Today, 65.5 million forcibly displaced people must move to survive around the world. There are also 22.5 million refugees, half of which include children who are under the age of 18, and 10 million stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment, and freedom of movement (UNHCR, 2017). People who enter a new environment face a variety of problems such as barriers of culture and language, gender discrimination and violence, poverty, and a lack of support for childrearing families (Fernando Chang-Muy, J. D., & Congress, E. P. (Eds.). 2015).
There are various volunteer groups, NPOs, NGOs, or common companies that help foreign residents living in Japan. This thesis will especially focus on multicultural social workers in Japan, and the ways of their approach in using rapport to build a relationship of trust with their clients.
The IFSW General Meeting and the IASSW General Assembly approved the global definition of the social work profession in July 2014:
Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledge, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing.
The above definition may be amplified at national and/or regional levels.( The IFSW General Meeting and the IASSW General Assembly, 2014, para 2)
Office1 This definition has been established in 21 languages. However, there is not yet an official definition of social work targeting people from other countries. This thesis will refer to this kind of social work as multicultural social work. The word “Multicultural” is talked about recently because of those global problems/issues. Japan was a domestic country by geographically and economically almost closed by the government until Meiji era. However, the number of foreign migrant residents reached 2,471,458(1.9% of Japan’s total population) at the end of June 2017(Statistics Japan, 2017). This number grew 88,636 in comparison with last year’s number and was the highest ever. The breakdown of immigration is special permanent resident (13.5%), mid to long-term residents (86.5%). Mid to long-term residents mainly consist of permanent residents, students, skill training, Engineer/Humanities/International Services, resident’s family, or people who are married to a Japanese person. Social work for foreign people is a quite new type of issue for social workers in Japan (Statistics Bureau in Japan, 2017). Therefore, multicultural social work need the new effective approach against foreign clients in Japan.
Some of organizations and people in Japan defined Multicultural social work as follows:
I. Social worker support clients belong to different culture, or support clients who have problems in their mental, and new life in a new environment with different culture (Ishikawa, 2009)
II. People who sustainably support from consulting to solving the problems against foreigners live in Aichi prefecture with their mental and social problems caused by living in different environment from their own cultures (Aichi prefectures, 2010)
III. People who support consistently from consulting to solving the problems with their expertise of social work for foreign residents with their mental and social problems caused by living in different environment from their own cultures (Gunma prefecture, 2016)
IV. Practitioners of social work to consult the problems and propel with doing a case work with understanding cultural difference for multicultural coexistence toward to solving the variety of problems which foreigners living in Kanagawa prefecture have (Kanagawa prefecture, 2013).
From those definitions, the clients are from different cultures, and multicultural social workers solve problems not only for their minds but also their social environment around their lives. Many researchers claimed that the ability of intercultural understanding is important for Multicultural social workers in Japan. I assume that any counseling must be based on good interpersonal relationship. Here, the term good interpersonal relationship derives from mutual understanding. The same thing applies in the field of multicultural social work which I discuss in this thesis. Multicultural social workers cannot make the best of intercultural competence without the mutual relationship of trust.
Therefore, it is needed the skills of building a mutual relationship of trust among foreign clients and multicultural social workers. Rapport is one of the effective techniques of communication when multicultural social workers receive consulting from clients.
In this thesis, Chapter 1 presents the real voice by multicultural social workers in Yokohama city in Japan. Chapter 2 considers Intercultural competence and Empathy which generally said that they are the effective and appropriate abilities to communicate with people from different backgrounds. Chapter 3 describes NLP, and Rapport Building, and techniques of Rapport building with Mirroring, Pacing, Backtracking, and Calibration. Furthermore, this chapter provides several lines of evidence that Rapport is the certainly effective technique to build a relationship of trust among clients and multicultural social workers with previous studies.
