Dalia is a 14-year-old biracial female who identifies as African American and lives in the inner city. She is having difficulty in her classes and is really struggling to fit in. Because she is quiet in class and doesn’t answer a lot of questions, her teachers have sent notes home describing her as lacking ambition and being nonchalant about her learning. She reported not only feeling like she doesn’t belong in class, but also that she is having a hard time making friends. She gets called “half-breed” by some students while others often tell her that she couldn’t be African American because she looks White. Her mother noticed the change in her confidence, attitude, and mood, and encouraged her to speak with someone. She tried talking to her school counselor, who told her to stop being lazy and interact more in class. After her session, she overheard the school counselor say, “I wish these people would stop always looking for someone to feel sorry for them.”
Dalia’s mother reported that she has become severely depressed, has limited social connections, and refuses to go to school. She wants her to feel comfortable speaking to a counselor and brought her to the counseling center to speak with someone she could relate to. Lynda is a counselor assigned to work with Dalia and identifies as White. She grew up in the northern suburbs where she still lives with spouse and kids. She has worked at the community counseling center for several years and feels that she understands the struggles of the clients she works with.
· Because of cultural differences, can Lynda effectively counsel Dalia? Explain your answer.
· What would be the best way to approach Dalia therapeutically?
· How should the counselor explore Dalia’s racial identity development? What models would you use?
· What are some of the ethical and cultural considerations for work with this client?