For professionals working in a transcultural setting the most important task is to inform yourself about customs and traditions of the clients country of origin. One big risk is that one generalises and forgets to see the person as a individual. To avoid Misunderstandings a good way is to see the client him/herself as the informant. Like this he/she gets the feeling of beeing respected and taken serious.
Another fact that should be kept in mind is the generation the client comes from. Sometimes that person is even born in a different country. That can lead to a conflict of feeling of belonging, disorientation, and questions of identity.
The interpretation of feelings and emotions can differ in every culture. Being proud, for example, can in some cultures be interpreted as arrogant, or some feelings can make people feel ashamed of, while in other cultures it is very normal to show it even in public.
In some cultures emotional problems are for example only expressed by physical complaints.
A language barrier can be a big obstacle while working with people from different cultural backgrounds. The mother-language is the language that gives you the opportunity to be more close to your own feelings. In music therapy it can be a possibility to sing in your own language.
Non -verbal communication like eye contact or greeting, can be also culture-specific. In case of uncertainty, it is a solution to ask the client himself about particular behaviour and the interpretation of that. t natural to talk about emotions
There is always two sides of a migration: loss and enrichment. It is good to focus on the strengths of the migrants and refugees, which means to reflect, go into dialogue and have the willingness to experiment.
A very natural reaction of humans is the so called “etnocentric reflex”.
It makes one think, that one´s own standards and values are the most precious. Working transcultural requires both parties to consider each other as equal. Therefore making compromises is an important basic skill.