1. Interview for Multicultural Social Workers in Japan
This interview was performed to listen to the real voice from multicultural social workers in one of wards called; A in this thesis in Yokohama city in Japan. Multicultural social workers (hereafter, referred to as M and F) are from specified nonprofit corporation in a ward A. The NPO provides a place for children to grow up with local people in an A society, and receive counseling from foreign clients living around that area.
2. A Ward A in Yokohama and Foreign Residents
Yokohama city has 91.452 foreign residents from 158 countries, and A ranked 2nd highest population of foreign residents (12,180 foreign residents from 87 countries). In a ward A, it increased 24.8% of the population of foreign residents in a decade (Yokohama city, 2017). The local government and Yokohama city established the planning on June in 2008 toward to Multicultural Symbiotic Society to make a better society for people living together. In its planning, local government held many events to understand mutual cultures, food, and art from foreign countries and Japan. However, it was not well cared enough for foreign residents living in ward A (Ootsuka & Naya, 2010). The reason is it was not easy for foreign residents to find information about the support they needed because of fewer communities in a local society (Ootsuka & Naya, 2010). M mentioned about the problem of fewer communities that foreign residents made communities by themselves at the part-time job. In Japan, the ratio of job openings to job seekers was 2.31 times in July in 2017 (DODA, 2017). The report by the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, it reported that approximately 50% of small?to?medium?sized enterprises are lack of workforce (2015). It is a considerably serious problem because small?to?medium?sized enterprises occupy 99.7% of whole companies of Japan. Also, in a ward A, M mentioned that many companies suffer from lack of Japanese workforce because Japanese workers tend to choose better Job which can get high salary such as clerical work or call center around Yokohama city. That is why many companies facing to the serious situation that they need to hire foreign residents who can work with low salary and night shift such as convenience store, Izakaya (Japanese Bar), and factories. Those conditions are also advantaged for foreign residents. Because some types of foreign residents have rules for working hours by the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. Foreign residents who gather at that kind of the part-time job, and make a community to share information by themselves.
3. The Method of Solving the Client’s Problems
However, to make communities is not enough to support their lives. Here is one example (JACSW, 2012); Support for Adjustment of Family and refugee Child’s Identity. The client was a family consist of parents, older brother, older sister, and younger brother. A family was wealthy and placed in high social standing when they were in their country. However, their life changed due to the worsening public security situation.
In 2000, since a father was considered as the old government side, he only escaped to Japan with a tourist visa left other family members in the country. After a few years later, a father lost the status of residence to live in Japan. Furthermore, he only had jobs for dishwashing and construction because of lack of Japanese skill. He avoided interexchange with people from the same country to be afraid to put a family in danger by leaking out of his information. In the case foreigners have a serious problem like this example, they cannot consult with the community. They need a person who can consult without anxiety, keep secrets, and a place where near to the clients. The NPO run by M and F is a place where support foreign clients living in that area, and people need a help like with those serious situations.
When M and F build a trust with clients, they pay attention to mutual 3 things that are acting, understanding client’s backgrounds, and distinguishing how they talk the truth.
M mentioned that social workers change their personalities depends on clients and the situations. For example, they consider changing clothes, hairstyle, arm watches, the colors of socks, having neckline or not, and the tone of voice. This is because it is important to show the personality and impression which feel close to the clients to build the mutual relationship of trust. Another reason to change the personality is to protect themselves and to accept client’s story. Social workers need to be conscious of client’s stories that they do not relate to social worker’s real life. Because there are serious situations which we never imagined.
3.-2. Understanding the Client’s Backgrounds
F discussed the importance of knowing client’s culture, the social systems of client’s country, and the way of thinking to hear from clients and other specialists of client’s country. Those knowledges help to understand clients deeply and to find the core of problems from their backgrounds. However, the problem is it is not easy to find one’s background deeply and take a lot of time because each client has different backgrounds.
