National Center for Effective Mental Halth Consultation
   

ACTIVITY: Self-Awareness Personal/Professional Reflective Journey

The process of self-awareness requires investigation of the lessons, assumptions and culturally based information learned via family values and attitudes, education and training, and the work environment. To increase your personal awareness, please respond to the questions below.

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When you think of yourself and your family:

  • In what countries, regions or states do you have roots? Where did you grow up?
  • What racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious, groups do you belong to?
  • As you were growing up, what kind of interactions or relationships did you have with people from other racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious groups?
  • In what ways did the presence or absence of individuals and families from diverse backgrounds (racial, ethnic, linguistic, socioeconomic, or religious) in your community have on your attitudes and beliefs?
  • What attitudes do you have regarding individuals from other cultural or linguistic backgrounds? In what ways are your personal attitudes similar or different to those of your family? Your peers?
  • What values, beliefs, or cultural messages did you receive about family? About pregnancy, childrearing or parent-child interactions? About relationships between families and others outside the family?
  • What values, beliefs or cultural messages did you receive about health, wellness, and mental health? About seeking help or services when facing illness or social and emotional problems?

When you think of your training as a mental health consultant:

  • What are the values, beliefs and practices of your chosen mental health related discipline?
  • What values, beliefs or cultural messages did you receive about families? About pregnancy, child rearing or parent-child interactions? About relationships between families and others outside the family?
  • What values, beliefs or cultural messages did you receive about wellness, and mental health? About seeking help or services when facing social and emotional problems?
  • What learning or training experiences did you have that are relevant to working with culturally and linguistically diverse children, families, staff, and communities?

When you think of your work as a mental health consultant:

  • In what ways have the organizations that you have worked for shaped your perspectives about yourself and your role in working with expectant families, young children and their families, and staff?
  • How do your own values and beliefs influence your perceptions and expectations of the expectant families, young children and their families, and program staff you serve?
  • Did you ever find your own values and beliefs about pregnancy, child rearing, or parent-child interactions in conflict with those of the staff, families, or organization you serve? If so, how did you resolve it?
  • Did you ever find your own values and beliefs about wellness and mental health or seeking help or services when facing social and emotional problems in conflict with those of the staff, families, or organization you serve? If so, how did you resolve it?
  • What learning or training experiences might be helpful to you in working with culturally and linguistically diverse children, families, staff, and communities more effectively?

(Adapted from K. Hepburn, 2004)

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Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development National Center for Effective Mental Health Consultation