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Difference and Diversity Assignment

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Difference and Diversity

Assessment Criteria 1.1 - Using examples, evaluate the relevance of the following in the counselling process:- stereotyping, language issues, different belief systems, family structures, family life experiences.

All of the above issues will have an impact on the counselling process. Both the client and counsellor are individuals and bring with them often vastly different experiences, backgrounds and values. It is interesting to look at these factors and examine how they may influence the counselling process and the relevance they have.
I come from a middle class background, am white, middle-aged, heterosexual, british etc - I would imagine, although I see myself as totally normal/average, many people I will counsel will have very different backgrounds etc. And whilst I am aware of this and hopefully therefore can reduce its affect, my clients will see all this and judge me accordingly, which will effect our relationship.
Stereotyping - we recently did an exercise, in class, where we were asked to look at photos of individuals and make judgements on them and make up stories about them, without being politically correct. It was very revealing as firstly it emphasised how different everyones snap judgements and stereotyping are and then if they are so different, how completely wrong they can be. Stereotyping is a very normal and natural thing to do, but can be damagingly wrong. We use stereotyping to make judgments to keep us safe, its not necessarily right but it is engrained in human nature. As counsellors, it is essential to be aware of the judgements we make and to be able to put them to one side and wait for the real story to emerge. If we don't do this then there will be huge barrier in the way of getting to know the ‘real’ client as we will assign certain characteristics to the client that belong to our stereotype, not the real…...

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