Culture and Counselling

Sometime we encounter issues that are culturally strong and challenging to deal with. For example we had two cases in recent months that were difficult, but we managed through use of our cultural knowledge and our clinical knowledge. Both cases were related to historical trauma and the clients were acting out the symptoms that were related to some spiritual and natural power. Both clients had experienced trauma when they were young. When they came to the children home (orphanage) they started acting out some behaviors that were very strange for others to see; one was acting as a goddess (deity) and one was acting like a snake and it was very frightening for other children. There is a long story behind both cases that relate to challenging personal life experiences. Once we heard these stories, we realized that both were trying to be strong and to fight their painful emotions and feelings and were looking for their identity. NHK counselors focused on both trauma and culture while working with these young clients. If one aspect would have been forgotten the clients would not have had success in therapy process. Counselors related to the case with cultural understanding and trauma history so that clients felt respected and they changed a lot in short period of time. Counselors focused on different rituals according to the local culture and also used their clinical skills to treat both clients. Now both clients are feeling better and they are living a normal life with other children and both have futures that they are looking forward to.

Shiva Thapa