My Multicultural Background – Essay

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My multicultural background includes a composition of ethnic heritages from English, Welsh, Irish, German, Dutch, and Spanish origins and includes a familial religious dedication to the Catholic faith. I personally do not identify with Catholicism but am familiar with its practice. Instead, my personal practice consists of believing in an unspecified spiritual power that connects all living things via energy and synchronicity. I am in the Young Adulthood stage of life at 27 years of age, identify as a cisgender heterosexual female, and am involved in an intimately committed heterosexual relationship with intentions of becoming a mother in the upcoming years.

Though I am an only child, I come from a large extended family with its roots in American culture that can be traced back to the 1600s whose core values emphasize hard work and family support, yet, also value independence and individuation. In terms of status, I consider myself to fall within mid-level socioeconomic status and have experienced many privileges throughout my life. Nevertheless, there have also been occasions in which I have experienced microaggressions, sexist remarks, and overt discrimination.

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Over the years, especially over recent years in which self-reflection has become increasingly important, I have developed an understanding of the interplay between the multicultural aspects that make up my identity and how I affiliate with such. I have come to understand myself through my many experiences (i.e., familial, influences of society, individual and unique experiences, etc.). I’ve always felt comfortable as a cisgender heterosexual and spiritual woman, and have been faced with very few instances in which I felt pressured to conform to a particular religion or act in accordance with my gender. I have heard and witnessed societies’ subtle messages that encourage heterosexuality and recommend the belief that God is the ‘right’ way. However, internally, I was never quite convinced of this and thankfully my parents encouraged me to pursue my own beliefs and values.

Personally, I believe that everyone has the right to love whomever he or she wants and faithfully believe in whatever God or energy they find meaningful. Having opportunities to develop a personal connection with my ethnic identity, on the other hand, has been somewhat limited. I am of mixed Caucasian descent, but I had never considered exploring the essential meaning of the various regions my heritage is comprised of (i.e. traditions, mythology, cultural history, etc.) until recently. Over the past three years, I have considered exploring this aspect of myself to be quite important and have spent many hours exploring and researching these features so as to develop a firmer understanding of my culture and family, as well as myself.

My multicultural dynamic could certainly impact my assessment and/or treatment style with this particular client (MT). Having grown up with core values that emphasize taking pride in one’s work, striving to become the best one can be, staying devoted to one’s beliefs, staying devoted to one’s family, yet, also valuing independence and individuation lends these values to remain at the forefront of my mind when making decisions.

Having developed an awareness of these values and schematic beliefs have also led me to understand that while MT’s and my personal set of values may overlap in some ways, in other ways they may not. These similarities and/or differences could impact our therapeutic relationship in both positive and negative ways, as we could develop both positive and negative feelings towards one another (transference/countertransference) if our systems of belief are in accordance or opposition to one another. As such, in order to mediate those effects, it would be important to explore MT’s system of underlying values, schematic beliefs, and perspective.

Further, being that I am Caucasian, relatively young, relatively privileged, an only-child, am unmarried, and without children, this leads me to consider the dimensions of life in a particular manner that are naturally unique to my life experiences. These differences in comparison to MT’s multicultural aspects could potentially result in MT being initially hesitant to develop a trusting relationship with me. Thus, being mindful, sensitive, and curious to

understand more about MT’s life experiences (i.e., a middle-aged Mexican-American woman, a middle-child with many siblings, married, experienced the death of her infant, etc.) and the interplay between these fundamental aspects would be ultimately important to consider when assessing and working therapeutically with MT.
In order to mediate all of these effects when working therapeutically with MT, I must show appreciation via curiosity and understanding for MT’s multicultural differences. This also includes striving to gain a better understanding of her generational status, her languages (if relevant), her socioeconomic status, and educational and/or occupational achievements, as well as sensitivity towards her medical condition and religious beliefs.

Further, research suggests that when working with clients of Mexican-American heritage it is important to consider using a holistic approach; exploring and incorporating the intersection between her individual, familial, and national identities (Moitinho, et al., 2015; Sue & Sue; 2016).

Finally, given MT’s previous experience with therapists, it seems that being mindful to refrain from using too much self-disclosure while also maintaining firm yet warm professional boundaries are of importance and would allow for the development of a positive therapeutic alliance.

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My Multicultural Background - Essay. (2021, May 10). Retrieved from