Education | Multicultural Counseling and Psychotherapy
G575 | 5740 | Chalmer Thompson
Research, theory, and practice in the area of cross-cultural or
multicultural counseling/psychotherapy took prominence in the United
States in the late 1960s and early 1970s, prompted largely by the
civil rights movement and other subsequent social movements that
occurred during that era. A primary goal of the multicultural
movement in counseling and psychology is to prepare practitioners to
integrate culture, race and other aspects of human socialization into
mental health assessment and delivery. Factors considered
"multicultural" include race ethnicity/culture, social class, sexual
orientation, gender, intellectual ability, religious preference, and
physical ability. In this course, we will address each of these
factors but the focus will be a study of race, culture, and
similarities between the different aspects of human diversity.
In this course I underscore the processes that prevent people from
appreciating and incorporating these factors into their learning
schemes and identites. Therefore, the question continually addressed
is, "Why wouldn't people integrate these factors into their repertoire
of learning?" and concomitantly, "How can students in different
applied fields overcome these learning challenges?" I have found that
a very useful way of examining the processes of learning that are both
inhibitive of and facilitative to multicultural competence is to
expose students to an array of narrative, historical, and empirical
literature. Throughout this course, a systems perspective is
emphasized as we examine societal oppression and its manifestations at
macro- and micro-levels. I also have prepared a set of requirements
that will hopefully help students tune in to their own personal levels
of change and transformation.
Also underscored in this course are the following assumptions: (1) the
development of culturally/socially responsive practitioners is a
lifelong process; (2) growth is difficult and strewn with resistance
to change; (3) key ingredients of change in personal development, such
as risk-taking, reality-testing, self-reflection, and moral
decision-making, are essential to this type of learning; (4)
"multicultural" learning can be transformational in nature; and (5)
professional excellence in counseling and psychotherapy can be
achieved ultimately by the practitioner's ability to integrate
often-painful aspects about reality into one's learning repertoire.
In the course, students will learn:
1. definitions of terms and constructs related to human diversity and
their relevance to psychological functioning and development;
2. life experiences of diverse groups that are inclusive of their
sociocultural and sociopolitical perspectives;
3. how the development of enlightened perspectives on societal
oppression has an impact on counseling and psychotherapy for all
4. theory-based skills for working effectively with diverse
individuals, families, and groups primarily in (but not limited to)
counseling and psychotherapy contexts; and
5. ethical and moral considerations relevant to the integration of
"multicultural learning" to the practice of counseling and
Readings and Rationales for their Selection
Helms, J. E., & Cook, D. A. (1999). Using race and culture in
counseling and psychotherapy: Theory and process. Boston, MA: Allyn
Cyrus, V. (1993). Experiencing race, class, and gender in the United
States (3rd ed.). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.
Stalvey, L. M. (1989). The education of a WASP. Madison, WI:
University of Wisconsin.
Thompson, C. E., & Carter, R. T. (1997). Racial identity theory:
Applications to individual, group, and organizational interventions.
Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Ball, E. Slaves in the family. New York: Bantam.
Coles, R. (1994). The story of Ruby Bridges. New York: Scholastic.
Fordham, S. A. (1996). Blacked out: Dilemmas of race, identity, and
Capital High. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.
Weis, L. (1990). Working class without work: High school students in
a deindustrializing economy. New York: Routledge.
There will be two exams in this course, a midterm and final. The
midterm will consist of multiple choice questions that focus on
definition of terms, and some short answer questions related to
readings and lecture material through March 3rd. The midterm will be
given on March 10th and you will have the entire class time to
complete the exam.
The final exam will consist of short answer and essay questions that
will encourage you to integrate all of the material from the semester.
This exam will be take-home. I'll distribute these on April 28, the
final day of class. We'll have a chance to go over the exam and I
will happily answer any questions you may have for purposes of
clarification. The final exams are due to me on Monday, May 5th by 5
Film Viewing Project
A film-viewing project will be assigned early in the semester.
