Mental Health Setting

Introduction

In these days, I have seen the topic of diversity as one of the most common subjects in every industry and this includes healthcare, education, manufacturing, etc. It is a fact that individuals bring in different beliefs, views, culture or ideas and those are valuable assets that could contribute in a positive way for a company to succeed. These beliefs also, make the difference and could transform each scenario of life.

In a mental health setting, the topic of diversity is not the exclusion. In this setting, therapists have their own opinions about how things should be as well as the clients. However, the mutual respect must be continuously present to maintain the professionalism. Besides, personally I have seen how the topic of diversity has changed my life and the perspectives I used to have on others simply because culture, religion, preferences, rituals, and many other areas.

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Couple and Sex therapy with Diverse Couples

Reflecting on the topic of diversity I see myself as someone that keeps a professional environment with my clients as well as my bias. On the other hand, the topic of diversity is greatly increased and the chances of having couples or individuals in therapy with different ethnics are more evident (Blount & Young, 2015). The main reason individuals, couples or families will come to me is that they need help with their issues as they are expecting my consideration and respect instead of having feelings of being judged or discriminated.

Besides, no matter the client’s circumstances, their beliefs should not be proportional to my own opinions or ideas. In the contrary, I would like to receive the same respect from my therapist regarding my beliefs or ideas to a certain situation. A great example of this is when treating individuals that have chosen a different lifestyle for me. I grew up in one of the islands of the Caribbean called Puerto Rico. The proximity and the influence of the United States was remarkable as well as the mixed population, open the possibilities to explore other cultures that were living in the island during the time I was younger.

Based on these circumstances, I could say I was raised in a culturally diverse environment, including diverse religions, multiracial groups, sexual orientation such as the LGBT groups, etc. In this case, I must say I feel capable to provide a quality service to the client (s) under my care and if for some reason I feel I am not talented to treat the client, then the best alternative is to refer the client to another professional in the area to assist them better with their presenting problem.

Furthermore, being raised in Puerto Rico and coming to live years later in the State of Florida has given me the opportunity to change my perspectives regarding being working with other individuals with different views. During my time in Florida, I have had the opportunity to work with Hispanics from different places or origin, Islamic, Asians, African and African-Americans, and Americans. I was always curious and asked them questions to learn about their preferences, language, behaviors, or rituals. In other words, I was fascinated with other cultures, religions, expressions, behaviors from other cultures different than me.

I honestly, don’t feel I have any bias, I am comfortable working with someone regardless of their sexual orientation, or religion. I believe, I would be somewhat nervous to work with a same sex couple that is experiencing some type of verbal or emotional abuse or physical, because I have experience that type of abuse in the past in a heterosexual marriage; I would hope I would not be bias in that sense. I know it can affect my level of care if I do not make a point to remember to leave my judgment at the door, because this is about my clients, and they come first always.

For example, I grew-up in a Catholic family and my values are strengthened in a life based on family values presented by God in the Bible. My grandparents raised me and they believed, men and women are meant to be together as a family and any other changes different than that could affect or influence the family system. I growing up, didn’t have that believe, I always thought to each its own, everyone has a right to decide what is good for them. I really don’t see I would have an issue.

Reversely, another great example, but in a different category is to when working with a couple or individual with a different religion than me, like for instance a Muslim. They do have different point of views about God than what I believe. However, I feel capable to work with them to find a solution to their presenting problem that could be related to sexual dysfunction or problems with their communication as many others. To me, I feel capable since I have studied religions and their behavior, and I can work with them. If I am not able to comprehend something in specific about their behavior, I could either do a research, ask them about their preferences as a couple or specific rituals they might have or lastly refers them to a therapist more trained to assist the couple.

However, I recognize there will be times, I will have to see clients that are having issues with their sexuality or have suffered from a trauma, such as someone paralytic or someone that had a spinal cord injury for example. My tendency here will be to treat them with respect and as someone without any disability and make sure I don’t make impulsive comments. I personally know how important is to treat someone with compassion, since I had a brother who had a mental disability and many times experienced rejection from a care provider as well as from others.

