Cross-cultural Barriers

Cross-cultural Barriers

Adapting to a new culture is never easy. There are four stages commonly experienced while crossing natural boundaries: 1. Anticipation and Expectation - This has elements of both excitement and worry. This can create a shock. 2. Disillusionment - This comes about due to differences in food habits, activities, friends, weather and a host of other things which are different from one's culture. This creates discomfort and makes the adjustment process difficult. 3. Adaptation - To the new culture could be slow but steady. It is easy to adapt from a less developed culture to a more developed one. 4. Acceptance - There is a certain degree of acceptance of the different as also being good. Barriers include levels of education, laws and regulations, standards of living, religious orientation, language, political structure, process of decision making, prevalent social norms, food preferences, space-time orientation and clothing styles. Better cross-cultural adjustment:- 1. Be better informed about the host culture. 2. Meet people who have returned from the host culture. 3. Learn the functional language of the host country. 4. Understand the norms and other orientations of the new culture 5. Know the laws about the new environment 6. Be sensitive to the food and religious preferences 7. Be aware of the clothing and lifestyles 8. Be familiar with the decision making process and political structure 9. Find a friend or mentor from the host culture 10. Approach everything with an open mind

The Creative Personality

The Creative Personality

1. At any I.Q. level, some people are creative while others are not. For those of normal or above average intelligence there is no correlation between creativity and intelligence. 2. Creative people have a greater range of knowledge and interests and are very fluent in combining ideas from various sources. 3. The creative person is open to new experiences. They accept irrational thoughts and fantasies readily. 4. Creative people enjoy truth, form, beauty and harmony very heartily. Success and recognition is of secondary relevance. 5. Very creative individuals value independence highly. They show a preference for the complex as opposed to the simple. As a rule, the creative person is non conforming and unconventional in approach.

Post Traumatic Growth

Post Traumatic Growth

Post traumatic growth implies counselling for helping individuals and communities that have been struck by any form of disaster to grow despite these impairing experiences in one's life. Typically this involves positive psychological change emerging as a result of a struggle with highly challenging life experiences. Here the trauma used to leverage transformation in one's life. This process is not one of returning to baseline level of functioning but one of positive growth and enhancement of life. The world has seen people struck by natural disaster, terror attack, partition, refugee movements and other personal traumas but the way people started rebuilding their lives and coping with the tragedies has been a lesson in resilience and courage. Not all people who experience trauma can transform their lives but counsellors can help individuals in providing meaningful change to handle their lives after the trauma. Five main domains in which positive change can take place are: 1. Greater appreciation of life and a change sense of priority. (life is no longer taken for granted) 2. Better recognition of one's personal strengths. (this comes from the knowledge on how one has managed to survive the trauma) 3. Develop a warm closer relationship with others. (Bonding with others who have shared a similar experience) 4. Acknowledging new possibilities in one's life path. (a broader view of life with newer avenues to grow and live) 5. Some spiritual development. This is not about being religious or ritualistic but develop a stronger belief in the existence of a super power. The role of counsellors in fostering growth 1. Complete support for the trauma client(s). 2. Establishing good rapport and being available to the clients as and when needed. 3. Provide great comfort to the client(s). 4. Help the client(s) in the grieving process. 5. Identify the strengths and the weaknesses of the client(s). 6. Help the client(s) to see the broader view of the world/life. 7. Assist the client(s) to focus energy on growth. 8. See how lucky, they are to survive. 9. Relate growth to the work, they are engaged in. 10. Facilitate growth through providing meaning. 11. Show high levels of patience, empathy and willingness to be with the client(s). 12. Be sensitive to the changes in the client's perspective. 13. Respect the survivor's agonies. 14. Remember that their experiences are horribly real. 15. Avoid leading the client. Be a shoulder always. Applying classical counselling skills 1. Be an active listener. Watch out for the language of the client's narrative. 2. Reflect the story back to the client and highlight the trauma and how the transformation has happened for the better. 3. See those areas in which the client(s) are ready for growth. The purpose is to help them to move from despair to hope. 4. Be eclectic in your counselling approach and use of techniques. The focus should be to maximize post traumatic growth. Thus, trauma can be perceived as a life changing event causing positive transformation

Life-Work Balance

Life-Work Balance

This concept implies prioritizing in terms of career/ambition and life. How to maintain work-life balance:- 1. Set healthy boundaries. This means preservation and suitable allotment of time, energy and resources to life and work. 2. Do what you love and love what you do. 3. Remember name, money, fame and job are all temporary. The only thing constant in all these phases is family and friends. 4. Be passionate about your work and life but not greedy. 5. Set your priorities in order and aim for contentment. 6. Professional achievement and personal happiness are equally important. 7. Learn the ways of living with nature. Follow the rhythm of nature. 8. Create not only a time frame but a life time-chart.

Adjustment

Adjustment

Adjustment means regulating, adapting or settling in a variety of contexts. Maladjustment may be described as an inability to react successfully and satisfactorily to the demands of one's environment. Maladjustment indicates poor mental health. Characteristics of maladjustment include reality distortions, emotional difficulties, awkward motor reactions, personality problems and physical symptoms. Adjustment improves quality of life and well adjusted people are happier people. How to be better adjusted:- 1. Develop work-life balance. 2. Resolve your conflicts. 3. Highlight the positives 4. Keep stress levels under control. 5. Identify and build on your strengths and overcome your limitations. 6. Have warm and caring friends and develop a support group. 7. Share your feelings. 8. Manage your time well. 9. Engage in positive thoughts and encourage activities that stimulate such thoughts. 10. Be free of your vague anxieties and fears.

Decision Making

Decision Making

In many societies, decision making is by empowerment. However, in traditional societies the decision making is by seniority and age. In such societies, every issue is discussed in a circular manner and not vertically. The head of the family or the business is the ultimate authority for decisions. Decision making is of two types: 1. Verdict driven- Here the members have more or less made their mind individually and then collectively discuss it with others. 2. Evidence driven- Here each piece of significant information is examined by the group first and then individual decisions are made. Each of the styles has a significant bearing on the outcomes. Sometimes, decision making is done by groups. When the issues are controversial groups tend to become polarized. The group members feel greater conforming to the group decision. Also, groups are dominated by a few leading to the exclusion of others. Group's decisions also lead to diffusion of responsibility. This could affect the efficiency of the decision making process. Some of the common rules to be followed are: 1. Majority wins rule 2. Two-thirds majority rule 3. Decision by virtue of consensus 4. Decisions should be based on objectivity and rationality 5. Avoid the trap of group think 6. Play the devil's advocate 7. Every dissenting member should be given an opportunity to participate 8. There should be rethink on every critical issue 9. Contrary positions must be brought to the fore 10. Communication should be open and free



Welcome to the Indian Institute of Counselling

The Indian Institute of Counselling is fully committed to the emotional well-being and psychologically healthier and balanced lives of individuals and institutions. It offers various services, including personal growth and development training, academic and life-skills training (effective communication, interpersonal skills, adaptation to new situations, managing relationships, decision making, assertiveness, a sense of positivity in life, coping with stress, being solution oriented etc.)

Dealing with Depression

Post Traumatic Growth

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