Counseling Across Cultures

Seventh Edition



Counseling Across Cultures Seventh Edition

Edited by

Paul B. Pedersen Syracuse University (Emeritus); University of Hawaii (Visiting); Maastricht

School of Management Walter J. Lonner

Western Washington University (Emeritus) Juris G. Draguns

Pennsylvania State University (Emeritus) Joseph E. Trimble

Western Washington University María R. Scharrón-del Río

Brooklyn College City University of New York



SAGE Publications, Inc.

2455 Teller Road

Thousand Oaks, California 91320


SAGE Publications Ltd.

1 Oliver’s Yard

55 City Road

London EC1Y 1SP

United Kingdom

SAGE Publications India Pvt. Ltd.

B 1/I 1 Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area

Mathura Road, New Delhi 110 044


SAGE Publications Asia-Pacific Pte. Ltd.

3 Church Street

#10-04 Samsung Hub

Singapore 049483

Copyright © 2016 by SAGE Publications, Inc.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Printed in the United States of America

A catalog record of this book is available from the Library of Congress.

ISBN 9781452217529

This book is printed on acid-free paper.

15 16 17 18 19 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Acquisitions Editor: Kassie Graves

Associate Editor: Abbie Rickard

Editorial Assistant: Carrie Montoya

Production Editor: Claudia A. Hoffman

Copy Editors: Judy Selhorst, Linda Gray

Typesetter: C&M Digitals (P) Ltd.

Proofreader: Victoria Reed-Castro

Indexer: Karen Wiley

Cover Designer: Candice Harman

Cover Photograph: Walter J. Lonner

Marketing Manager: Shari Countryman




Acknowledgments Foreword Dedication Introduction: Learning From Our “Culture Teachers” PART I. ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF CROSS-CULTURAL COUNSELING

1. Toward Effectiveness Through Empathy 2. Counseling Encounters in Multicultural Contexts: An Introduction 3. Assessment of Persons in Cross-Cultural Counseling 4. Multicultural Counseling Foundations: A Synthesis of Research Findings on Selected Topics

PART II. ETHNOCULTURAL CONTEXTS AND CROSS-CULTURAL COUNSELING 5. Counseling North American Indigenous Peoples 6. Counseling Asian Americans: Client and Therapist Variables 7. Counseling Persons of Black African Ancestry 8. Counseling the Latino/a From Guiding Theory to Practice: ¡Adelante! 9. Counseling Arab and Muslim Clients

PART III. COUNSELING ISSUES IN BROADLY DEFINED CULTURAL CATEGORIES 10. Gender, Sexism, Heterosexism, and Privilege Across Cultures 11. Counseling the Marginalized 12. Counseling in Schools: Issues and Practice 13. Reflective Clinical Practice With People of Marginalized Sexual Identities


14. Counseling International Students in the Context of Cross-Cultural Transitions 15. Counseling Immigrants and Refugees 16. Counseling Survivors of Disaster 17. Counseling in the Context of Poverty 18. The Ecology of Acculturation: Implications for Counseling Across Cultures


19. Health Psychology and Cultural Competence 20. Well-Being and Health 21. Family Counseling and Therapy With Diverse Ethnocultural Groups 22. Religion, Spirituality, and Culture-Oriented Counseling 23. Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Health Promotion in Cross-Cultural Counseling 24. Group Dynamics in a Multicultural World

Index About the Editors


About the Contributors



Elder Wisdom

An elder Lakota was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me… it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.”

The grandchildren thought about it for a minute, and then one child asked her grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The Elder replied simply, “The one you feed.”

The Western conception of the person as a bounded, unique, more or less integrated motivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic center of awareness, emotion, judgment, and action, organized into a distinctive whole and set contrastively—both against other such wholes and against social and natural background—is however incorrigible it may seem to us, a rather peculiar idea within the context of the world’s cultures. (p. 34)

Geertz, C. (1973). The interpretation of cultures: Selected essays. New York: Basic Books.

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its Powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is everywhere,it is within each of us. This is the real Peace, and the others are but reflections of this.

