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Multicultural Theory Application

The Cross Model of Black Racial Identity

An important part of counseling African American males is identifying where they are at in the process of understanding their Black identity. In the 1970s, W.E. Cross developed a Black Racial Identity Model that listed the stages that African Americans go through as they gain an understanding of their racial identity as it relates to their acculturation in America. This model has been modified over the years and includes five stages. Those stages are the pre-encounter stage, the encounter stage, the immersion/emersion stage, the internalization stage and the internalization-commitment stage. Below is a breakdown of all of the five stages.

In the pre-encounter stage the African American is acculturated and has internalized many of the values and beliefs of the dominant Eurocentric culture. These internalized values and beliefs include the notion that African Americans are inferior to European Americans, that racism does not exist, and that negative stereotypes of African Americans are true. The African American may actively or passively avoid other African Americans and seek out European Americans.

African Americans enter the encounter stage following an event or series of events that makes the individual acknowledge the existence of racism. The individual will then begin to focus on his or her identity as a member of the African American group.

At the beginning of this stage, African Americans are widely interested in the African American culture. As they gain a sense of love for their community, the simultaneously gain a sense of hatred toward the European American community. Towards the end of this stage, the anger and hatred directed toward the European American community will fade as the individual learns more about their history and culture. The individual will conclude this stage having developed a more defined, positive or affirmed sense of self.

In this stage, the African American will become more accepting of European Americans. The individual will build relationships with European Americans as well as with members of other oppressed groups. He or she finds purpose in advocating for societal change.

At the fifth stage, the African American translates his or her new found self acceptance into a commitment to societal change. He or she advocates for African Americans as a group as well as for other racial minority groups. This sense of commitment continues to develop over time.

In using this model, counselors can explore how their African American client views themselves and the European American population. If the counselor is European American, he or she can use this model as a discussion point on how the client perceives

Philips NTU Afrocentric Psychotherapies

NTU (pronounced in-too) psychotherapy is a holistic philosophy and lifestyle that is used to conceptualize human behavior and functioning. NTU is an Afrocentric approach to psychotherapy developed by Frederick Phillips in 1990. NTU is spiritually based and aims to assist people in becoming aligned with natural order and spiritually balanced. NTU psychotherapy is based on Afrocentric values which include interconnectedness, cultural awareness, harmony, balance, and authenticity. The counselor (healer) guides the client through a spiritual journey that will lead the client to rediscover their natural alignment and reestablish harmony within their life. The counseling process is guided by both the counselor (healer) and the client where they share the responsibility of treatment. The concept of NTU is based on the Bantu concept of universal energy and the principles of Kwanza. NTU psychotherapy is familyfocused, competence-based and values-driven. NTU consists of five phases which include harmony, awareness, alignment, actualization and synthesis. 1. Harmony: The counseling relationship is established. 2. Awareness: The counselor (healer) and client work together to define the clients reason for seeking counseling. 3. Alignment: The client works towards mutual understanding and respect between themselves and their family. 4. Actualization: The client put into practice the changes that he or she made during the previous phase. 5. Synthesis: Much like termination, the counselor and client reflect on the counseling process. The NTU process is circular, meaning that an individual can journey through different parts of the process at any time.