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Running head: SYSTEMS AND MULTICULTURAL APPROACHES

Systems and Multicultural Approaches


Jennette Elmore
CJHS/400
January 12, 2015
Paula Rutkowski

SYSTEMS AND MULTICULTURAL APPROACHES

Systems and Multicultural Approaches


Different approaches are needed in psychotherapy and the treatment. Every person and
situation are different, and so the treatment and approaches must be just as different to be
effective. Different cultures deem different approaches because what works for one may not
work for another. Four case studies will be compared and discussed by the author. Systems
theory and multicultural approaches will be defined and used to discuss the four case studies and
determine which is best for each case and which would not be used in the case.
Geno Pro (2015), General systems theory is the basis for family therapy. Family systems
theory states individuals cannot be understood in isolation from each other, but as part of the
family. The family is an emotional unit that are interconnected and interdependent individuals.
None can be understood isolated from the system. Each family member has a role to play and
rules to respect. Each members behavior has an effect on others and their behaviors (The
Family System).
According to National Register of Health Service Psychologists (2005), We define
multicultural therapies as therapeutic practices that are founded on a worldview that accepts and
appreciates diversity within and between groups of individuals and embraces a) transcultural
interactions and learning, b) respect for the cohesive function of cultural traditions and rituals, c)
freedom to be critical of cultural dictates, behaviors, and attitudes detrimental to individuals and
institutions, and d) a human homogeny that assumes human beings have diverse and often
conflicting identities and allegiances (Learning Objectives).
Juan a 78-year-old male recently lost his wife, and his children live far away. He is lonely
and wants to work again. Juan has not worked in a long time, and he has been told he does not
understand the current community trends. His concern is how others perceive him in his

SYSTEMS AND MULTICULTURAL APPROACHES

community. A major part of his family is now gone which has left him isolated without his
family. In this case, both a multicultural approach and a systems approach would benefit Juan. A
systems approach would identify family issues and address them. A multicultural approach
would address age appropriate behavior. Juan is trying to do constructive activities to occupy his
time and systems theory will assist him also. Both approaches could benefit Juan.
David is a 22-year-old gay male being blackmailed into staying in a relationship he wants
to end. David works as a personal trainer where he began a relationship with Jason. David ended
the relationship, but Jason is threatening to expose Davids sexuality if he does not continue the
relationship. David is afraid he will lose his job if co-workers find out he is gay. David also has a
warrant for his arrest out and worries about his treatment in jail if arrested. A multicultural
approach would be best in this case. David needs to understand why he is afraid of how others
perceive him and how he will be treated if others know the real David. David needs to learn how
to cope with others reaction to his sexuality. The systems theory would not benefit David in this
situation unless his family has brought about him hiding who he is. In this case, systems theory
would benefit him and assist him in coping with his families bias reactions.
Layla a 51-year-old Muslim women receives a 30 days sentence to jail for theft. Because
of her faith, Layla has a restricted diet. She is worried while incarcerated her dietary needs will
not be recognized. In this case, a multicultural approach would benefit Layla the most. Her
concerns are brought on by her cultural actions and beliefs. It is important to understand the
values and beliefs of anothers culture to find solutions to their problems. Interacting with
someone who understands her cultural beliefs will help her find a way to cope with her fears. She
will find a way to cope with others bias and conquer her fear of others judgment of her culture.

SYSTEMS AND MULTICULTURAL APPROACHES

The final case is Jasmine a 32-year-old women who was physically and mentally abused
growing up. This abuse has created a dislike for men. Jasmine, while incarcerated, had problems
with male correction officers. Jasmine does much better with female officers. In this case,
multicultural approach would help her the most. The multicultural approach would help Jasmine
with her gender issues with men. The systems approach would benefit her family the most.
Jasmine has negative feelings toward men stemming from her abuse. The systems approach
would help her answer questions regarding why her family allowed this abuse to occur. Both
approaches in this case would have benefits to Jasmine.
Both systems and multicultural theories are as equally important in psychotherapy.
Family is important in all approaches to therapy. It is important to understand the importance of
family to each person no matter the circumstances. Therapists also must understand the
importance of culture and its impact on their patient. An individuals culture influences ones life
and how they live. Everyone is affected in many ways that require different approaches in
therapies to meet those needs.

SYSTEMS AND MULTICULTURAL APPROACHES

References
Geno Pro. (2015). Family Systems Theory. Retrieved from
http://www.genopro.com/genogram/family-systems-theory/
Jones-Smith, E. (2012). Theories of counseling and psychotherapy: An integrative approach.
Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.
National Register of Health Service Psychologists. (2005). Evidence-Based Multicultural
Therapies: The Start of a New Era by Linda Berg-Cross, Ph.D. and Dominicus So
Ph.D. Retrieved from http://e-psychologist.org/index.iml?
mdl=exam/show_article.mdl&Material_ID=116
University of Phoenix. (2013). Systems and multicultural case studies. Retrieved from University
of Phoenix, CJHS400-Theoary and Practice: Human Services in Criminal Justice website.