For this reason, we must think about that this topic of diversity is rising tremendously in our society and we will be seeing different cases daily in which we have to ensure to maintain a professional environment. The Code of Ethics in its 2015 edition mentions that a therapist should have no bias when working with clients and must provide “services despite difference of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability, and religion, natural origin, gender identity or relationship status” (Code of Ethics, 2015).

In cases when a therapist is not familiar with a specific area or is not capable to treat clients, then it is crucial to look for training opportunities to become more skillful and to add more expertise to their career or services she or he offer in practice. Hence, there are also many resources to assist therapists and help them to success. I could use, as an example, to improve their level of competency such as articles that use approaches of relational ethics, systemic interactions, and many others in cases when working with lesbian couples (Belous, 2015).

Following this example, therapists can use systemic theory to treat same-sex couples and better understand their present issues and avoid having the bias towards their opinions. Here we can include situations when couples have different cultural backgrounds, religions, languages, etc. (Henricksen & Paladino, 2009).

Another good resource, is to engage in the different community organizations that help minorities or other racial groups to learn more from other professionals. Based on this when therapist, for example, is treating issues related to culture, then he or she must be aware of how that specific culture thinks, behave or internalize life perspectives to better assist the client (s) with those sexual issues. Also, when dealing with issues related to religion, then it is crucial to understand how that religion works and the influence or control (if any) it has to the individual involved.

The same process is with language issues or place of origin. In fact, the process basically consists of helping couples to understand cognitively their issues and move forward with a rational resolution instead of keep thinking about the same problem repeatedly. These issues make the relationship more difficult and affect the system as a whole.

Conclusion

The work of the therapist regarding diversity consists in removing his or her bias, views or opinions and focusing on addressing the couple’s issues (Gehart, 2014). The fact is that no matter of how much training we undergo, or how many clients we see in a short or long term; there is a chance we will come across new things to learn. Besides, therapists must be in constant self-evaluation to make sure those rules are followed, and professionalism is maintained.

Furthermore, my own views relating to the difference in culture might influence the delivery of therapeutic services to clients from different cultural backgrounds. For the same reason, it is important to appreciate the culture of the client which will result in a better relationship between the client and me and hence providing better services. By understanding their boundaries and have a better understanding of their response depending on their cultures and beliefs.

References

  1. AAMFT Code of Ethics. (2015, January 1). Retrieved from http:// www.aamft.org/imis15/Document/ Legal Ethics/ Board Approved Code for Web Secured.pdf
  2. Belous, C. K. (2015). Couple therapy with lesbian partners using an affirmative-contextual approach. http://www-tandfonline-com.proxy1.ncu.edu/doi/full/10.1080/01926187.2015
  3. 1012234
  4. Blount, A. J., & Young, M. E. (2015). Counseling Multiple-Heritage Couples. Journal Of Multicultural Counseling & Development, 43(2), 137-152. doi:10.1002/j.2161-1912.2015.00070.x
  5. Gehart, D. R. (2014). Mastering competencies in family therapy: A practical approach to theories and clinical case documentation. Belmont, Calif: Brooks/Cole Pub.
  6. Henricksen, R., & Paladino, D. (2009). Counseling multiple heritage individuals, couples, and families. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.”

Influential Women – Ellen DeGeneres

I believe that Ellen Lee DeGeneres deserves more credit and ovation for what she has done in her life by inspiring men and women all the world. She was born in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. Growing up she wanted to become a veterinarian but said she wasn’t “book smart”. Ellen grew up a funny girl, she started doing stand-up comedy at a young age. In a article I read, the author stated “At the age of 23, DeGeneres began performing at a local coffeehouse. She got her big debut in 1986 when, acting on a tip from Jay Leno, The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson sent a booking agent to catch her act at the Improv in Hollywood”(para, 12). Ellen then appeared on the tonight show and at the time she was one of the only female comics. She was then invited to be on other shows like, “The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Later with Greg Kinnear, Larry King Live, and Good Morning, America”(para, 13). All this exposure from other shows were starting to get around and she was becoming pretty popular. She then created her own show named “Ellen” in 1997.

