Why choose MFT to work with bicultural couples?
One of my significant interests in pursuing this degree was to work with biracial/bicultural couples. I had a notion as an aspiring MFT, and have now come to strongly believe that our own epistemology contributes so much to the work that we do. Our compassion, empathy, understanding, and nurturance for our clients is deepened by our own richness of experience. Being married and starting a family with a man outside of my culture has presented itself with challenges I could never have imagined however it has also created a life of opportunities to grow both personally and professionally. As a result I find that in addition to helping families to navigate through their struggles, I have a particular passion for working with those families that are blending cultures as well. There is an element of this for every couple, each person with their own unique upbringing that have to be negotiated as the new family emerges. When couples come together from different cultures however, a number of additional levels of negotiation may arise. When I participated in the Multicultural course as a Fairfield student, we certainly addressed what specific cultural factors should be considered when working with different “groups” of families however we failed to elaborate on how to balance our approach when working to blend cultural influences in one system. I know that the program is always growing and changing as is the field of MFT at large. We are living, working, and practicing in a world where an awareness of cultural competence is steadily increasing. My hope is that I will have the opportunity to expand my own work with bicultural couples and that MFT programs will begin to incorporate this element into their training process more in depth as well.
Virginia is a 2007 graduate of Fairfield University’s Marriage and Family Therapy program. Currently she works as a Clinician at FSW, Inc. in Bridgeport Connecticut and is a part of the Collaborative Counseling Group (CCG) in Trumbull, Connecticut.