Investigating identity

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2017-02-27 20:36Z by Steven

Investigating identity

Counseling Today: A Publication of the American Counseling Association

Laurie Meyers, Senior Writer

“What are you?”

That is a question commonly asked of individuals who are multiracial. As a society, we have gotten used to checking off a metaphorical — and often literal — “box” when it comes to questions of race. We seem to expect everyone to “just pick one.”

But the population of the United States is becoming increasingly diverse, not just in terms of our nation’s racial makeup, but also in the growing number of people who identify themselves as belonging to two, three or more racial groups…

…Counselors who study multiracial issues and in some cases are multiracial themselves say that this finding of shifting racial identity is indicative of one of the core issues of being from multiple races — identity and belonging…

…ACA member Derrick Paladino, who is part Puerto Rican and part Italian American, grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood in Connecticut. When kids at school would question him about “what” he was, Paladino would simply say Italian because that seemed easier and perhaps safer.

Paladino, who also helped to develop the Competencies for Counseling the Multiracial Population, says he didn’t have a lot of contact with the Puerto Rican side of his extended family when he grew up, so he didn’t have much opportunity to explore the Latino part of his identity. When he ultimately decided to go to college at the University of Florida, Paladino says he was thrilled at the prospect of meeting other Latino students.

“I got my Latino Students Association card, and I was so excited,” Paladino recalls. “But I discovered that because I was not fluent or hadn’t had [what was considered] the full Latino experience, I didn’t fit in well.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Preparing counselors for America’s multiracial population boom

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2015-07-25 00:41Z by Steven

Preparing counselors for America’s multiracial population boom

Counseling Today: A Publication of the American Counseling Association

Bethany Bray, Staff Writer

Preparing counselors for America’s multiracial population boom

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the nation’s multiracial population will triple by 2060.

That prognostication only heightens the long-standing need for counselors to better understand this population, say Kelley and Mark Kenney. The husband-and-wife counselor educators spearheaded development of the Competencies for Counseling the Multiracial Population, which were endorsed by the American Counseling Association Governing Council this past spring.

The new multiracial competencies, which offer guidance for working with individuals, couples and families who have backgrounds from more than one racial heritage, were developed by a task force made up of members of the ACA Multiracial/Multiethnic Counseling Concerns Interest Network, co-chaired by the Kenneys.

Counselors are going to have multiracial clients walking through their doors more and more frequently, says Mark Kenney, a licensed professional counselor (LPC) who is a professor and coordinator of the master’s program in psychology at Chestnut Hill College at DeSales University in Pennsylvania. That client might be a multiracial teenager who is struggling in school, a same-sex couple that has adopted a child of a different heritage or many other scenarios.

The ACA Code of Ethics’ call for counselors to be competent and ethical practitioners applies here, Mark says. Understanding and being sensitive to the multiracial experience “isn’t an option anymore,” he says. “This is an expectation with this population.”

“Historically, there has not been a good relationship between this community and the helping professions,” he adds. “Only within the last 20 years has there been better research and understanding of this population.”

Much of the talk leading up to the 2008 election of President Barack Obama – a man with a white mother and a black father – suggested that Americans still harbor significant misunderstandings about the biracial population, says Kelley Kenney, a full professor and program coordinator of student affairs in higher education at Kutztown University.

“There was a lot of discussion about [multiracial] couples and families, brought on by the fact that we had a man who was running for president who, oh by the way, just happened to be of multiple heritages,” Kelley says. “As recent as 2008, there was still a lot of bias and stereotyping going on…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Counseling Today Online: Under the radar

Posted in Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2010-11-25 03:57Z by Steven

Counseling Today Online: Under the radar

Counseling Today Online
American Counseling Association

Lynne Shallcross

Five ACA members discuss their efforts to reach out to and connect with client populations at risk of being overlooked and underserved

No ethical counselor enters the profession and anticipates skipping over or ignoring a group in need of help. But in reality, some client populations aren’t easily reached or don’t readily avail themselves of counseling services. And others are simply overlooked, for one reason or another.

To shed light on a few of these underserved groups, Counseling Today asked five American Counseling Association members to share their experiences of actively reaching out to, connecting with and advocating for client populations that too often fly under the radar.

Multiracial clients

At times, Derrick Paladino still gets choked up talking about the prayer he would say nightly while in elementary school. It was a prayer offered by a little boy who desperately wanted to fit in. “I wish I woke up White,” he would pray before going to sleep.

At that point, Paladino, whose mother was born in Puerto Rico and whose father was second-generation Italian American, was the only non-White student at his school in a small Connecticut town. Now an assistant professor and chair of the Department of Graduate Studies in Counseling at Rollins College, Paladino says he felt his “differentness” every day at school. The discriminatory remarks he heard from other kids didn’t help…

…Even when he entered college at the University of Florida, Paladino didn’t feel like he fit in anywhere. He received invitations to join Latino student groups but felt like a fraud because he didn’t speak Spanish fluently. “I wasn’t whole of anything,” he says.

But a few years later, sitting in a multicultural counseling class in his master’s program at Florida, he read about a biracial identity model developed by [Walker S.] Carlos Poston. It became Paladino’s “aha” moment. “It was me on paper,” says Paladino, who also runs a private practice in Winter Park, Fla. “It was making sense of how I pushed away from my mom, because being brown was bad where I lived, and how I figured out how to navigate through life and my environments. It was a moment of change when I figured out, ‘I need to focus on who I am and how this identity affects me, and I need to do more with it.’ I could then also celebrate my multiracial identity and see the strengths that come with it.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,