The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which… is within the souls of men. (p. 198)

Black Elk, in Neihardt, J. G. (1961). Black Elk speaks: Being the life story of the holy man of the Oglala Sioux. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Conscientization does not consist, therefore, of a simple change of mind about reality, of a change in individual subjectivity that leaves intact the objective context; conscientization supposes a change in people in the process of changing their relationship with the environment, and above all, with others.

True knowledge is essentially bound with transformative social action and involves a change in the relationship between human beings.


Martín-Baró, I., & Blanco Abarca, A. (1998). Psicología de la liberación. Madrid: Editorial Trotta.



Nearly every academic book ever published has acknowledged individuals who in some way played important roles in the book’s development. In this book we depart from the usual custom and acknowledge those who, on one hand, were important in organizing, editing, and producing the book, as well as those who, on the other hand, played important roles in the lives of the five coeditors. The former can be considered general acknowledgments that we all share. The latter are necessarily different for each of us. Thus we have agreed to contribute individually.

In the general category we want to thank SAGE Publications for the confidence it has shown in us throughout the years. The two key SAGE people with whom we have worked are Kassie Graves, who has been part of this effort for many years, and her assistant, Carrie Baarnes. Although a relative newcomer to SAGE, Carrie was a big help in the latter stages. We were flattered that Claudia Hoffman, SAGE’s director of U.S. book production, pointedly selected Counseling Across Cultures as a book she wanted to usher through its final copyediting and production stages. In characteristic good judgment, Claudia chose Judy Selhorst to be copy editor for the book. It is remarkable how careful and efficient Judy was during the latter part of the process, when it is so important to be complete and precise. Candace Harman and her crew in the graphics department did an excellent job with the cover. Further north, on the campus of Western Washington University, is Genavee Brown. A graduate student in the Department of Psychology and a most promising young scholar, Genavee was “the organizer” in crucial stages. When the book is published, the first copy will go to Paul Pedersen and the second will go to Genavee.

On the personal side, we offer the following highly individualized acknowledgments:

Paul B. Pedersen. I would like to acknowledge and to dedicate my role in the preparation of this book to Anthony J. “Tony” Marsella, professor emeritus of the University of Hawaii. Tony was my prime teacher at so many different levels. He was as comfortable in the village council of a Borneo community as he was, for example, during a World Health Organization committee meeting many years ago, or as he was in his lectures throughout his illustrious career. The classes he taught would frequently end with standing ovations by his students. He originated the awareness, knowledge, and skill model, which became the basis of the measures for competence within the field of multicultural counseling. Many other examples of his influence come to mind. Most important, he has in recent years become a first-class friend and co-traveler in life’s journey. In the metaphor of family, Tony has fathered many children among his students, his colleagues, and his other brothers and sisters. For all that you have given, Tony, I send you my thanks.

Walter J. Lonner. Above all else I want to thank my immediate family, consisting of many people, both living and dead. Among the living are my everything-and-then-some wife, Marilyn, and our three great children (Jay, Alyssa, and Andrea), each of whom has two daughters with terrific spouses. The world had better watch out for those six little dynamos. By name and current age they are Sika (14) and Brenna (11) Lonner, Sophia (11) and Alena (8) Naviaux, and Nina (7) and Sage (4) Howards. I was blessed with great parents and two


brothers: Terry, the youngest of us, who is a beacon of honor and dependability and a jack-of-all-trades; and George, the oldest. We grew up in beautiful and generous western Montana. George died October 8, 2012,

about midway through the work on this book. George was the family’s Don Quixote, dreaming big things and imagining the impossible. It is he, not I, who should have been a university professor, for he would have dazzled thousands of students with his talent of mixing fact with fantasy. The encouragement and praise that Terry and George and the rest of my family piled upon me, through thick and thin, has always kept me going. I also want to acknowledge the multidimensional influence that an international network of scholars has had on my 50-plus years of trying to understand the nature of culture’s influence on everything we say, think, and do. Part of this network consists of the many talented people, including the current slate of coeditors, who have contributed to one or more of the seven editions of Counseling Across Cultures.

