About Culture Contact For Individual Clients
What can anthropology do for me?
Anthropology is a diverse study, and that means diversity in how clients can be aided with their individual problems. In my particular field, I have thus far had experience with the following:
- Mental health issues (especially where related to social, cultural and/or religious background, environment and/or pressure)
- Culture shock (more prevalent on home ground than you’d think, even without counting the obvious and the usual!)
- Interracial/intercultural/inter-religious/inter-social tensions
- Interpersonal relations
- Sexual trouble (especially socially, culturally, religiously (SCR) based repression and/or fears)
- Harassment, including sexual
- Domestic violence and dangerous situations
- LGBT related stress and violence (both for the families/friends of and the LGBT members themselves)
- Child related thematics (varied)
- Violence (diverse, incl. sexual)
- Multicultural environment (esp. work)
- General social, cultural and religion based questions and anxieties
This is just a shortlist of the most common thematics; suffice to say that every day is an interesting challenge in my job, with plenty of new happening very often.
But how does this work? What do I do when you contact me?
Well, for a start, I am not a fairy godmother. If you expect a miracle, there never is one. My consultation is built very strongly on the client working with me; if there is a problem that needs solving, you may indeed need someone to talk you through how, but don’t expect me to wave a magic wand and turn your problem into a pumpkin (however efficient and attractive that might seem as an option). Like psychology and psychiatry – and Culture Contact works strongly on psychological principles joined with anthropological, hence my coining of the term anthropsychology -, my consultations expect the client to work with me, not against me (and therefore against themselves!). If, for instance, you are being pushed around by someone due to your cultural background, I can tell you why it is happening, I can tell you how to get through it, I can even give you a fairly accurate estimate of what your tormentor is likely to do next from the description of their behaviour, but unfortunately, the final step is your own – because no one else, but only you, can look at yourself and say, I’m not worthless. I don’t care what they say. I can get through this…. And actually do it, whatever it takes.
I can be with you every step of the way (I tend to try and give my individual clients as much of my time as is possible, and every ounce of care they deserve and should have the right to), but I cannot take the reins and do things instead of you.
And even if I could, think on that – would that truly be winning? Would you feel liberated of your fear or discomfort or trouble, knowing that someone else had to do it for you? No. That type of solution is trapping; you can only achieve personal happiness through feeling secure in knowing who you are and where you stand, and how far you are letting others into your life… meaning you learn to accept and love the ones who care and deal with issues as they come along.
My work starts with your contact. Whether it’s a simple question or a chat session, I receive the description of your problem. Once that has been done, I may or may not need additional information – some people are brilliant at summing up, others fail on delivering the most vital parts, but that’s ok… if we’re stressed about something, we tend to avoid talking about it directly all too often.
After that, the assessment follows. Unlike with psychology proper, I am very much aware of just how much influence there is in our environment, and how unavoidable it is. That’s why the assessment includes so many questions where necessary.
The final result is an explanation of what is going on and how. I reach my conclusions by examining your case with my knowledge of anthropology (and a little help from psychology) and then give you the definition of what’s up and how you may fix things. Sometimes, I advise further help (like a professional psychiatrist – they can write a prescription for meds, I can’t!). At other times, the final solution is final and simple (it’s curious just how many looming problems seem to be easily resolved once they have been properly looked at!). But at all times, I try to give you my solutions in plain speech – while I’m sure that sounds far less impressive than professional blather, the blather is far less likely to be comprehensible to a normal everyday person, and I’d rather give you a solution to your problem instead of an impressive sounding bunch of words.
Thus far, I have never yet met with a case I couldn’t solve. Let me help you with yours.