3.-3. Distinguishing How They Talk the Truth
M and F mentioned they listen to the client’s story with distinguishing how deeply clients talk to social workers and the story is true or not. M said clients usually do not talk the whole stories at the first time. Social workers need to pay attention for how deeply social workers can ask clients about their backgrounds. Because if social workers ask what clients do not expect to talk, clients feel stressful and it disturb building a trust. That is why it is necessary to take a time to listen client’s stories carefully to build a relationship of trust with observing how much clients trust social workers.
Intercultural Competence and Empathy
In general speaking, it is said that Intercultural competence and Empathy are important abilities for the counselors. This chapter 2 shows what Intercultural competence and Empathy mean, and discuss how those skills can apply to Multicultural social workers in Japan..
1. What is Intercultural Competence?
Intercultural competence is the ability to communicate with people from different backgrounds. Research for Intercultural competence has been undertaken in the field which has led to many various definitions and understandings (McKinnon, n.d.). The elements of Intercultural competence are attitudes, skills, and knowledges Deardorff, D. K. (2006). The part of Attitude consists of openness, discovery, curiously, and respect. Skills consist of listening, observing, evaluating, analyzing, interpreting and relating, and critical thinking. Knowledges consist of cultural self- awareness, culture-specific knowledge, Sociolinguistic awareness, and Grasp of global issues and trends.
2. What is Empathy
Empathy is an ability that is a vicariously induced emotional reaction based on the anxiety of opponent’s situation or condition that is from similar to the opponent’s emotion or consistent with the opponent’s situation. (Eisenberg, 1988). Carl Rogers (1951), one of the famous psychologist and a co-founder of humanistic psychology in the United States suggested that the basis of empathy is being able to see the situation from the client’s point of view, empathy let us look at the world through the eyes of the clients, and the idea of perspective-conversation seems focal to the problem.
In contrast, it appears a similar word called Sympathy when we consider about Empathy in the field of social work. Wispé argued that the differences of Empathy and Sympathy should not be obfuscated because they have each different psychological process (Wispé, 1986).
According to Gherardo Della Marta MBACP counselor, the difference of the meaning for those two words are ‘Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone (2012, para.5)’, on the other hand ‘Empathy is an expression of the regard and respect the counselor holds for the client’ (2012, para.2)
From the aspect of social work, Gherardo’s (2012) findings suggest that ‘walking in someone else’s shoes’, as entering into client’s world of feelings, emotions, thoughts, and meanings, shows how Empathy is carried out in a common description.
3. Apply for Multicultural Social Work in Japan
Those elements become important certainly when multicultural social workers have foreign clients. However, it is impossible to prepare the whole knowledges of cultures or client’s backgrounds at the beginning of counselling because there are 2,471,458 foreign residents in Japan from multitude of countries. Furthermore, one’s backgrounds do not only consist by its cultures, but also occurrence that happened far in the past. According to F, it takes a time that clients open their minds, and unburden their troubles. Then multicultural social workers need to build an interpersonal relationship of trust to elicit the roots of the matter.
As F mentioned in Chapter1 and Chapter 2, it is difficult to know client’s background deeply especially for foreign clients because there are 12,180 foreign residents from 87 countries in a ward A. That is why Rapport of NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) is the effective way to build a mutual relationship of trust without any specialized pieces of knowledge. This chapter shows what is NLP and Rapport and how it effectively influences the relationship of trust among Multicultural social workers and foreign clients.
1. Definition of NLP
Neuro-linguistic Programming(NLP) is the method of understanding the process of human communication. NLP used to be used only for psychotherapy at the beginning of the 1970s. NLP has 4 typical categories to make it effectively possible for human lives: communication among human and building the relationship of trust, communication against oneself, release the stresses including one’s trauma or something feel minus, and make a self-image to accomplish the goal. Moreover, researchers of psychotherapist discovered that NLP is effective for controlling client’s thoughts and feelings, approaching to change the pattern of their behavior, enhancing the influence for others, understanding the mechanism of one’s mind, building one’s vision to live in a life, and solving the problems of oneself and others. It further becomes popular in various fields such as business, medical, education, and sports around the world because of the high effectiveness.
