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The book conceptualizes mental health and healing in the terms that diverse communities recognize and embrace and highlights the range of healing practices within these communities. Underpinning the text is the message that providing counseling services is an activity that is simultaneously complex, ambiguous, nuanced, and subtle.
Utilizing a postmodern lens and emphasizing a social constructionist approach, the book works to dismantle existing one-dimensional characterizations of cultural difference, as well as personal and professional assumptions related to multicultural practice. It provides readers with a fresh way of thinking that seeks to bridge cultural divides and fully realize the ambitions of the multicultural counseling movement.
The book begins with an exploration of the social justice implications underpinning cultural identity politics and the “Us vs Them” divide. In the following chapters, readers closely examine the inherent complexity of culture, historical events and beliefs that have shaped social and political divides, issues of power and privilege, gender as a domain of cultural experience, identity construction, concepts of community, and more. The book has a dedicated section to exploring contemporary expressions of gender, sexuality, and relational identities and practices. The concepts of discourse, positioning, and deconstruction are emphasized throughout to encourage innovative thought regarding cultural diversity.
The book includes personal stories that illustrate many elements covered in the text, making the theory and practice of intercultural counseling come alive. Activities are included that encourage readers to apply concepts to their own lives, as well to the lives of their clients.
Emphasizing thoughtful and intentional participation in a constantly evolving dialogue, Intercultural Counseling is an ideal core textbook for upper-level undergraduate courses in the helping professions, as well as graduate-level training courses in counseling, counselor education, marriage and family therapy, psychology, and social work.