Under each category, assess yourself by writing a paragraph (at least 100 words) exploring how that category influences you and how you look at the world.

  1. Influence of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity
    • Because of the invisible influence culture has on our perceptions it is critical for practitioners to examine their beliefs, assumptions, and biases.
  2. Influence of Gender
    • Gender stereotypes prescribe roles, how a person should respond to life circumstances, and whether behavior is considered pathological or adaptive. The social construction of gender continues throughout our lives and influences choices, access to resources, and ultimately, quality of life through the life cycle.
  3. Influence of Sexual Orientation
    • Sexual orientation is the direction or directions of ones sexual, affectionate, emotional, cultural, or loving attraction on a continuum from only same-sex attraction to only opposite-sex attraction. Embedded in our sexual orientation are societal beliefs, stereotypes, and views about relational and sexual expression.
  4. Influence of Socioeconomic Status
    • Socioeconomic status is the position in the social hierarchy that is attributed to individuals, families and groups, based on variables such as income, occupation, and education. Socioeconomic class is ingrained and influences how we socialize and evaluate our experiences.
  5. Influence of Spirituality and Religion
    • Religion can be understood to be communal behaviors, while spirituality can be understood as an individuals relationship to God or any Ultimate Power. Practitioners have the responsibility to be for self-aware concerning their own beliefs, which can be an asset or a barrier in work with clients.
  6. Influence of Life Stages
    • Life stages are influenced by your biological development. We may not follow life stages as defined by our culture or family beliefs, and may feel inadequate for failing to meet the expectations of certain stages. Different rates of physical development and social pressures influence life stage-related decisions.
  7. Influence of Family of Origin
    • Family experiences have an important and sustained influence on our world view. There is no commonly agreed upon definition of family, as family is defined differently within and between cultures. Understanding how we have been affected by our own families helps us recognize these experiences as personal and not assume the same meanings and experiences are true for others.
  8. Influence of Disability and Ability
    • A major influence on self-perception is you how you feel about your abilities and disabilities.
    • Disability is difficult to define as it can be applied to physical, mental, sensory, or cognitive impairment, chronic illness or some combination of these traits. Disabilities come in all shapes and sizes. Some are temporary and some last a lifetime. Some are visible and some are not.
  9. Influence of Stress and Demands
    • It is essential for practitioners to take care of themselves as the stress and demands of this type of career are numerous and continuous. The practitioner is the instrument and therefore particularly needs ongoing care and concern for his or her wellbeing. It is important to have a life outside the office, and to periodically evaluate your goals and priorities. Building a healthy lifestyle is important to start now. Do not wait until you have graduated.
  10. Influence of Your View of Self and Others
    • As a professional, understanding yourself will help you clearly differentiate what is true for you, and what is true for your clients. Developing the character strengths and virtues of wisdom, knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence will help you through your entire career.

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