The show faced strong criticism when, in April 1997, DeGeneres’ character became the first lead in sitcom history to openly acknowledge her homosexuality on air. An ABC affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama, refused to air the landmark episode. Fearing controversy, some of the show’s sponsors, Daimler Chrysler among them, withdrew advertisements”(para, 14).

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Ellen suffered from this decision by losing viewers and interest to some people. I personally have high respect for Ellen for standing up for herself and all those out there who are afraid to speak up when it comes to came sex preference. Ellen was given this platform by Oprah Winfrey on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. Oprah of course gave her wonderful courage, love, and strength while she told the news to everyone on live television.

Ellen DeGeneres often supports people or families who are in need or something very tragic has happened to them. In article by Monique Ellis, she mentions “Some recent examples include a $10,000 contribution for the wedding of a breast-cancer survivor who relied on The Ellen Show to lift her spirits during chemotherapy treatment and surgery recovery”(Ellis, para 4 ). There was another scenario stated by the author, “Ellen spotlighted previously-homeless man, Derek Walton, who set up the restaurant, Rock Power Pizza, that provides a free meal for homeless people and disadvantaged families every Monday”(Ellis, para 4). She then found out his story and invited him on the show and encouraged him to keep being a good person. She then gave him a check for $10,000 that left him speechless. Then a week later she invited him back on the “Ellen” show and gave him another check for $10,000 and a whole home renovation. In the article they add a quote that she has said before: “I don’t think you have to have a talk show to be nice to people, to do what I’m doing. I just think kindness is something that we all should have”(Ellis, para, 13). Ellen just simply does what is deep down to heart right and that meaning, do things for others, love one another, and spread joy. She also is similar to Oprah Winfrey in a way of using their famous platforms to do great things for people and to help others in wonderful ways.

Ellen has achieved a lot in her life, from many personal awards to helping people left and right. Article says, “During the period 2004-14, she has won twenty-five ‘Emmy Awards’. She has also been the recipient of ‘Producers Guild of America Awards’ in two occasions”(para, 26). This proves how many people appreciate her and how she has done so much for others. On November 11, 2016, Barack Obama gifted Ellen Lee DeGeneres with the beautiful medal of freedom. He gave this important medal to her because he realized and respected the major sacrifices she made for herself by her announces her homosexuality on live television in front of millions. She is iconic for this in the most inspiring way. Barack said “just how important it was and not only to the LGBT community but to all of us to see somebody so full of kindness, someone who could be our neighbor, or colleague, or sister to challenge our own assumptions. Remind us that we have more in common than we realize”(Obama). He makes a point when saying “we have more in common than we realize” to tell everyone that we are all human and all equal and need to have the most freedom in this country as possible. He also mentions that she is “helping this country push towards justice”. I respect Barack for noticing Ellen and her wonderful acts and rewards her for all she has done and continues to do so to this day.

By doing this assignment, I have learned more about Ellen DeGeneres and how influential she has been for the past 3 to 4 decades. I feel as if she is not given enough credit as she should be receiving. It’s upsetting but there are still people that don’t respect same sex preferences or same sex marriage. I think that they’re plenty of those people that will not even listen to Ellen because of that which I believe is so utterly wrong. I believe that Ellen Lee DeGeneres is an amazing person and I think she is very influential to all americans and even to other countries.

Works Cited

  1. “Ellen Degeneres Timeline.” Timetoast, www.timetoast.com/timelines/118905.
  2. “How Ellen DeGeneres Is Making the World a Better Place.” A Better World Is Possible!, 18 Nov. 2017, www.betterworldinternational.org/blog/ellen-degeneres-making-world-better-place/.
  3. “Ellen DeGeneres.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 15 Mar. 2018, www.biography.com/people/ellen-degeneres-9542420.
  4. “Who Is Ellen DeGeneres? Everything You Need to Know.” Childhood, Life Achievements & Timeline, www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/ellendegeneres-1329.php.
  5. “Ellen DeGeneres to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/ellen-degeneres-receive-presidential-medal-freedom-n684926.
  6. “Ellen DeGeneres Medal of Freedom Award 11-22-16.” YouTube, YouTube, 22 Nov. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOErQMqCXvM.

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