Students will volunteer to view films about the manner in which media
and other external forces influence of understanding of reality and
especially, of different groups. The focus of the chosen films is on
bias and intolerance, i.e., how media influence our perceptions of
people we perceive as being similar to and different from ourselves.
Students will view their selected films with at least three of their
peers and then discuss the film.
Each group is asked to use the following questions to help guide their
discussion but a list of questions will be distributed to each group
that is tailored to their particular film. This set of questions is
attached. Students will give presentations about their discussion of
the films (as guided by both sets of questions). Group presentations
will occur on January 27.
A Few Conditions to Follow. I would like each group member to try his
or her best to follow these conditions when discussing your films:
(1) Bear in mind that the creators of these documentaries are
addressing hegemony or rather, a dominant way of viewing people or
reality. To the best of my knowledge (and for the films that I have
viewed), no one is suggesting that certain images of portrayed
exclusively in one way, or that there is no sign of progress in terms
of different forms of representation. To claim that reality is just
one way is to portray reality in a distorted way. Realities, just
like people, are complex. There are indeed signs of people who take
bold strides to make important changes in their communities. We will
take more about this complexity (or a lack of progress that
accompanies some progress) when we get to our discussions on racial
(2) Please careful NOT to be dismissive of a group member because of
her or his opinion or perspective on a certain issue. The best way
not to be dismissive is to acknowledge the perspective, assertively
verbalize one's own perspective, and then move one. And for those of
you who feel that you need to remain silent, or fear that you won't
sound sophisticated or knowledgeable, take risks! Feel free to voice
your true feelings. It may surprise you but there are likely to be
others in class who share similar feelings. The best way to learn
(grow) is by being open. Remember that the first few weeks of the
semester will be focused on the conditioning we ALL receive that
inform our biases. No one is immune.
(3) If you feel that your perspective is not being heard, do say so
in the group. Allow the group to try to come up with ways to make you
feel more included. Remember that this is a cooperative project.
This project will sail much better if you work together.
I also encourage that we follow these conditions during class
After Watching the Film. . . I'd like the group to have a discussion
about what you thought of the film and what parts (if any) had an
impact on you. Talk about any new knowledge or perspective that each
of your learned. Each person should present for no longer than THREE
minutes. PLEASE DO NOT EXCEED THIS TIME.
Next proceed to respond to the questions. There are a general set of
questions (below), and some questions specific to your film. The
group should decide who will be responsible for responding to which
question. In some cases, this may mean one person per question, or
two people for one or two questions. An important part of this
assignment (and the presentation) is that everyone should be given
equal time for the presentation (I'll allow more time for larger
groups). No member should dominate the group, or play a very small
role in this project.
After your discussion related to the questions, I'd like you also to
spend time focusing on group process. The main issue I'd like you to
discuss is whether or not EACH of you felt "heard" by the other
members and believed that your time together was comfortable.
(1) As a group, how would you describe this film? (Rather than have
this description "assigned" to one group member, make sure that each
person contributes to the description since group members will pick up
(2) Have each group member talk about what they took away from the
film. In other words, what about the film was important to your
learning individually? To what extent did different group members
take away different things in the film?
(3) Provide concrete examples of the ways in which racial and/or
gender portrayals in media influence our perceptions of reality and/or
people. If media are not addressed directly, discuss how rigid or
stereotypical views on gender and race influence interpersonal
Specific Questions for each group is presented on the final pages of
Presentation: Again, I want each group member to take part in the
group presentation. Please make sure that everyone has an equal
share; no one member should dominate the group. Briefly re-state the
questions so that you can proceed with your responses. No need for
handouts, slides, and so forth since time is limited.
The grade for the group presentations will be based on individual
contributions to the project (15), and group effort (5) for a total of
20 points for the assignment. The group grade will be based on the
extent to which the project was completed in a cooperative fashion.
