Portfolio for Cognitive Disabilities Specialization

Qamar Bradford

Advisor Dr. Charles Degeneffe

San Diego State University

Rehabilitation Counseling MS Program

College of Education


Table of Contents

  1. Executive Learning Summary
  2. Vision
  3. Mission Statement
  4. Professional Growth and Development Plan
  5. Four examples of quality work
  1. Executive Learning Summary
    The ARPE website defines the Cognitive Disability program as, “The Certificate in Cognitive Disabilities is designed for current and aspiring rehabilitation counselors who are, or intend to become, providers of vocational and independent living services on behalf of persons with cognitive disabilities, including those with autistic spectrum disorders, intellectual disability, traumatic brain injuries, and learning disabilities. The Certificate in Cognitive Disabilities prepares rehabilitation counselors to work in the State/Federal Vocational Rehabilitation System, the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, California Regional Centers or other government agencies supporting persons with cognitive disabilities, nonprofit community rehabilitation provider agencies, and student disability service programs of community colleges and universities.”.

    1. Principle concepts of cognitive disability
    2. Family and caregiving adjustment
    3. Community integration and employment
    4. Counseling and communication with individuals with cognitive disabilities
    5. Implication of educational experience for systems change for people with cognitive disabilities.
  2. Vision
    I ultimately feel our American society must bridge the gap that’s grown between creativity and health. That gap is based in society’s inability to conceive and exchange complex concepts. I feel this gap underlies Constitutional justice for people living with disabilities—among other demographics. People experience a plethora of barriers due to the reinforcement of stigma, bigotry and essentially cognitive blocks rooted in closely held unsubstantiated beliefs, prejudices, cultural norms and superstitions. I believe the destiny for a futuristic, prosperous and proliferating society lies in guidance of our information age toward Cognitive Assistive Technology.
    Taking a page out of feminist theory, I feel my male opinion innately interferes with the general advancement of female ideals on the basis of many contemporary paternal structures that dominate society. So much of my vision for rehabilitation philosophy relies on the rehabilitation of men as actors in providing safe space to women and as nurturing, non-comptitive perr support for one another. My hope is to use my awareness of cognitive disabilities in creating educational and creative processes and oportunities for men with cognitive disabilities to habe confidence in mind, body, soul and career.
    My lon term aim would be to establish a talent management privte practice that can give men an outlet for Holywood-level self-improvement and battle the epidimic of female exploitation and even trafficking that
  3. Mission Statement
    My goal with cognitive certificate is to build enough professional experience that I can explore the ideas of art therapy, drama therapy, exposure therapy, etc. and see how they apply in a constructive manner for adults in order to enhance cognitive skills and foster adaptation and even competitiveness within their respective fields. In order to do this I’d like to combine my skills in linguistics as they apply to Bandura’s self-efficacy theories; arts as they apply to building technique and confidence.
  4. Professional Growth and Development Plan
    After completing my MS, I’d like to also pursue certification by the International Professional Surrogate Society to understand sexual psychological health at professional level. A repeated theme throughout the program was the sexual abuse of people with disabilities be it by exploitation, sheer neglect or even eugenics. The topic of sexuality has always been such a controversial issue that in my adolescence I had a major aversion towards. I feel that in helping people address their core selves, we have to realize the normalcy and necessity of our sexualities and even in the Kinsiest view, we have to be more open and flexible in regard to our emotions regarding a topic that has such fluidity. As an art professional, I feel the topic as core to creative expression in my rendering, my writing, my modeling and even my photography.My long term aspirations is to establish an image consulting studio with the objective of doing commercial talent work and also achieve some sort of influence that can battle many controversial issues in the entertainment industry that include the rampant EEO/ FEHA violations in discriminatory hiring, predation upon youth and marginalization of people with disabilities.
  5. Four examples of quality work
    1. X-Men as VR Archetype
    2. Gaslighting and Psychiatrics
    3. VR for VR
    4. Autism Spectrum Disorder

Drafts for IPSA Certification

Part 3) Personal Evolution Essay: A description of your personal growth/evolution in the areas of sexuality and relationships that answers the following questions: What was the constellation and value system of your family of origin? What happened in your early years? Which life experiences shaped you? changed you? and informed you about yourself? How did your relationships begin and end? With whom do you currently choose to partner, what does intimacy mean to you, and how do you currently experience physical and emotional intimacy? We understand that we are asking for very personal information. The training committee wishes to assure applicants that personal information is handled respectfully and confidentially.

