Limitations of MCT
The counselor needs to be highly competent in traditional theory.

The counselor needs to have a in-depth understanding of MCT metatheory.

The counselor needs to develop a knowledge of many different cultures.

There is a small research base on MCT

It challenges traditional therapies.

It can be difficult for practicing counselors to incorporate it.

Strengths of MCT
It is a theoretical orientation in and of itself.

It provides a framework to address the needs of the culturally different and provides an alternative to theories empirically validated on white, middle-class males.

Numerous interventions can be applied through this approach.

It is flexible and considers the needs of the individual in relationship to the community.
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