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For this assignment, read through the example dialogue and then create your own. Your dialogue should include some cultural misunderstandings or misperceptions between a counselor and a client (or a doctor and a patient). Be sure to include the characters’ thoughts in the dialogue; similar to the second version of the dialogue.

In addition to the dialogue, write a paper that explains where the misunderstandings are and why the misunderstandings occur. Then, provide suggestions for reducing these kinds of misunderstandings.

Your paper should be 3–4 pages in length and include a minimum of two scholarly sources supporting your conclusions.

Mariko is a foreign student from Japan. About five months have passed since she entered university in the United States. Because she was a diligent student, she received “A” for all the classes she registered in her first semester. Mariko felt so sick one day, and visited HealthServiceCenter of her university to see a doctor. Dr. Smith told Mariko that she had flu. But because her condition did not get any better, she went back to see the doctor a couple of times. When she visited the center today again; however, the receptionist told her to see Mrs. Thompson, the counselor of the center.

According to Wilmot (1980), human communication has two aspects, that is “content” and “relationship.” Although “content” aspect indicates the message itself, “relationship” aspect is often reflected in the thoughts and feelings hidden in the message. Read the following dialogues and try to understand the “relationship” aspect of the two characters, Mariko and Mrs. Thompson.

In [Dialogue 1] some cultural misunderstanding or misperception is portrayed. In [Dialogue 2] Mariko’s thoughts and the counselor’s thoughts were included. In each dialogue “C” stands for the counselor and “M” stands for Mariko. It is important to understand that the characters’ thoughts described in the dialogue do not determine any specific characteristics of a certain culture. It merely indicates different perspectives presented by the people with different cultural backgrounds. Here, different cultures could be represented by “counselor culture” versus “patient culture.”

[Dialogue 1]
C: Hi, Mariko.

M: Hi, Mrs. Thompson.

C: How are you today? The doctor told me that you had flu. Have you gotten any better?

M: No, I still feel sick. I have a final exam in my speech communication class tomorrow, so I’m worried.

C: How long have you been in the States, Mariko?

M: About five months, Mrs. Thompson.

C: Could you tell me about your life since you came to the U.S.?

M: Well……..I have been studying hard every day.

[Dialogue 2]
[Counselor’s thoughts: Let’s see… foreign student from Japan. It is not usually a good idea to ask Asian students direct questions.]

C: Hi, Mariko.

[Mariko’s thoughts: Why do I have to see the counselor? I wonder if Dr. Smith is not on duty today.]

M: Hi, Mrs. Thompson.

[Counselor’s thoughts: Dr. Smith told me that this student came back to the center again and again. He also told me that her physical condition wasn’t serious at all. Before starting to counsel her, let me make sure she feels all right.]

C: How are you today? The doctor told me that you had flu. Have you gotten any better?

[Mariko’s thoughts: I do not understand why she asks such a question. If I felt better, I wouldn’t be here. Where is Dr. Smith?]

M: No, I still feel sick. I have a final exam in my speech communication class tomorrow, so I’m worried.

[Counselor’s thoughts: O.K., she doesn’t look so sick. But her voice is weak and she looks nervous. She must be a diligent student. Let me ask her simple questions, then she will feel relaxed.]

C: How long have you been in the States, Mariko?

[Mariko’s thoughts: This is a waste of time. If I can’t see the doctor, I want to go home and study.]

M: About five months, Mrs. Thompson.

[Counselor’s thoughts: Usually, sojourners experience depression after spending a couple of months in the host culture. That may be her case. Anyhow, I need to know more about her lifestyle.]

C: Could you tell me about your life since you came to the U.S.?

[Mariko’s thoughts: Oh, no. She started counseling me. I may be suffering from mental illness. I hope she will not tell anyone that I was here…]

M: Well, ……..I have been studying hard every day.

Reference

CategoryPsychology

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