Part 4) Letter of interest and intent that answers all of the following questions: Why do you want to take the IPSA training?  What qualities do you possess that you believe will make you a good surrogate partner? What  educational and work experiences have contributed relevant knowledge and skills that you expect to use as a surrogate partner. With which types of clients are you most interested in working?  When are you available for training?

3. Letter of intent
Answer all the following questions:

— Why do you want to be a member of IPSA?

— How much actual experience do you have as a surrogate partner? (number of sessions? number of completed cases? over how many years?)

— With which types of clients do you prefer to work?

— With what types of clients are you most successful?

–What types of clients are you not comfortable assisting?

— Do you always work in conjunction with therapist?

— What other work and educational experiences have you had that contribute to your skills as a professional surrogate partner?

In Response to SDSU’s “Aztec” Branding

Although the change from traditions is a difficult process, as history is always a place of darkness, this move for a brighter future of San Diego State University should be embraced as an opportunity for optimism, creativity and California futurism.

Acknowledging all the valid and evidence-based arguments that have been presented, the rebranding of SDSU is long overdue and most likely something our region has been craving for. With a rich regional culture and potential symbols, dispensing of biased and culturally single-minded conventions cannot inhibit our potential as a local institution.

For guidance, we should reach down into Californian heritage and call upon important symbols that symbolize both our region and State:

We have majestic fauna in our state heritage such as bobcats, mountain lions, bears, cranes, condors and more.

We have prestigious flora like the Jacaranda, desert cactuses, golden poppies, etc.

And our Mother Nature is bountiful in winding shores, rolling hills, the bluest skies, mysterious coves, clearest nights and fiercest firestorms.

And even richer is our historical namesake from Spanish fantasies of African Muslim Amazonian Queens like Calafia and that ever-elusive promise of an American dream that brought the earliest Westerners here to pursue in escape of the economic despair of a broken autocratic and impoverished Europe.

California offers an Imperial and golden branding of things imaginative and fantastical—opulent like Spanish Baroque, rich and tropical like long lost West African Songhai, colorful and dynamic as a gateway to the East. Embracing our real heritage the SDSU brand can only achieve a trajectory of prosperity.

We should take this as an opportunity to realize a philosophy of Califonianism; realize a California National aesthetic and embrace the multiethnic paella with which our State enriches the world. The Aztec empire ultimately fell.

Let’s give birth to a tradition that prevails.

A Personal Cultural Identity Narrative

Personal Cultural Identity Narrative

Qamar Bradford

ARP 690

Dr. Nan Hampton

Multicultural Dimensions



This paper presents a narrative about my background in multiple aspects and how it relates to my views on disability and counseling. This breaks down into 1) Patriology, the section about my father’s side; 2) Matriology, the section on my mother’s side; 3) Ecology, the section on my environment; 4) Individuation, the section on my philosophy and how I bring those influences together; and then finally 5) Psychoprojection, my vision for my cultural goals for the future. In this essay I explore the unique medley of influences that have combined to create my history, my present and my inclination for the future.


This paper presents a narrative about my background in multiple aspects and how it relates to my views on disability and counseling. This breaks down into 1) Patriology, the section about my father’s side; 2) Matriology, the section on my mother’s side; 3) Ecology, the section on my environment; 4) Individuation, the section on my philosophy and how I bring those influences together; and then finally 5) Psychoprojection, my vision for my cultural goals for the future. In this essay I explore the unique medley of influences that have combined to create my history, my present and my inclination for the future.


My own family’s ethnic history within the African American context of course originates from the USA’s history of human trafficking. My father’s side comes out of the South via Oklahoma and then California, where he was born. He’s traced his African roots to Bamileke, Bamana and Hausa ethnic groups of West Africa. But other roots of his family, indicated through relatives and old pictures, include influences of Native American and European. Family stories suggest my grandpa Amos Muhammad’s (his last name before Islam was Bradford) parents may have suffered the tragedy of discrimination against interracial marriage during the Depression. As a result, my grandfather grew up in an orphanage with hearsay that his mother came somewhere from Canada before their parent’s marriage went awry and their family structure deteriorated.

My grandfather eventually grew up to attend college, meet and marry my grandmother, fight in the Pacific Theatre in Korea and raise my father and aunts in San Diego.