2. Definition of Rapport Building
Clients visit social workers with the troubles which clients do not want to be known by others, and it is necessary to have the greatest courage to reveal of the fact. Social workers need to provide a safe place where has no fear of interruption and protect client’s individual and the secret. Furthermore, social workers must be a reliable person for clients. Rapport is the word comes from French means ‘Bridge’, and means a relationship of mutual trust in a field of psychotherapy.
Nowadays, Rapport becomes more common and popular not only for a field of psychotherapy, but for a field of education, family issues, and business such as sales, negotiations, and presentations (Adachi, 2016). Tony Vasquez (n.d.) discussed that social worker can establish a basis for working in the diverse and rewarding field of social work if social workers can master the skills of Rapport. Rose M. Hamdon (2009) discussed Rapport is the effective communication skill to build a smooth communication with the opponent and remove client’s wariness and tense atmosphere (oppressive feeling/ feeling of tension). Hence, it is important for multicultural social workers to use Rapport against clients. This section mainly focuses on 4 techniques to constitute Rapport which is called Mirroring, Pacing, Backtracking, and Calibration. It is assumed the possibility to apply the theory of NLP and Rapport for building a relationship of trust in the situation when multicultural social worker communicates with clients from various backgrounds.
3. Techniques of Rapport Building
Mirroring is one of an important technique of Rapport building through imitating opponent’s poses, gestures such as body language, and facial expressions like a mirror. Generally said, human feel an affinity for the existence that resembles oneself. If a person looks serious, an opponent behaves the same expression as a person does. If a person looks happy, then an opponent behaves like feeling happy. As another example, It’s the custom for Japanese to bow when they meet an acquaintance. There are some countries shaking hands when people greet. Those characteristic practices show that they share the sense of values and build a relationship of trust by doing the same movement each other. Rapport building needs such as mirroring movement with an attentiveness observation to see the speed of breathing, the timing of blinking. However, there is a point that must be kept in mind. Mirroring should not be noticed by opponent because it becomes difficult to build a trust if opponent feel uncomfortable and distrust.
Pacing is another important technique of Rapport building to make the opponent a favorable impression, feel comfortable, and friendly. Methods are Trying to adjust the tone of voice, the speed and the rhythm of speaking by observing the movement of shoulder or stomach. Also, making a quick response is a useful way to make a sense of affinity and to give an impression of a feeling of security. The difference from Mirroring is what to imitate. that is more difficult to find. Mirroring imitates opponent’s gesture. Pacing imitates opponent’s the way of speaking with using VAK model* that is more higher technique and is difficult to find.
*VAK model consists of Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic. Each sense work on human’s sense dominantly.
Backtracking is repeating the words or phrases what opponent said in the conversation. Backtracking is an action to show ‘I listen to your story carefully.’ In order to build a relationship of trust, it is an effective way to make them understand that ‘People understand what I am saying.’ by repeating one’s phrases because it is included the important fact and the feeling in one’s conversation. There are three methods for Backtracking. The first one is to repeat the words what opponent mentioned. The second method is to repeat the words that summarized the main point. The third point called Paraphrasing is to repeat the words using keywords from the conversation. Backtracking can have an effective communication which gives a feeling of affinity with using Pacing at the same time. By using Backtracking, it is a useful way to understand and solve the opponent’s problem. Also, opponents can organize by themselves how they feel and think about the problems in their mind.
Calibration is a skill to reorganize the delicate difference in expression which appears when a person experiences specific memory and feelings without language. According to the theory by professor of psychology Albert Mehrabian, he defined that only 7% of what we communicate consists of the literal content of the message, and the use of one’s voice, such as tone, intonation, and volume, take up 38% and as much as 55% of communication consists of body language (7-38-55-model). Therefore, it is further important for understanding the feeling by observing carefully the speed of breathing, the tone of the voice, and facial expression. It is not the only action to see or to listen, but to feel is the key point of Calibration skill.
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