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Fort Valley State University Quick Response


Response One:

Cheryl is a Navajo woman in her mid-50s. She does not live on a reservation. She is a divorced, single mother to two children. She attended Indian boarding school until the age of 11. She has reintegrated into the Indian community in the recent years with her children being active as well. She is a recovering alcoholic with nine years of sobriety and states that her participation as a mentor in the local urban Indian center helps maintain her sobriety. She is currently experiencing grief with recent death of her mother and questioning what she should do next (McAuliffe, 2019, p. 187).

           As a counselor working with Cheryl, I would implore my active listening skills to initiate a trusting relationship. The first step would be to find out which tribe she comes and if she is directly affiliated with it (McAuliffe, 2019, p. 211). Additionally, working to show I am trustworthy I would focus on honoring her mental space and letting her lead the process without me trying o control or influence her (McAuliffe, 2019, p. 214). She is talkative and does not hesitate to share some things. Showing active listening with empathy with Cheryl, it is likely that she will continue to feel comfortable and open up more about her presenting problem(s). Based on the information at hand, I would want to address the death of her mother first. Knowing that she is a recovering alcoholic and that it is a lifelong battle, it is important to ensure she has the support and resources she needs to wade through the life changing event of her mother’s death. In an effort to be culturally responsive, I would want to get a better understanding of her beliefs about death. If she aligns with the Indian way of thinking that all are part of a spirit world, meaning that her mother’s spirit will still exist even though her body is gone (McAuliffe, 2019, p. 207). If this is a belief that she aligns with, then integrating this belief into the treatment plan can aid in her process of figuring out what is next. Cheryl appears, at first glance, to be bicultural in her acculturation. She is able to know and accept both the mainstream values and that of her traditional values/beliefs. This would impact the services provided because the level of acculturation can influence the “medicine” that would be of benefit to her. I differ from Cheryl, since I am aligned with the mainstream values. I would want to know as much as I could respectfully gather about her tribe and beliefs in order to build a trusting and effective working relationship. Since there is historic mistrust and abuse from the mainstream system there is a need for social justice and advocacy. Working to ensure the appreciation for diversity, openness to learning, and flexibility are important to enact when working with Cheryl.

Response Two: Rodney is a Seminole sixth grader who attends public school. Rodney has great ambition, but that soon changes, because he experience being bullied at school, for being overweight(pg.168). According to activity 8.2, how would I respond to Rodney’s case. How would you develop rapport with Rodney to provide effective therapeutic intervention, it is important for rehabilitation counselors to build a connection with their clients. To develop a rapport with Rodney, I would find a assignment for Rodney and I to complete, such as finding out our cultures similarities and differences. How might you include and draw upon Rodney’s as both a personal and cultural resource for him, Seminoles are known for wood cravings, bead work, fishing, farming, and hunting. I would include a list of cultural activities, so Rodney can select activities that he would enjoy, this activity will be a form of intervention and understanding, what is  Rodney’s likes and dislikes. Would you consider conducting a suicide assessment with Rodney, and if so, how might you go about doing that in a way that would be culturally responsive ? I would provide Rodney with a suicide assessment. The suicide assessment task is risk management and suicide prevention. I think Rodney’s parents should be included into his counseling sections, and family is very important in the Native american culture(pg.174). Rodney can do some cultural activities, such as fishing or farming, for suicide prevention and to release stress. How would you characterize Rodney’s cultural identity and level of acculturation at this point, and what could you do to help him develop a positive cultural identity that would help him meet his goals ?  Rodney’s suicide assessment can go along with developing cultural identity. Rodney can go fishing, do woodwork, beading, or farm. The intervention assignment will help Rodney determine what he will like to do, so he can develop a positive cultural identity. What would it mean to work from a social justice and advocacy perspective with Rodney? Rodney is a Seminole, but he is apart of the youth community. It is important to teach the youth to express their feelings and beliefs, although one of Seminoles beliefs is self discipline in body and mind(pg.187). 

    Native Americans has many strengths, but mental health is a issue. Native Americans leading cause of death and hospitalization is drinking, suicide, and homicides(pg.191) Counselling will be very beneficial for Rodney. Rodney expressed that he want to be the first our of his family to go to college, but only 52% of Native Americans finish high school(pg.192).Suicide rates for Native American adults and youth are higher than the national average, with suicide being the second leading cause of death for Native Americans from 10–34 years of age is(Brown-Rice, 2013). Seminoles cultural beliefs such as farming and being active can help asst Rodney’s weight issue.Rodney’s self esteem and mental state has to strengthen, so he can stay focused and achieve his goals.


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