Indigenous Models of Helping in Nonwestern Countries: Implications for Mu It icultu ral Counseling
Every culture has traditionally had ways of dealing with psychological
distress and behavioral deviance. For example, in the United States
for the last century, counseling has evolved into a formal profession
designed to help individuals resolve both situational and developmental
problems in various aspects of their lives.
Counsehg as practiced in the United States, however, may be a unique
profession. In countries with cultures that predate that of the United
States and Western Europe, people have for centuries found guidance
to resolve educational, career, and personal-social challenges outside of
formal counseling with trained professionals.
The purpose of this article is to present the preliminary findings from
a study of indigenous models of helping in selected nonwestem countries.
The goal of the study was to investigate the status of psychology, counseling,
and related mental health professions in these countries. Implications
from the data for multicultural counseling in the United
States will also be discussed.