People seeking counseling generally come from all walks of life, so being conscious of the diversity is essential. In this paper will be looking at need or importance of Multicultural awareness by defining multicultural counseling in general and multicultural counseling in the South African context with reference and comparison from a study Enhancing Critical Consciousness Through a Cross-Cultural Immersion Experience in South Africa( October 2015 (43). P244-26).
Multicultural counseling is an interdisciplinary approach that focuses on people’s relationship with their cultures. This strategy is intended to know how distinct groups of individuals communicate with each other and create relationships. It aims to define how cultural variations shape these relationships.
With the frequent mingling of cultures in educational settings, the workplace, and in the social arena, we are bound to encounter cultural differences. The purpose of this research article is to explore the role of multicultural counselors in helping students learn about their own cultures and how they can integrate them into their own lives as an example some students did mention that they had never thought their experience would be like this, and they are grateful to be American but have a great deal of respect for our culture.
The primary aim of multicultural counseling is to build a favorable and friendly atmosphere when counseling individuals from various ethnic backgrounds.he main goal for counselors is to recognize issues of multicultural diversity in today’s society. These potential clients can include people in business, medical, or manufacturing as well as, students, and immigrants. The culture centered approach to counseling in a positive way but these behaviors can have no meaning, until both the client and the therapist understand the cultural context. The basic concepts and approaches include an establish an accurate awareness of how the therapist is culturally similar and culturally. Ethical issues are very common in multicultural counseling today. Counselors may or may not understand how to advise individuals of distinct races, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status of sexual identity, disability, age, or spirituality.
Multicultural counseling effectiveness relies on the counselor’s capacity to comprehend and configure their counseling strategy to what best suits the client’s cultural diversity. Specific problems influence some groups of cultural age (Carney, Myers, Louw & Okwundu, 2014). Such as the older society has been brought up in a social climate different from that of the current adolescent group. Within the counseling session, cultural beliefs and social climate could become a disincentive.
South Africa is a country with a diverse and beautiful culture. This nation was called ‘The Rainbow Nation,’ a name that represents this incredible place’s variety. But South Africa’s various ethnic and cultural groups appreciate their own beliefs and customs. Apart from African culture, many of these traditions are affected by European and Western heritage. The country’s complex and diverse population has had a strong impact on different cultures. There are forty-five million individuals; black, five million white, three million colored and one million Indians are about thirty million. There are a big number of rural individuals residing in poverty among the black population. Cultural customs are mostly preserved among these inhabitants. South Africa has 11 official languages: English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Sepedi, Xhosa, Venda, Tswana, Southern Sotho, Zulu, Swazi, and Tsonga. Cultural diversity in South Africa is a sense of behavior that has been learned from difficult experiences passed from one generation to the next through communication. Ethnicity plays a major role in the culture of South Africa. Ethnic identity refers to a certain cultural group being involved. Shared cultural practices like holidays, language and customs define it. South African people may share the same nationality, but they have different ethnic groups. Ethnic groups may be a minority or a majority in a population such as South Africa’s black and white, but cultural diversity refers to human qualities that differ from ours and those of groups that one may belong to. There is a lack of counseling tradition in Black neighborhoods, according to Raubenheimer (1987). The lack of counselors in the immediate past was due to Blacks seeing them as state instruments intended to psychologically enslave them. Because most counselors were white, they were seen as the oppressive establishment’s minions. He also says that counseling in South Africa has reached a dead end because it has failed to win people’s confidence. Raubenheimer (Raubenheimer 1987). Furthermoree, it states that counseling in South Africa relied too heavily on external authorities to give direction in the context of South Africa, ‘instead of considering the needs of their own people, South African psychologists relied almost exclusively on the views of American counseling experts'(page). Moreover, black people have tried and tested community-based ways to address their psychopathological issues: witchdoctors, fortune tellers, sangomas, etc. Healers, who always come from the same community or racial group, have some knowledge and understanding of their clients ‘ life-world and interpersonal relationships.
In South Africa, the memories of previous apartheid and oppression make cross-cultural counseling vulnerable. Therefore, most Black people may still have a mistrust of the empathy of White psychologists towards them, and White psychologists may still mistrust their therapeutic abilities when it comes to Black customers (Spangenberg, 2003, Pack-Brown, 1999). According to Pederson (1982), cultural differences generate obstacles to understanding Hickson and Christie (1989) further state that ‘cross-cultural skills are of significant importance for enabling meaningful therapeutic encounters as well as the subsequent appropriate distribution of psychological services’ (p. 168). These writers also think that South African psychologists ‘ interventions should be directed at alleviating the pain and broadening all members of society’s understanding. Freeman (1991) believes that psychologists can not be educated only to cope with like-minded individuals. Rather, they need to know about their potential customers ‘ cultures and values-hence all South African racial and ethnic groups-so that their therapeutic procedures can be more meaningful and efficient