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.

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Competencies for Counseling the Multiracial Population

Posted in Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Reports, Social Work, Teaching Resources, United States on 2015-06-08 02:00Z by Steven

Competencies for Counseling the Multiracial Population

Multi-Racial/Ethnic Counseling Concerns (MRECC) Interest Network of the American Counseling Association Taskforce
American Counseling Association
51 pages


Kelley R. Kenney

Mark E. Kenney

Taskforce Members/Authors:

Susan B. Alvarado

Amanda L. Baden

Leah Brew

Stuart Chen-Hayes

Cheryl L. Crippen,

Hank L. Harris

Richard C. Henriksen, Jr.

Krista M. Malott

Derrick A. Paladino

Mark L. Pope

Carmen F. Salazar

Anneliese A. Singh

In memory of Dr. Bea Wehrly for her tireless work and advocacy. The publication of her book, Counseling Interracial Individuals and Families, by the American Counseling Association in 1996 was a major part of this journey.

Competencies for Counseling the Multiracial Population: Couples, Families, and Individuals; and Transracial Adoptees and Families (Endorsed and adopted by the ACA Governing Council, March 2015)

The Multiracial/Ethnic Counseling Concerns (MRECC) Interest Network of the American Counseling Association has developed the following competencies in order to promote the development of sound professional counseling practices to competently and effectively attend to the diverse needs of the multiple heritage population.

Section I: Overview

This document is intended to provide counseling competencies for working with and advocating for members of the multiracial population including interracial couples, multiracial families, and multiracial individuals, and transracial adoptees and families. The document is intended for use by counselors and other helping professionals; individuals who educate, train, and/or supervise current and future counseling and other helping professionals; as well as individuals who may conduct research and/or other professional activities with members of the multiracial population. To this end, the goal is for these competencies to serve as a resource and provide a framework for how counseling and other helping professionals can competently and effectively work with and advocate for members of the multiracial population…

Read the entire report here.

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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.

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