HUMR 2401 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Culture Shock

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HUMR 2401
Sep 30
Pinochet
-9/11 1973 coup d’etat in chile backed by the CIA
-Relinquished in 1990
Therapy for refugees
-most of it is in enlgish using western methods of therapy. Not culturally appropriate
-Cultural differences between therapist/client could harper the relationship
-Refugees are not always relieved to leave. Receiving asylum comes with a host of new problems
Refugees/Exile
-presents unanticipated challenges: language barriers, unemployment, unclear citizenship status,
housing, racism, xenophobia, culture shock
-its terrifying, lonely and confusing
-All that’s familiar is gone, the new landscape is hostile and alien to them.
-Constant worry for those still back home
-Whatever job, social status and reputation they had back home has disappeared.
-New experiences in country of asylum exacerbate the trauma
-Not seeking help doesn’t mean they don’t need it. Often in their culture it is frowned upon to seek
mental health assistance. Their language does not even have words to describe it.
-Language and culture form a barrier
-most health care providers cant properly read the symptoms of torture or HR abuse since they have not
been trained to do so.
Anti Torture specific centres
-Torture victims often feel out of place in general health care settings
-specialized needs system is more appororiate. Allows therapist to be more skilled in this area
-These centres not only contain psych and med care but also social services. Sometimes also policy
advocates and lobbyist.
-Some may say these centres are stigmatizing and may announce the victimization of the individual.
-Destroys the secrecy of torture.
Barriers to Therapy
-Questions surrounding the legitimacy of western models of therapy on clients who do not come from
the western world.
-Clients often fear that confidentiality is not real. They are highly suspicious of any government
employee due to their prior experience. They don’t trust their therapist initially
-Sometimes it is not beneficial to have the therapist be of the same nationality, ethnicity or religion as
the client. This could prevent the client from speaking out due to shame. Or they may have different
political views about the conflict the client was involved in.
-Western therapy is often patient led with the therapist only guiding the discussion. This may not be
successful with victims of torture since they may be unwilling to divulge too much discuss.
-Some clients may be bewildered as to why their therapist does not want a relationship outside of
professional setting with them. Doesn’t understand the concept of therapist/patient relationship.
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