As an independent woman who grew up in a predominantly western society, I tend to prefer egalitarian relationships over hierarchical ones. I believe that an equal spread of responsibilities between two partners that form a family is necessary for the cohesive development of the social institution that provides greater happiness for either party. Similarly, a more allowing environment between parents and children is welcoming of a bilateral moral and cultural development and enriches the lives of all involved individuals. I think that open, egalitarian relationships are beneficial for strengthening the bond between both parents and children because everyone shares a similar sense of authority, and each opinion is respected and welcomed.
I am aware, however, that in many families in the US, particularly the Asian American ones, such a perspective might not only be challenged but more so, strictly prohibited. Since my attitude towards family structure is different, I might be unconsciously judging the patient’s situation, addressing it from an unproductive angle. Therefore, the counseling practice requires me to be mindful of the possibility of such a situation arising. Also, Son and Ellis warn about Asian Americans’ possible interpretation of a counselor “as an authority figure” that develops into their reluctance “to express true feelings and concerns, and say what they think the mental health professional wants to hear”. Consequently, I will need to address my client from their perspective and ensure to ask family-oriented questions during therapy sessions to uncover how that could affect the patient.