TeacherDr. J. Sargent
SemesterSpringDuration8 Weeks
FrequencyEvery three years
Credits5 ECTSWorkload125-150 Hours
Module formatIntensive
ApplicabilityFew people live in a monoculture therefore it is important to apply cultural understanding when counseling and dealing with specific family and marriage issues which are often very culturally related.
Course structureSee module and courses
Contact time35-45 HoursSelf-Study105-125 Hours
Participation requirementSee access to the program
Phase 15020%
Readings & Theoretical Paper
Phase 24050%
Phase 36030%
Research Synthesis Paper
Content of the ModuleThe study of the influence of culture, society, and contemporary social values on human behavior and social interaction. The course examines the sociological nature, bases, and consequences of social values and social problems and their relationship to the self. Social issues such as the culture of poverty, violence, drug use, and societal and family dysfunction are examined.
This course is designed to help the student understand the social values and the cultural and social context of human behavior and social interaction. Students will be introduced to the nature and scope of social problems and social values, their social and cultural bases, and alternative approaches to solving social problems. Changes in social values and social problems will be considered, as well as a cohort and subcultural differences among groups and individuals.
Learning Objectives

A. General Instructional Objectives
This course seeks to:

  1. Move students toward a more global mindset.
  2. Help students assess the current research on social problems and social values.
  3. Develop students’ understanding of the cultural and historical nature of social and cultural issues and their influence on personal attitudes.
  4. Assist the student in developing a personal orientation toward social issues and social values that is premised on a Christian worldview.
  5. Encourage students to develop sensitivity to the myriad of issues that impact cross-cultural communications, and how to minimize the communication barriers inherent in this process.
  6. Assist the student in developing various counseling strategies and techniques useful in working with diverse populations and ethnic groups.
  7. Explore theories of multicultural counseling, theories of identity development and multicultural competencies.
  8. Examine advocacy processes needed to address institutional and social barriers that impede access, equity, and success for clients

B. Specific Behavioral Objectives
As a result of the activities and study in this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Recognize contextual and systemic dynamics (e.g., gender, age, socioeconomic status, culture/race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, spirituality, religion, larger systems, social context). (AAMFT 1.2.1)
  2. Gather and review intake information, giving balanced attention to individual, family, community, cultural, and contextual factors. (AAMFT 1.3.1)
  3. Understand the legal requirements and limitations for working with vulnerable populations (e.g., minors). (AAFMT 1.5.1)
  4. Understand the strengths and limitations of the models of assessment and diagnosis, especially as they relate to different cultural, economic, and ethnic groups. (AAFMT 2.1.6)
  5. Diagnose and assess client behavioral and relational health problems systemically and contextually. (AAFMT 2.3.1)
  6. Evaluate the accuracy and cultural relevance of behavioral health and relational diagnoses. (AAMFT 2.4.3)
  7. Advocate with clients in obtaining quality care, appropriate resources, and services in their community. (AAFMT 3.5.1)
  8. Comprehend a variety of individual and systemic therapeutic models and their application, including evidence-based therapies and culturally sensitive approaches. (AAFMT 4.1.1)
OutlineA. Historical Overview of the Self and Social Problems
B. Culture and the Shaping of Personality
C. Situational Influences on Human Behavior
D. Scientific Methodology and the Study of Social Problems and Social Issues
E. Social Influences and Group Processes
F. Social Construction of Reality
G. Society and the Genesis of the Self
H. Everyday Social Experience and its Relationship to Human Behavior
I. When People Create Their Own Environments
J. Message of Place
K. Labeling, Master Status, and Other Sociological Constructs as Determinants of
Human Behavior
L. Christian Perspective of Social Problems, Social Values, and Human Behavior.
ExaminationSee Evaluation
Core Literature

Brown, J. (1998). The Self. Psychology Press.
Fiske, S. & Taylor, S.E. (2013). Social Cognition. Sage Pub.

Reading List:
Blumer, H. (1969). Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective And Method. University of California Press.
Davey, M., & Watson, M. (2008). Engaging African Americans in Therapy: Integrating a Public Policy and Family Therapy Perspective. Contemporary Family Therapy, 30:31-47.
Dias, J., Chan, A., Ungvarsky, J., Oraker, J., & Cleare-Hoffman, H. (2011). Reflections on Marriage and Family Therapy Emergent from International Dialogues in China. The Humanistic Psychologist, 39: 268-275.
Dupree, W., Bhakta, K., Patel, P., & Dupree, D. (2013). Developing Culturally Competent Marriage and Family Therapists: Guidelines for Working With Asian Indian American Couples. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 41:311-329.
Esmiol, E., Knudson-Martin, C., & Delgado, S. (2012). Developing a Contextual Consciousness: Learning to Address Gender, Societal Power, and Culture in Clinical Practice. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38(4), 573-588.
Falicov, C. (2009). Commentary: On the Wisdom and Challenges of Culturally Attuned Treatments for Latinos. Family Process, 48: 292-309.
Falicov, C. (2007). Working With Transnational Immigrants: Expanding Meanings Of Family, Community, And Culture. Family Process, 157-171.
Hardy, K., & Laszloffy, T. (1995). The Cultural Genogram: Key to Training Culturally Competent Family Therapists. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 21(3), 227-237.
Inman, A., Altman, A., Kaduvettoor-Davidson, A., Carr, A., & Walker, J. (2013). Cultural Intersections: A Qualitative Inquiry into the Experience of Asian Indian-White Interracial Couples. Family Process 50:248-266.
Keiley, M., Dolbin, M., Hill, J., Karuppaswamy, N., Liu, T., Natrajan, R., Robinson, P. (2002). The Cultural Genogram: Experiences From Within A Marriage And Family Therapy Training Program. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 28(2), 165-178.
Kenney, K., & Kenney, M. (2012). Contemporary US multiple heritage couples, individuals, and families: Issues, concerns, and counseling implications. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 25(2), 99-112.
Seshadri, G., & Knudson-Martin, C. (2013). How Couples Manage Interracial and Intercultural Differences: Implications for clinical practice. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 39(1), 43-58.
Zimbardo, P. (2008). The Lucifer Effect: How Good People Turn Evil. Rider: New York

Other information