Explore BrainMass

Social Class and Therapy

Discuss your interpretation of a middle class African American counselor and explain how social class could impact his/her work as a therapist.

Solution Preview

Research is presented to show that the majority of African Americans experience social distress, poverty, despair, and violence. African American youth experience social distress, discrimination and cultural isolation (Day-Vines, Patton, & Baytops, 2003). However, African Americans do not share the same socio-economic status. The research suggests that social class can be a buffer against racism and/or discrimination. For example, according to Day-vines et al. (2003), middle-class African American adolescents may not experience the same social stressors as those who are less disadvantaged. On this basis, counselors may have the tendency to generalize the experiences of middle class African Americans as being without psychological stressors. The attitudes of the counselor concerning middle class African Americans could jeopardize their health, because of inaccurate generalizations concerning their psychological well-being. The following discussion defines the middle class African American, and explores how social class could impact his or her work as a practitioner/therapist.

(a) Discuss your interpretation of a middle class African American Counselor

As the research indicates, middle class has been defined in various conceptualizations. For instance, the middle class is described based on income held by persons that is two times the poverty rate (U. S. Census Bureau (2000 as cited in Day-Vines et al., 2003). Based on the census report this income consisted of 13, 738 for a family of three and 17, 603 for a family of four. The number of African Americans considered as middle class vary depending on the indicator. For instance, 30% of African American households earning between 35,000 and 74,999 and 17% of African Americans over age 25 with a college degree are designated with membership into ...

Solution Summary

Social class and therapy is examined. The expert discusses their interpretations of a middle class African American counselor. How social class could impact his/her work as a therapist is determined.