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Everyone has their own unique cultural experience that is not exclusive to just race or ethnicity. Cultural competence is an essential aspect of counselor training; therefore, understanding the perspectives of different cultures is integral for the growth and development of counselors. This assignment will allow you to explore aspects of other cultures to gain a better understanding of and appreciation for these other cultures.

Part 1: The Cultural Plunge Experience

Choose one of the following ways to investigate a culture different from your own:

  • Watch at least 30 minutes of a documentary or other nonfictional video that realistically portrays individuals with a different ethnicity, sexual orientation, social class, religion, or other self-identified culture than yours.
  • Interview someone who is culturally different from you, inquiring about the values and practices of their cultural group.
Part 2: Cultural Plunge Reflection

Write a 700- to 1,050-word reflection on the insight you gain during your investigation of different social and cultural perspectives. Include the following:

Personal Cultural Observations
  • Describe the culture of the group you observed, including their shared values, language, rituals or traditions, religious or spiritual beliefs, and roles and expectations of the members of the group.
  • Explain how the attitudes, beliefs, and values of this culture are:
  • similar or different from your own culture 
  • different from that of the dominant culture
  • Describe some of your prior impressions of this culture 
  • What were your expectations of people from this cultural group before doing this investigation? What do your expectations reveal about the assumptions you’ve learned to make about people in this culture?
  • Which biases might you have been taught to believe about this cultural group in the past that were challenged by what you observed? What personal biases did you discover? 
  • Describe how you plan to overcome these biases in your counseling practice. Explain what you have discovered as areas of improvement based on this experience. Describe your plan for improving in those areas.
Culture in the Counseling Process
  • Describe the common attitudes, beliefs, needs, and philosophies the examined population has regarding the counseling process. 
  • Describe how your culture defines the roles of the counselor and the client. Explain how the culture you investigated defines the roles of the counselor and the client. Compare these different perceptions of the therapeutic relationship. 
  • Explain how different cultural perspectives may affect the therapeutic relationship. Include a description of how microaggressions can affect therapeutic relationships with individuals from this culture.
  • Describe strategies for providing the best counseling services to the examined population, including local counseling resources and specialized referral agencies in your area. Explain why these resources are the best available for this population.

Format any citations within your assignment according to appropriate course-level APA guidelines. Include a citation for the video you watched or the person you interviewed.