I've been a little frustrated trying to come up with counseling scenarios for my students to use for practice sessions. The plots I have provided haven't significantly engaged them. They have been classic American problems: divorce, death, affairs, etc. Well, tonight, I think I hit the scenario jack pot!
Assignment: In groups of three, have one person be the counselor, one the counselee, and one the observer. The counselor should use all the counseling skills learned thus far and should make a concerted effort to use the skill of immediacy (the skill in focus for the night).
Scenario: Someone has stolen one of your chickens AGAIN. You have figured out who the thief is. You are very angry and want to confront the thief. However, you are very conflicted about what to do and how to handle this situation. (It did not need to be explained that the conflict is a result of needing to/wanting to confront in a culture where anger and confrontation are cultural "no-no's.")
Well, let me tell you, the classroom came alive in a way I'd not seen it come alive before. There were animated counseling sessions happening in the various corners of the room interspersed with giant guffaws. As I scrutinized these interactions, I began to laugh. Here I was, half-way around the world, teaching students how to counsel using the pilfering of poultry as my most successful counseling scenario to date. I guess this is what is meant by teaching cross-culturally!
One of many wild roosters cruises through our backyard