Essay on Cross-Cultural Counseling

With free will and open minded conditioning becoming common amongst us, more counselors are beginning to “culture hop”. This culture relocation creates a diverse relationship between patient and specialist called Cross-Cultural Counseling. Cross-Cultural Counseling is the study of the similarities and differences between the individual mental processes in various indigenous groups, as well as the associations between psychological, sociocultural, ecological, and biological variables (‘Cross-Cultural Counseling Psychology’). There are no global or local statistics on this topic as of yet. Cross-Cultural Counseling comes with an unintentional responsibility that requires for an unbiased atmosphere to be present in the counseling sessions of individuals. This paper will discuss the history and treatment of Cross-Cultural Counseling.

Cross-Cultural Counseling is a type of counseling that has been practiced dating back to the late 20th century. During the 1980s, counseling psychologists and professors were beginning to secure positions at an international educational exchange program that is sponsored by the United States Government called Fulbright. Bruce Fretz, who was the editor of the flagship journal of the American Psychology Association’s 17th Division called The Counseling Psychologist, launched the International Forum (IF).

The mission of IF is to offer a venue where psychologists learn to cross physical and psychological borders so that they would be enriched and so that they could employ their newly learned techniques and strategies to enrich others. Because The Counseling Psychologist (TCP) was established in the United States, and edited by an American journalist, the bulk of the section where Fretz added his forum featured articles that were almost solely written by American counseling professionals who shared their international experiences.

These professionals, although they were travelers, did not obtain the authority that was sufficiently credible to declare that they were knowledgeable enough about the particular culture they were said to have experienced in this section of the TCP. As a result, a larger number of foreign counseling professionals and foreign scholars began to publish their works in the TCP, including some of their more personal experiences as counselors in their home countries. Often times, the works of these international professionals were used as a way for other professionals to acquire insight on the country they planned on relocating to.

TCP expanded dramatically in two important ways. In 2007, TCP added four persons to the original board of 12 members who had cross cultural expertise and were born outside of the United States. With these new individuals, the board now had insight on Asia, Europe, and the Middle East where three of these scholars resided. The second way the TCP was efficient enough to broaden its horizon was to add a page at the beginning of each and every journal issue that followed this decision in 2008 that displayed the title of the journal in four different languages. This was to primarily an attempt to present TCP in a new shell. A shell that would display TCP as a more inclusive, affirming, and welcoming almanac to the counseling professionals that inhabited the rest of the world.

In 1989, the counseling psychology faculty that was associated with the University of Minnesota, launched the Minnesota International Counseling Institute. This institution was essentially a biennial academy that was designed specifically to address the science and practice of cross-cultural counseling.

In 1991, Paul Pederson published a seminal article where he theorized that culture is central to all counseling. He has been considered the key forerunners of the cross-cultural counseling movement as a whole. This theory took a dark turn in the mid 1990s because less people accepted or even understood the purpose of an international focus for the field.

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