Counseling Skills in Intercultural Education: The Case of foreign seas immigrants in Greece
This paper presents some points of view about the counseling psychology skills that are required in intercultural education context. This issue arises from the rather massive migration that has been observed in the European Union countries, since 2007, involving three million persons until 2015. Especially Greece has received directly the largest number of refugees, among the European countries, due to its proximity to Middle East as the Southeastern “Gate” of European Union, amounting to 1.8 million individuals. In addition, 60,000 illegal immigrants and refugees have been trapped in Greece for the last two years. This phenomenon causes extra considerations on behalf of the European and, in particular, Greek counseling agencies and experts. The intercultural education infrastructures of Greece are very limited compared to the existing needs. Less than 0.2% of schools are intercultural ones, while approximately 10% of the country’s pupils are foreigners. In this context, many teachers often discriminate against pupils from other countries and very few schools, besides intercultural ones, dare to organize counseling and support meetings for immigrant parents, usually with the help of volunteer teachers. However, there is also a significant number of teachers who are calling for better and more in-depth information on both general and intercultural counseling, as well as a clear reference to the relevant skills required for this purpose. In intercultural counseling, the counselor and the consulted come from different cultural contexts and have different perceptions. However, counseling can help them to deal with social exclusion. The needs of minority populations and vulnerable social groups, in general, are particularly high in terms of professional development, as they need the appropriate knowledge to lead their members in the search for educational opportunities, opportunities for social participation, vocational rehabilitation, but also clarification of professional goals. The effectiveness of a counselor on intercultural counseling is based on cultural awareness and sensitivity to accept and respect the cultural differences. A counselor must find a way to overcome any inhibitory obstacle, such as language, but the most important thing that needs to be understood is that counseling cannot be practiced in a mono-cultural direction, as it was the case until recently, but has to turn to methods of multicultural thinking and action.
Copyright (c) 2022 Xanthippi Foulidi, Evangelos C. Papakitsos, Terpsichori Gioka
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