VISTAS Multicultural Issues in Counseling

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Exploring Cultural Assumptions of Worldviews Using Movie Personae

Jerry A. Mobley and Pamela J. Davis


To better understand assumptions in our culture, this article places four disparate
movie characters from two movies, The Dark Knight and Slumdog Millionaire, in
the counseling chair, presents the dialogue with the counselor, and discusses the
results: the Joker, who defies all conventions; Harvey Dent, who is “two-faced”
in more than one way; and Batman, who rigidly holds onto his values. The
person and perspective that seems missing in this Western metropolis is supplied
from the East in the characters of Jamal and Latika from Slumdog Millionaire.
These characters and movies serve as particularly enlightening vehicles to help
counselors understand the difficulties that inevitably arise when clients’ cultural
perspectives clash with counseling’s traditionally Western approach. A fourquadrant,
heuristic model is utilized to construe the interactions. Were the
counselor to recognize the conflicting worldviews, more time could be spent
attempting to understand the client’s phenomenology and adapting to some of the
underlying beliefs. Through first understanding the client’s worldview, the
counselor can at least explore the client’s assumptions, and if the relationship
develops enough, at some point possibly challenge some of the underlying

Keywords: counseling, multicultural, worldview, assumptions, movies

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