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In your response, compare and contrast your own approach to The Case of Wendy to that of your peer. Would you adopt something your peer suggested and what you would do differently?

2 micro aggressions done by the counselor is 1. breaking eye contact, this especially in the context of the conversation can be considered something similar to a scoff. Doing this and 2. Moving backwards in her chair simultaneously can give the client the impression that you as a counselor are not listening and you are in a state of judgment of what the client has said. Body language really does communicate more so than verbal language. The counselor moving back in her chair is an act of distancing herself. Distance implies she is not interested or does not want to dig deep into the conversation. Honestly as Wendy’s counselor I would not stay on flattery. In my experience most African Americans don’t want flattery when they come in for help, in general they do know that they are smart and that are juggling several intense things like parenthood, living in dangerous enviornments, holding down a job they don’t care for and doing well in school. My initial instinct when counseling is to listen first. I would let the client talk about what they want to talk about and if thats unemployment I will let them have their time on that topic. My approach would also be a bit more solution oriented. Instead of saying “have you ever thought maybe someone with more experience got the job?” I would say hey lets look at your resume or I know a place where you can get your resume reviewed and beefed up.” Showing the client that you care and you want their conditions to change as much as they do goes a long way in building rapport and having their respect. It is important to talk with the client and not to talk at the client. Lastly I have had experiences where I have experienced micro-agressions. I remember walking into a job interview and the interviewer was stunned a bit too stunned he couldn’t even play it off that he was expecting “Daniel Stanford” to be an African American male with long locs of hair. I was also told that I “spoke well” and would I consider cutting my hair for the position. HA! pay me 60-80k a year then we’ll talk about the cutting of my hair. But honestly the experience took me by surprise because I had not experienced racial bias in a very long time. I’ve also been assumed to not be helpful because I went to school to get a position I got. My response to the client who was an ex-offender was “there’s nothing that I have that you can not get yourself we have different paths and you face challenges that I have not but it doesn’t mean you can’t obtain success as well.” Its important not to come off as “better” or “higher” help your client see an image of themselves doing well just like you are.


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