One White Counselor Educator’s Process of Racial Reeducation (Essay)

One White Counselor Educator’s Process of Racial Reeducation A positive racial identity is the ability to appreciate one’s own race/ culture without making judgments about its superiority over that of others (Helms, 1984). I have struggled to teach White counselor education students to 1) believe that examining their race/culture is important; 2) think that they need to do more than simply learn about others’ cultural/racial communities, religions, and history, to be multiculturally effective; and 3) commit to lifelong social justice efforts. I thought for many years that I was just dealing with a particularly tough group of students when I realized the problem was not my students, but me. The combination of my upbringing in a racist family and community, and a multiculturally-lacking early masters’ training program made it very difficult to understand the importance continuing education on the topics of post culture and diversity. My doctoral program was my first exposure to African American professors, diverse clients and courses in multicultural counseling competency and racial/cultural identity theory. I know my early masters’ training was not atypical when I read about Arredondo’s (1999) concern that counselor training typically required only one course in multicultural counseling. I also find less shame about my early negative attitudes when I read D’Andrea and Daniels (1999, 2001) findings’ during their 16 years of White racism research that common reactions of White counselor educators, practitioners, and graduate students included:

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