Calculation of Course Requirements Midterm Examination (In-class) 30
Film Viewing Project 20
Final Examination (Take-home) 50
F Below 60
Schedule of Events and Readings
1/13 Introduction and overview of course
Explanation of Film Viewing Project due 1/27
Read Stalvey's The Education of a WASP in its entirety
1/20 REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. HOLIDAY
1/27 Presentation of Film Viewing Projects
A Discussion on The Education of a WASP
Helms & Cook, 1-3
In Cyrus: U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 171; Gioseffi, 202;
Muwakkil, 254; Watts, 260
2/3 Race, racism, and ingredients of oppression
Film: "Ethnic Notions"
Helms & Cook, chapter 4
In Cyrus: Kolodzey, 118; Allen, 137
2/10 A historical perspective on injustice and processes of
Film: "Savagery and the American Indian" (tentative)
Helms & Cook, chapter 5
In Cyrus: Churchill, 197; McCollom, 276; Daseler, 225; Klanwatch, 251
2/17 A historical perspective, continued
Film: "Africans in America"
Helms & Cook, chapter 7
Cyrus: Bingham, 115; Sanders, 83, McIntosh, 184; Williams, 140
2/24 A look at language and discourse
Film: "Little Things"
Thompson & Carter, 1 & 2
In Cyrus: Thompson, 86; Cofer, 214; Hyde, 75; Pogrebin, 208; Swet, 147
3/3 Mental health implications of oppression: An introduction to
Racial Identity Theory
3/17 SPRING BREAK
Readings during break: Thompson & Carter, 3 & 4
Helms, 8 & 9; Cyrus: Kuttner, 362, Lorde 302
3/24 Racial identity theory: Facilitation of Change
Thompson & Carter, chapter 5 and 6
Helms & Cook, 11-12
3/31 Group level processes to change
Group demonstration, exercises
Thompson & Carter, chapters on group applications (7-9)
Helms & Cook, 13 & 15
4/7 Critical pedagogy and peace education
Film: "Starting Small"
Thompson & Carter, 10-12
In Cyrus: Marklein, 272; National PTA, 411; Pharr, 303; Chavez, 463;
Kimbrill, p. 431;
4/14 Practice sessions using case scenarios
In Cyrus: Rhoads, 442; Lawrence, 454; Baldwin, p. 479; Pfister, p.
4/21 Practice sessions using case scenarios, continued
In Cyrus: Tallinghast, 475; Taliman, p. 483; Davis, p. 485
4/28 FINAL EXAMS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED TODAY
Wrap-up: The counselor/therapist as social change agents
FINAL EXAMS ARE DUE MONDAY, MAY 5TH AT 5 P.M.
References Commonly Cited in Lectures
Apple, M.W. (1995). Education and power. New York: Routledge &
Aronson, E., & Patnoe, S. (1997). The jigsaw classroom: Building
cooperation in the classroom (2nd edition). New York: Longman
Brodkin, K. (1998). How Jews became White folks and what that says
about racism in America. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University.
Browne, A. (1998). Voices in the park. New York: DK Publishing.
Bulhan, H. A. (1985). Frantz Fanon and the psychology of oppression.
New York: Plenum.
Crenshaw, K., Gotanda, N., Peller, G., & Thomas, K (1995)(Eds.)
Critical race theory: The key writings that formed the movement. New
York: The New Press.
Delpit, L. (1988). The silenced dialogue: Power and pedagogy in
educating other people's children. Harvard Educational Review, 54,
Diaz, J. (1987). Learning through action in a violent environment:
An experience of adult non-formal education at the grassroots level?
In T. R. Carson & H. D. Gideonse (Eds.), Peace education and the task
for peace educators. A World Council for Curriculum and Instruction
Fanon, F. (1968). Black skin, white masks. New York: Grove
Franklin, J. H., & Moss, A. A. (2000). From slavery to freedom: A
history of African Americans, 8th edition. Boston: MacGraw-Hill.
