DQ 5-1 DQ 5-1



1.What is the best first step to take when beginning to work with aclient struggling with substance use? What are some culturalconsiderations to keep in mind? Explain your rationale.

Thefirst step before designing treatment plan for a client strugglingwith substance abuse is to listen to verbal and non-verbalcommunication cues that aid in identifying background culturalhistory. A counselor should evaluate environment stress factors andcontributors. Knowledge of cultural differences concerningparalanguage cues of expressions ensures that the therapistunderstands and interprets the cause of substance abuse to design aproper treatment that fits ethnic values. Cultural competenceassessment identifies distinct client needs by using culturalcompetence screening tools to avoid applying overgeneralizedprocedures (Sue &amp Sue, 2012). Intervention strategies should fitthe cultural background of the client. Every culture accepts specificvalues that support diverse treatment designs that include family andcommunity-based interventions. For example, religious community mightinclude spiritual intervention plans while some communities includeextended families.

2.What are the dominant cultural features found within Native Americanhomes, and how do Native Americans shape their response to thebroader American society?

TheNative Americans developed a common and collective culture to protecttheir land from the invading settlers. During the era ofcolonization, Natives adopted Indian identity and worked togetheragainst the Europeans (Stripes, 2010). Indians believe that thebroader American society represents the image of the annexation thatshould be defeat to regaining their sovereignty as a community. Forexample, Natives living in reserves report higher deviant behaviortowards the American government programs compared to assimilatedIndians.

3.How is substance use viewed in the Hispanic/Latino culture?

Latinopeople report the highest rates of substance use in America due tofeeling of hopelessness caused by poverty. Most young Hispanics areAmericans, but their parents are usually illegal immigrants. Theunfortunate social situation affecting Latino parents prevents theirfamilies from accessing federal social services (Sue &amp Sue,2012). Moreover, harsh external conditions and environmentalstressors have contributed to higher rates of substance abuse amongparents and children, who perceive the activity as a luxury culture.Besides, lack of family hierarchy to control the development ofadolescents is the leading cause of adoption of risk behaviors at anearly age.

4.How do early personal experiences influence the positive or negativeethnic identity of persons of color? Can you think of a best example?

Theconstruct of personal identity among African Americans is influencedby background cultural experience. A colored individual from a lowsocioeconomic status is exposed to poverty, crime, anddiscrimination. Therefore, the African American starts to associatenegative racial stereotypes and adopt the negative ethnic identity.Exposure to undesirable experiences influences the development ofnegative ethnic identity. On the other hand, a person of color with ahigher sense of ethnic strengths develops cognitive coping mechanismsand utilizes the negative experience to create a positive identity.Internalized stereotypes hinder the creation of positive identitywith African American ethnicity (Smith &amp Sylva, 2011). However,sufficient exploration of ethnic knowledge supports creation ofcoping strategies that provide a framework for a person of color toovercome racial stereotypes. For example, Malcolm X, the civilmovement icon, adopted negative ethnic attitude at an early age, butchanged after converting to Islam and started fighting forrecognition of colored people rights.

5.What family and community support conditions must be in place toassist children of color from being at risk for low self-concept as aresult of racism?

Familyfosters positive adaptation mechanisms that are critical for childrenof color to overcome racism and stereotypical identity (Trahan &ampLemberger, 2014). Ethnic minority parents exhibit a higher functionalsocializing culture that their children imitate to overcome racialdiscrimination experiences. Hence, children learn self-esteem andappreciate their ethnic identity from their parents. A stable familystructure creates a culture that encourages a positive self-concept.Besides, children learn about their social obligations from familyand apply the strict disciplinary practices to create an informedself-concept. Equally, extend family socialization experience exposescolored children to ethnic norms and expectations of the coloredpeople as a marginalized racial group in ways that contribute tocreation of an assertive and positive self-concept (Cabrera, 2013).Another significant community support condition is the establishmentof programs to support colored children’s education.

6.What steps can the professional or addiction counselor take to setclients at ease in a manner that has meaning to them?Giveexamples.

Thefirst step is to welcome a client in a respectful manner and engagethem verbally to understand the intention of the therapy. Counselorsshould use both verbal and non-verbal communication styles to engagea client and establish a rapport for sharing subjective experienceinformation. Familiarizing the client and family with treatment planbased on the cultural background is the second step, which mandates abrief introduction of each participant (SAMHSA, 2014). Assurance ofconfidentiality is critical component that sets the client at ease toopen up and share information. A promise to protect the client’ssecrets from authorities and interested third parties increases thedesire to disclose causes of addition. Furthermore, the counselorshould integrate a collaborative approach when conducting interviewsand assessment. For example, assessment of a Hispanic addictionclient would require a counselor to integrate cultural screeningtools that would reveal underlying conditions that cause additionbefore designing an appropriate treatment plan.


Cabrera,N. J. (2013). Social policy report: Positive development of minoritychildren. SocialPolicy Report,27(2), 1-30.

SAMHSA.(2014). ImprovingCultural Competence. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series No.59. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4849.Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health ServicesAdministration.

Smith,T. B., &amp Sylva, L. (2011). Ethnic identity and personalwell-being of people of color: A meta-analysis. Journalof Counseling Psychology,58, 42-6.

Stripes,J. (2010). &quotNative Americans: An Overview.&quot Encyclopediaof AmericanStudies.Ed. Simon J. Bronner. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Sue,D. W., &amp Sue, D. (2012). Counselingthe Culturally Diverse: Theory and practice(6thed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley &amp Sons.

Trahan,D. P., and Lemberger, M. E. (2014). Critical race theory as adecisional framework for the ethical counseling of African Americanclients. Counselingand Values,59:&nbsp112–124.