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Stages of Displacement Study Guide

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Stages of Displacement
Experiences do not transfer by only words very well. If I had a client describing their
immigration experience to me, as a counselor, I would not be able to connect on a whole level.
What I can do as a counselor is to find experiences within the whole experience to connect with
and share personal accounts, if that would help. Taking a look at the five stages described by
Serrata and Fischer (2013), seeking opportunities, emotional reactions, adjustment,
rationalization, and acknowledgment, I see many opportunities to build the therapeutic alliance.
Looking at Serrate and Fischer’s (2013) study, Stages of Displacement: The Immigration
Experience of Latinos, further explains in detail the experience as a client would, to an extent.
The first stage of seeking opportunities shows an important theme of ease and difficulty. For
purposes of this discussion board, ease and difficulty will be treated as one theme given the
strong opposition to each other, yet seemingly equally experienced. Assuming my client may
have had a difficult transition, I could pinpoint what made this difficult and what could be easier
moving forward after reading this study and others similar. Stage two of emotional reactions is
an important aspect to anyone who has moved a significant amount of miles away from their
families. The main reactions mentioned were “sadness, fear, and anxiety” (Serrate & Fischer,
2013, p. 13). This is something I would be able to relate to with my client to help build our
relationship as I have moved over 2,000 miles away from my familyit is not the same, but it is
relatable.
Stage three will be discussing adjustment, a large part of immigration with many moving
parts. The theme to be discussed within adjustment will be regarding assimilation to the U.S.
Serrate and Fischer (2013) mention learning English, work/school transitions, and driving, which
are all huge parts to American culture. Since I have experienced the difference between the

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North and South, as well as West Coast or East Coast, I feel I would be beneficial in relating
real-life situations to help my client assimilate. At this point, stage four, rationalization, would
be imminent. The most popular seems to be asking themselves why they made this huge
decision to move to another country, whether alone or with family. Assimilation is very
difficult, and it would only make sense that the difficulty of a new culture would bring forth
these types of feelings.
Lastly, acknowledgement is the last step Serrate and Fischer observed. The theme to be
discussed for this stage will be the fact that the majority of “participants did not report having
accepted the U.S. way of life”, but rather made changes to make life easier, seemingly (Serrate &
Fischer, 2013, p. 14). This apparent cognitive dissonance actually aligns well with Biblical
principles. In the Bible, there are many mentions of immigration, including Jesus. Immigration
seems to be concentrated on the person welcoming the immigrant rather than an immigrant’s
responsibilities of assimilation. A long, but relevant verse would be:
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.

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Stages of Displacement Experiences do not transfer by only words very well. If I had a client describing their immigration experience to me, as a counselor, I would not be able to connect on a whole level. What I can do as a counselor is to find experiences within the whole experience to connect with and share personal accounts, if that would help. Taking a look at the five stages described by Serrata and Fischer (2013), seeking opportunities, emotional reactions, adjustment, rationalization, and acknowledgment, I see many opportunities to build the therapeutic alliance. Looking at Serrate and Fischer’s (2013) study, Stages of Displacement: The Immigration Experience of Latinos, further explains in detail the experience as a client would, to an extent. The first stage of seeking opportunities shows an important theme of ease and difficulty. For purposes of this discussion board, ease and difficulty will be treated as one theme given the strong opposition to each other, yet seemingly equally experienced. Assuming my client may have had a difficult transition, I could pinpoint what made this difficult and what could be easier moving forward after reading this study and others similar. Stage two of emotional reactions is an important aspect to anyone who has moved a significant amount of miles away from their families. The main reactions mentioned were “sadness, fear, and anxiety” (Serrate & Fischer, 2013, p. 13). This is something I would be able to relate to with my clie ...
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