Freire, P. (1972). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Herder &
Freire, P. (1986). Pedagogy of hope. New York: Continuum
Gould, S. (1996). The mismeasure of man, 2nd edition. New York:
hooks, b. (1992). Race and representation. Boston, MA: South End.
hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice
of freedom. New York: Routledge.
Jones, J. (1988). Psychological models of race: What have they been
and what should they be? In J. D. Goodchilds (Ed.) Psychological
perspectives on human diversity in America (pp. 7-46). Washington,
DC: American Psychological Association.
Kozol, J. (1991). Savage inequalities: Children in America's
schools. New York: Crown.
King, M. L., Jr (1964). Why we can't wait. New York: New American
Kitano, H. L. L., & Daniels, R. (1995). Asian Americans: Emerging
minorities, 2nd edition. Engelwood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Massey, D. S., & Denton, N. A. (1993). American apartheid:
Segregation and the making of the underclass. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
Martin-Baro, I. (1994). Writings for a liberation psychology.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.
Miller, J. G. (1999). Cultural psychology: Implications for basic
psychological theory. Psychological Science, 10, 85-91.
Miller, A. (1990). For your own good: Hidden cruelty in
child-rearing and the roots of violence. New York: Farrar, Straus, &
Morrison, T. (1992). Playing in the dark: Whiteness and the literary
imagination. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.
Myers, L. J. (1988). Understanding an Afrocentric world view:
Introduction to an optimal psychology. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.
Paley, V. G. (1997). The girl with the brown crayon: How children
use stories to shape their lives. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.
Purpel, D. E. (1989). The moral and spiritual crisis in education: A
curriculum for justice and compassion in education. New York: Bergin
Ridley, C. R. (1995). Overcoming unintentional racism in counseling
and therapy: A practitioners' guide to intentional intervention.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Smedley, A. (1993). Race in North America: Origins and evolution of
a worldview. Boulder, CO: Westview.
Takaki, R. (1993). A different mirror: A history of multicultural
America. Boston: Little & Brown.
Takaki, R. (1990). Iron cages: Race and culture in 19th century
America. New York: Oxford University.
Tatum, B. D. (1997). Why are all the Black kids sitting together in
the cafeteria? And other conversations on race. New York: Basic.
Tec, Nechama (1984). Dry tears: The story of a lost childhood. New
York: Oxford University.
Thompson, C. E., & Neville, H. A. (1999). Racism, mental health, and
mental health practice. The Counseling Psychologist, 27, 155-223.
Thompson, C. E. (in press). Awareness and identity. In T. B. Smith
and P. S. Richards (Eds.) Practicing multiculturalism: Internalizing
and affirming diversity in counseling psychology. Boston, MA: Allyn
Walter, V. (1998). Making up megaboy. New York: DK Publishing.
Wells-Barnett, I. (1938). Lynchings in America.
Wiesenthal, S. (1998). The sunflower: On the possibilities and
limits of forgiveness. New York: Schoken.
Yee, A. H., Fairchild, H. H., Weizmann, F., & Wyatt, G. E. (1993).
Addressing psychology's problems with race. American Psychologist,
Zia, H. (2000). Asian American dreams: The emergence of an American
people. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
Killing Us Softly, Part III
Stale Roles and Tight Buns
How Biased Are You?
Mickey Mouse Monopoly
bell hooks and Cultural Transformation
Who Killed Vincent Chin?
The Color of Fear
Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity
UPDATES (1/14). Stale Roles and Tight Buns and Mickey Mouse Monopoly
have been ordered. I should receive these by Wednesday. Since I may
be in and out of the office that day, I will leave these tapes in my
mailbox. They'll be in boxes. Please check to make sure that this is
the right film before taking.
I also checked out The Color of Fear because I was afraid that if we
waited, somebody else might check it out (it's apparently a popular
film). I made sure that Who Killed Vincent Chin? and Tough Guise were
available through ISS. All you need to do is contact this office to
let them know that you want to view this film for the G575 class.
