Immigrants essay

It’s critical to keep in mind that while working with an immigrant client, this is a person who has chosen to leave their own country in quest of better prospects. When they arrive, this person has a really positive impression of the place, but the first thing they feel is cultural shock (Brinson, 1996). Language problems between the counselor and the immigrant must be taken into account.
The counselor should also take into account the immigrant’s various mannerisms. A habit like how one eats or interacts with others is very different due to the difference in culture. There are also obvious differences in appearance and speech that could make the individual making them vulnerable to prejudicial treatment and scrutiny. Each culture has different values and this may lead to bicultural stress (Tatar, 2012).
The cultural challenges involved in counselling refugees are diverse but with relevant guiding principles in counselling the same can be overcome. One of the considerations that a counsellor should make is that culture greatly impacts the mental health of an individual. It is also important to remember that there is the way each culture perceives authority.
In dealing with refugees, one cannot separate the individual from the experience of torture (Barrington, & Shakespeare-Finch, 2013). Most refugees usually have separated from their families and they have experienced violence. In the western culture, there is emphasis on being self-sufficient but this may be different for the refugee who may come from a culture that is more dependent on authority and expect practical advice and direct support.
The refugee is a person who due to avoidable circumstances, usually have left a world behind but this world is also inside them. A counsellor should do their research on the politics, socials systems and history of the world that the refugee left behind.
Cultural issues and trends applying to the following:
The Hmong in California
Most immigrant groups in the United States have adopted the American culture. However the Hmong is one group that has kept its culture in various aspects. Unlike the American culture where people live in nuclear families, the Hmong live in large extended families and they have very strong family ties. The other difference is marriage where the Hmong girls get married at a very young age between 13 and 14 years (Lindsey, 2015). This has often contradicted the American culture and some men have been prosecuted for sexual exploitation and child abuse. There is a chain of command and elder people are respected where their input is vital in matters such as marriage unlike among Americans where the couple has the greatest choice on their marriage partner.
Cuban Americans in Florida
This group cannot be said to be significantly different from the American population as they are well assimilated in the United States. Cuban Americans in Florida believe in education and a significant number of the population has college and graduate school education. Their households are also similar to the typical U.S families with an average of 3.18 members. However, they have managed to maintain their eating culture and enjoy the traditional Cuban cuisine which includes pork and beef. For those who have been raised in the United States, their choice may be different as they often enjoy American food. They have also been able to pick the American culture of educating women and they now have a greater authority in the family compared to women in the traditional Cuban family.
Hispanic Americans in the Southwest
When the term Hispanic is used, it represents a native language and cultural background as opposed to an ethnic description. These are people from diverse ethnic origins and have lived in America for many generations. Hispanic Americans in the southwest have a culture of ‘familism’ where family is more important than an individual. The community is very important and family is seen to cover people beyond the nuclear family. This group has been assimilated in the American culture and one may not notice any significant differences in culture between the two groups.
The German Americans
Traditionally, there were major differences between the Americans and Germans. However the case is different today due to assimilation mechanisms and where almost all Germans in America practice the American culture. The explanation for this has been because these are two white populations where the culture is almost similar which has made it easy for German-Americans to adapt the American culture

Barrington, A. J.,& Shakespeare-Finch, J. (2013). Working with Refugee Survivors of Torture and Trauma: An opportunity for Vicarious Post-Traumatic growth. Couselling Psychology Quarterly, 26 (1), 89-105.
Brinson, J. A. (1996). Cultural Sensitivity for Counselors: Our Challenge for the Twenty-First Century. Journal Of Humanistic Education & Development, 34(4), 195.
Lindsey, J. (2015) Culture Clash: The Hmong in America Social Problems faced by the Hmong People retrieved March 15, 2017, from
Tatar, M. (2012). School counsellors working with immigrant pupils: changes in their approaches after 10 years. British Journal Of Guidance & Counselling, 40(5), 577-592. doi:10.1080/03069885.2012.718738

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