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Critical Thinking: The Importance of Using a Culturagram to Help Immigrant Families with Domestic Violence

3 pages
764 words
Boston College
Type of paper: 
Critical thinking
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A culturagram is a sensitive instrument used by social workers and therapists for assessing, detecting and developing interventions tailored towards culturally diversified immigrant families. It assists the practitioner to individualize families drawn from different cultural backgrounds and those from within the same culture (Singer, 2017).Additionally, the components of the instrument are fundamental in making a culturally sensitive evaluation of immigrant families. On the other hand, culturagram examines individuals by focusing on ten different aspects of culture.

These categories include;

Reasons for immigration

Legal status

Time in asylum

Native language and language are spoken in community

Beliefs about health

Contact with religious and cultural institutions, holidays, food and clothing

Values regarding education and work

Familial values, structure, powers, rules, and myths

Impacts of trauma and crisis events

Discrimination, oppression, bias, and racism

Given this structure, the culturagram works from a strength-based perspective that allows practitioners to work with ethical considerations. It promotes a competent cultural practice when dealing with immigrants who occasionally feel violated.


From the application of the seven stages in Robert's Crisis Intervention Model discuss Stage 1: Plan Conduct a Crisis Assessment, Stage 3: Identify the Major Problem, Including Crisis Precipitants or Triggering Incidents, and Stage 6: Restore Cognitive Functioning Through Implementation Action Plan.

Roberts Crisis Intervention Model represents an emergency mental health first aid that provides an opportunity for change to domestically violated immigrants faced with psychological disequilibrium. It provides skills for coping to individuals overwhelmed with their current situation and those experiencing personal discomfort. Roberts model assists psychologists in identifying, assessing and intervening for individuals in crisis to restore balance by reducing the effects of the crisis in their lives (Roberts, 2007).

Stage 1: Assessment of risk, for danger and safety of violated individuals

It is essential to establish whether an individual is at risk of danger to address future safety concerns regarding referral treatment plan. This can be achieved through; evaluation of the severity of the crisis, assessing the current emotional state and coping skills as well as the immediate psychological safety needs.

Stage 3: Problem identification

This stage involves assisting the client in identifying and prioritizing the major problems they are facing depending on how it is affecting them currently. It allows the client to reveal details of their abuse and in doing so, they can figure out incidences that triggered the crisis and the context in which it occurred. This will help in emotional ventilation which allows for identification of key areas to be worked on.

Stage 6: Restoration of cognitive functioning through implementation of action plan

This depends on the individuals level of commitment towards making progress and achieving plans made. Workable and achievable plans would be best for the patient rather than overwhelming them with tasks which would involve jumping obstacles before attaining the ultimate goal. Clients should be able to feel some sense of ownership regarding their action plan while restoring their level of control and self-sufficiency. Upon the achievement of action plan goals, termination should begin. However, some patients may require long-term therapeutic intervention and referrals or group therapy sessions at this point.

Discuss three cultural values often held by Chinese women such as family values, victims of domestic violence that service providers should understand, and explain why.

Regarding family values, the phrase, Men work outside is deeply rooted in the Chinese culture. Ideally, what this means is that women work within the household because they are thought to be physically weak compared to men (Helgeson, 2016). This explains gender specializations on jobs in the Chinese society and why women rely on their husbands for financial support despite having their careers.

Polygyny marriage formation is common in the traditional Chinese family. It allows men to have as many external affairs as they wish. On the contrary, women are harshly punished and sometimes executed for committing infidelity. As such, women are made to believe that only men are free to commit adultery and that there is nothing wrong with that.

Modesty is a crucial feature for traditional Chinese women. Once married, traditional women are not allowed to acquire any scholarly knowledge, they are expected to be decent, quiet and display a sense of shame. This explains why women in Chinese remain loyal to their husbands despite domestic violations.



Helgeson, V. S. (2016). Psychology of Gender: Fifth Edition. Abingdon: Routledge.

Roberts, A. R. (2007). Battered Women and Their Families: Intervention Strategies and Treatment Programs. Berlin: Springer.

Singer, J. B. Ph.D.& LCSW. (n.d.) Visual Assessment Tools: The Culturagram - Interview with Dr. Elaine Congress. Retrieved November 27, 2017, from


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