Sitting with individuals suffering from psychological difficulties, whether soft or severe, reminds me of the importance of understanding their experiences from the viewpoint of their distinctive and complex cultural identities. Approaching them from a cultural and social justice perspective, I appreciated how slight awareness is about "Mental disability." Most individuals do not believe affected by psychological issues can lead to a disability making a person's life down in both personal and social domains. Moreover, they systematically are being judged by the people and the society while they are "seeking ordinary lives." Going to a therapist or taking their medicine is like the wheelchair of Emily noted by Collins (2018); they also say, "I love a group where I can be understood." (p. 536). This awareness made me assertively talk about negative systematic barriers, helping achieve their goals rather than being immovable.
Being fully respectful to clients by respecting their whole humanity will be a start point to illuminate each soul's self-possession and enabling them to grow in their psychosocial space (Slay-Westbrook, 2017). This opens up a road map I can engage in their stories and dreams, so walking with them in their journey to achieve the goals within their unique set of circumstances.
I use the privileges of my knowledge, awareness of my own and client's intersections of cultural identity to help souls to set their genuine prospects through hearing from them, respecting as they are and by being present in the support groups aiding these individuals (Collins, 2018). A prime example for me is individuals and families who have Autism, ranging from Asperger's to the severely disabled ones or even those who are institutionalized. Working with these vulnerable individuals or their families, I search for contextual and systemic factors influencing their well-being by pursuing environmental and personal resources (Collins, 2018). A case in point is Autism Ontario. I am a member of it, and it includes valuable resources increasing the sense of ability to approach problems like social isolation, stigma, and rejection (Autism Ontario, n.d.). This developed community for this marginalized group creates a society for affected individuals. Their families can practice a sense of belonging and enablement that supplies social connectivity and support for them.
Has anyone worked with this marginalized group?
Collins, S. (2018). Embracing cultural responsivity and social justice: Re-shaping professional identity in counselling psychology. Counselling Concepts.
Slay-Westbrook, S. (2017). Respect-Focused therapy: Honoring clients through the therapeutic relationships and process. Routledge.
Programs & Services. Programs & Services | Autism Ontario. (n.d.). https://www.autismontario.com/programs-services.