Juris G. Draguns. Throughout the seven editions of Counseling Across Cultures, I have enjoyed marvelous support, encouragement, and understanding from my wife, Marie. We have shared 52 wonderful years, and Marie’s love and empathy have helped me overcome whatever obstacles have stood in my way, sometimes tangible, more often subjective. As I thought about, wrote, and edited Counseling Across Cultures, I would temporally disappear into the book, and Marie was always there to welcome me when I reemerged from its pages. My two children, Julie and George, were young when Counseling Across Cultures first appeared. They grew up as the book evolved through its several transformations, and the two processes intertwined. What has remained constant is our mutual love and my vicarious enjoyment of and pride over Julie’s and George’s families, careers, and achievements. Thinking back on my early years, I gratefully remember my parents, especially my mother, who instilled in me a curiosity and love of learning and protected me from the dangerous world outside our home. It is thanks to her that I survived and was able to work toward the realization of my version of the American Dream. And in the course of the ensuing multiple transitions I benefited from a host of culture teachers who helped me become more empathetic and perhaps more helpful across cultural barriers. They are too numerous to mention, but my sincerest thanks go to them all.

Joseph E. Trimble. I owe Paul Pedersen a special measure of personal gratitude and appreciation. In August 1972 Paul met with me and my wife, Molly, at a lanai in Honolulu. Over a late-morning breakfast he vividly described his new triad theory of counseling training to underscore his strong growing interest in culture and psychological counseling. It was a memorable occasion for the three of us. A few years later, Paul invited me to give a symposium paper on counseling American Indians and later publish a chapter in the first edition of Counseling Across Cultures. Molly was extremely helpful when I wrote that first chapter and continues to be insightful and helpful in almost all of my writing activities. She has a keen eye for detail and a spirited mind for novel concepts and ideas. Throughout the course of each of the Counseling Across Cultures editions our three lovely and talented daughters, Genevieve, Lee Erin, and Casey Ann, have been with me when each edition arrived home for their review and comment, and it has always been a proud moment for me when they read their names in the acknowledgments and commented on it. Also, I am deeply grateful for all of the people who have provided me with guidance, advice, and collaboration on the contents of the various chapters put together for the seven editions. Thank you especially to Candace Fleming, Fred Beauvais, Pamela Jumper Thurman, and John Gonzales.


María R. Scharrón-del Río. I am very grateful for the love, guidance, and support of mi familia. My mother, Rosarito, and my sister Marilia housed and fed me in Puerto Rico as I was finishing the final editing process for this book. My sister Marichi also assisted me with her commentary during this time, and my father, Rafael, accompanied me on a couple of hour-long mental health escapades to the ocean. I am also grateful to my partner, Yvonne, for her love, support, and understanding, and for providing a home for me in Germany during part of my sabbatical. Many thanks also to my chosen family in New York City—Cody, Mara, Barb, Wayne, Paul, and Flo—who helped in too many ways to count. I owe a special thanks to Joseph Trimble and Guillermo Bernal, who have been outstanding mentors and friends since I was an undergraduate student in the Career Opportunities in Research (NIMH-COR) program at the University of Puerto Rico. I also want to thank Eliza Ada Dragowski for her exceptional work and support in the completion of this book. Finally, my thanks to the wonderful group of people who provided additional guidance on the content of various chapters of the book: Priscilla Dass-Brailsford, Stuart Chen-Hayes, Hollyce Giles, Vic Muñoz, Delida Sánchez, and Avi Skolnik.

Paul B. Pedersen

Walter J. Lonner

Juris G. Draguns

Joseph E. Trimble

María R. Scharrón-del Río



During a lifetime of more than four score and four years, I have seen culture change before my eyes like a fast- moving kaleidoscope. Old ways of being are replaced rapidly by new ones. Each generation upgrades its relationships with the various environments that affect its existence. As I developed and acquired more information about my time-and-space world, I understood the complexity of culture. In high school, I heard it discussed in connection with geography. My teachers talked about how the natural environments in which people live necessarily influence their ways of life. Their environments determine the kinds of homes they build to protect themselves from outside elements. Since climates vary from one time zone to another, it is tenable to conclude that the structures in which people live and work also differ from one part of the world to another.