When you make this contact, they will arrange for you to view the film
there in Franklin Hall and during their office hours. If the members
of these two groups would rather have these films ordered, just let me
know. Only faculty can order out the films. The members of the
Killing Us Softly group already have my personal copy.
Now, bell hooks's film seems that the only copy is checked out from
the library. I have already placed a call with the company to see if
they can send it via priority mail. As soon as receive it, I'll let
The following are the specific questions for each film:
Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1) It is clear that a terrible injustice
was committed in the killing of Vincent Chin and that other factors,
besides race, are operating. Discuss the probable role that alcohol
abuse plays in Vincent Chin's killing. (2) Describe, as best
possible, how the events occurring in Detroit during the time of the
killing played a part in the killing and court proceedings.
Relatedly, talk about the change of venue issue with the court case:
why didn't the change of venue help the outcome?
Killing Us Softly III (1) Kilbourne makes the point that presenting
sexualized images of women (and men) in advertising is problematic.
Many may take issue with this idea, arguing that these sexual images
are a form of appreciation, flattering, and non-prudishness. Talk
about why this imagery is not appreciative or flattering by bringing
in issues of age and the virtual dearth of non-thin women presented in
the advertising. In other words, address issues of unfairness of
Tough Guise (1) Some people may resist this idea that there is an
element of unfairness to gender socialization. Using examples from
the film, try to discuss the difference that the creators attempt to
make between the culture of gender role (i.e., how femininity and
masculinity is defined) and sexism related to gender role
socialization (i.e., the element of unfairness related to these
Stale Roles and Tight Buns Your question is the same as the one for
The Color of Fear (1) Intentional racism occurs in part when people
reject ideas about equal justice, fairness, the Golden Rule, and so
forth. Unintentional racism occurs when people have these values, but
learn to tolerate thoughts or attitudes that contradict them. Discuss
the drama that occurs with unintentional racism that occurs in this
film, and how intentional racism might look. If intentional racism
existed in the scenario, would there have been a resolution?
How Biased Are You? (1) It has been said many time that there exist
two worlds: one White, one Black. Discuss how this is the case in
this film. (2) This film focuses on Whites and Blacks. There
obviously are other racial groups that influence and are influenced by
societal racism. Think of how a group of Mexican Americans may
respond to the test (keeping Blacks and Whites as the stimuli). Try
to imagine how societal racism influences not only relatively distant
relationships between Blacks and Whites, but also, for example, among
Mexican Americans and Blacks.
Mickey Mouse Monopoly: (1) The discussion about innocence is an
important one in this film. How is innocence carried off when, in
fact, several of the Disney movies have racist and sexist overtones?
(2) Pick one of the films that the critics analyze and offer an
alternative perspective or viewpoint, not necessarily your own. To
what might you owe the differences in perspective? (Yes, there are
several reasons). (3) Knowing that it is difficult to avoid the
Disney influence, in what ways can people have more control over the
messages that are conveyed that are not positive? Please assume that
this influence is very forceful; avoiding the movies is not always
bell hooks and Cultural Transformation (1) What is bell hook's main
point about violence in movies and do you think she makes this point
forcefully? (2) It is extremely rare for people to talk about the
intersection of identities --- race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
bell hooks does this several times. Discuss one way in which she does
this in your film and why, in your opinion, such an analysis is so
important to our understanding of people and the forces that influence
them. (3) hooks talks about "climate" issues at two of the
institutions where she's worked, Yale and City University of New York
(CUNY). Talk about the implications of her comments to the idea of
"racial identity," i.e., how people come to view themselves racially
relative to other people. (You don't need to know about racial
identity; just take a good guess). (4) Pick one of the films hooks
analyzes (or her examine her analysis of Madonna) and discuss an
alternative perspective, not necessarily your own. To what might you
owe the differences in perspective? (Yes, there are several reasons).