Approaches to Multicultural Counseling

4 April 2015
A discussion of the “Family Systems” theory and its use in multicultural counseling approaches.

This paper examines the multicultural counseling approaches used in the application of the family systems theory. Family Systems theory is defined, and three counseling approaches that utilize the theory in a multicultural context are reviewed. They include family therapy, family literacy and cross cultural marriage workshops.
“Family systems theory asserts that people can change behaviors if they are aware of the impact current and historical family behavior has on the definition of his or her choices. In the context of the family systems theory the word “Family” may be composed of the immediate family that the person presides with, the extended family of relatives and friends, and the community in general. (Bowens Family Systems Theory 2002, 1)
The family systems theory was pioneered by Dr. Murray Bowen, and has many characteristics. First and foremost the theory is a way of understanding present situations in terms of past relationships. The theory seeks to understand the entire family as an emotional unit composed of linked relationships that have existed over different generations. Family system theory claims that an individuals’ behavior is directly correlated to how that individuals’ family functions. (Bowens Family Systems Theory, 3)”

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