In undergraduate school, I learned other things about culture. People in various groups often dress differently from one another and may speak languages other than English. They often observe religious practices different from the ones I knew. From the social science classes I took, I acquired a general understanding of culture. After graduating from college, I spent two years in Europe. There I saw up close what my professors had meant about people being different from one part of the world to another. I kept journals on places I visited and people I met that confirmed the content of my professors’ lectures. Notable among my experiences was the day I encountered Jean-Paul Sartre and his companion Simone de Beauvoir in a small Parisian café where they were reading some of their works. When I entered graduate school at Indiana University, understanding culture was my passion. I read as much as I could about it; I took as many sociology courses as I could work into my academic program. I learned that there were more than a hundred definitions of culture and that cultural theorists used a variety of concepts to highlight ideas that they deemed uniquely theirs. I learned that culture is not only material but also immaterial. That is, there are objects in our environment that determine the nature of our existence. There are also many things we cannot see. For example, we have values and attitudes about everybody and everything. People interact with their surroundings. The individual’s behavior is influenced by that of others. Culture is learned. It is experienced and internalized. This internalization is often referred to as personality. It is conscious and unconscious, affective and cognitive, perceptible and imperceptible, and much more.

When I became a practicing psychologist and counselor educator, I felt the need to understand the cultures of my clients, because I soon became aware that their problems were usually related to the cultural contexts in which they grew up and resided. By the 1960s, the civil rights movement in the United States was going full blast. Integration was becoming a reality for African Americans who had previously lived in an apartheid-like society. They had always lived in segregated communities and attended segregated schools. After the changes of the 1960s, African Americans began showing up in formerly all-White classrooms and in the offices of school counselors. The American Personnel and Guidance Association (now called the American Counseling Association, or ACA), officially organized in 1952, soon found itself in the midst of the turmoil of a dramatically changing society. Throughout the country, White counselors were expected to help Black clients; Black counselors were expected to help White clients. It was out of the new clienteles and the different


cultures they represented that a new interest area emerged in the counseling profession. Paul Pedersen was

among the first educators to take the lead in helping counselors and psychologists to meet more effectively the needs of clients who came to be referred to as culturally different. As I got to know Paul, I recognized that he was visionary and just the right person to convene a panel of counselors, counselor educators, and psychologists to discuss cross-cultural counseling at the 1973 convention of the American Psychological Association in Montreal. Out of the panel presentations came the first edition of Counseling Across Cultures, published in 1976. Becoming a classic in cross-cultural counseling, it has contributed significantly to what is now the fastest-growing movement in counseling. I am proud to have been one of the participants on the APA Montreal panel and a chapter contributor to the first edition of the book.

After the Montreal panel presentation, I conceptualized a model of culture designed to help counselors meet the needs of their culturally challenging clients. I argue that most human beings are molded by five concentric cultures: (1) universal, (2) ecological, (3) national, (4) regional, and (5) racio-ethnic. The human being is at the core of these cultures, which are neither separate nor equal. The first and most external layer is the universal culture, or the way of life that is determined by the physiology of the human species. People are conceived in a given way, they consume nourishment to live, they grow into adulthood, they contribute to the group, and they grow old and die. These and other ways of life are invariable dimensions of human existence. During the course of the social development of the species, people learn to play a variety of roles essential for survival. These are internalized and transmitted from one generation to another. It seems important that counselors recognize themselves and their clients as members of this culture that is common to all humanity. The recognition helps counselors to identify with and assist all clients, regardless of their cultural and socioeconomic heritage.

Human existence is also shaped by the ecosystem, which is the lifeline for everybody. Climatic conditions, indigenous vegetation, animal life, seasonal changes, and other factors determine how people interact with nature and themselves. People who use dogsleds to go to the grocery store experience life differently from those who need only to gather foodstuffs from the trees and plants in their backyards. Inhabitants of Arabian deserts wear loose body coverings and headgear to protect themselves from the dangerously hot rays of the sun and from unexpected sandstorms. The way of life that people develop in order to survive in a specific geographical area of the world may be called the ecological culture, the second layer of culture.

-research paper writing service