Case Studies

These case studies were selected to illustrate basic concepts in this chapter.  As you review the case example see if you can "spot the concept" from the chapter which is illustrated in the case.  These case examples may be useful for classroom discussion, for role playing in class, or to put the concepts from this chapter in a real-world context.
1. A white female school counselor recently moved to Los Angeles from Ohio with her husband, who had accepted a principal's position at a high school.  The counselor experienced culture shock when she met the parents of a Hispanic student who were concerned about their son's truancy problem.  The parents spoke limited English, but sufficient enough to be able to communicate with those who did not speak Spanish.
Understanding the demographics of the school where the counselor worked and in anticipation of working with Hispanic parents with limited English speaking ability, the counselor thought it beneficial to enroll in a Spanish class.  For the following six months the counselor enrolled in a Spanish course at a community college near her residence.
At work the counselor would practice her Spanish with students whenever possible and found that Hispanic students were less inhibited around her.  On several occasions the counselor was able to speak Spanish with parents who spoke limited English.  She noticed that by speaking Spanish with the parents, they felt relaxed and comfortable.  The counselor realized that by being able to communicate in the language of her clients she was able to establish trust and rapport.
2. An Asian family who was experiencing difficulty with their oldest daughter met with a family therapist.  The family informed the counselor that they did not approve of their daughter having boyfriends and found it difficult in getting her to obey their rules.
The therapist spoke with the parents about relationships and what that meant to a teenage female.  The therapist informed the parents it would probably be best if the daughter could attend their next meeting so they could all work out a solution together.
The parents were somewhat taken back by what the therapist had told them.  They expressed to the therapist that they did not think it was possible for the family to meet.  All what they wanted was for the therapist to tell them how to handle the situation.