My grandmother, Raquel Ann was raised in Oklahoma, coming from the upper middle class African-American wealth that was centered on Greenwood Avenue during the Depression in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her father, Abraham DuBose was the first medical surgeon of Tulsa, whose certificate from Walden University I grew up seeing on our house walls. His business was adversely affected by the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921, in which chaos unfolded in the city when a group of men defended the life of young African-American male—falsely accused of raping a white woman—from being lynched. However the result of the preemptive action led to white riots burning and looting black homes and businesses, culminating to the level of the local National Guard dropping firebombs upon the African-American built and owned business sector, Greenwood. Surviving that, he preceded to successfully raise my grandmother paying for her education at the Historically Black College (HBCU), Langston University. She went on to be active in civil rights movement and raised my father to engage in the same struggle.

My father was their first child and with my aunt and grandparents he experienced their careers. My grandmother was an educator and my grandfather did a variety of jobs after the military including owning a restaurant, driving a taxi and even being a gambler. In fact the first house they owned in San Diego, my father attributed to my grandfather’s successful bet on races at the Del Mar Fair. Finally coming into a realization of reform and seeing a vocational opportunity, my grandfather joined the Nation of Islam (NOI) under the Minister Elijah Muhammed and established the first mosque here in San Diego. With his family’s new theological orientation, my father spent his youth converting from the Christianity of his grandparents to Islam. Our family’s transformation culminated when my father’s parents decided to move to French West Africa to teach English and practice Islam. After returning to the USA, my father was bilingual in French and working in the NOI. During that period, he explored his hobbies in Journalism at Hoover High School and took great interest in martial arts, particularly Tang Soo Do, a Korean form of Karate. In the same era of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, my father earned a black belt from a native Korean instructor.

My father then parted ways from the NOI as he graduated and went to college and became active in college level civil rights movements. Due to financial hardship and conflict with my grandparents, he joined the Navy, met my mother and raised me in the Pacific and his hometown, occasionally visiting his side of the family that eventually relocated to Oklahoma, where I was exposed to black rodeos and African-American built towns like Okmulgee and Beggs, OK.



My mother’s family originates from the American South, particularly in Georgia, via Ohio. In Ohio is where I spent many summers as a youth. My grandfather, Robert Allen had a dynamic childhood, raised under the impression that his family name was Mapp, but then learning his last name was actually Allen. Due to this discrepancy growing up, he experienced a shift in social status from high to low and he experienced a great deal of familial turmoil. But despite his hardships, he did attend college where he majored in computer science. With his degree he later went on to work with businesses helping to establish unions.

My grandmother, Sudie Watson, was disabled and injured her leg in a car accident. Accordingly my mother grew up with a mom who was physically disabled. But despite her disability she still worked steadily and reliably for her family. My grandmother performed domestic duties, eventually getting into the laundry business. We have historic pictures of her co-workers and the owners meeting and having discussion. Although I don’t know very much in detail about her parents, my mother has told me how she remembers visiting the farm my grandmother’s parents sharecropped. She also tells me of a family story about how my great great-grandmother ran away from slavery and lived in the forest for decades until she finally learned that plantation slavery had ended.

They raised my mother with her three sisters and extended family members in Ohio. My mother grew up learning to work hard as well as smart, learning accounting and eventually joining the US Navy. She worked as a data processor on the Telenet, which was the military system that preceded the internet. She met my dad in California and they had me at Tripler, Naval Hospital in Hawaii where the two of them, my older sister and I stayed until I was 2 ½  when we relocated back to San Diego.


The environment in which I was raised and my family’s structure was quite dynamic. Our experience is very intersectional of race—my parents having mixed African heritage and various influences and even my older sister’s Venezuelan immigrant father. Our family experience intersects with disability—my grandmother’s injured leg, my grandfather’s tracheal surgery, my parent’s military experiences, and my aunts’ experience with schizophrenia. Our family’s experiences intersect religion—my parents experience of converting from Christianity to Islam and later from Islam to New Age and non-Western spiritualities. I strongly feel that just the environment of Southern California with its various Buddhist Temples, Rosicrucian Rite landmarks, and enchanting lands with exotic mixes of people create a culture unique to itself when we really see the details.

But because of this convergence of influences—so very intense and overwhelming at the same time—I grew up meeting many people at various stages of coping with our diverse Southern Californian reality. I knew many white-American kids to identify Southeast San Diego as “ghetto”, Linda Vista as “Vietnamese” and Hillcrest as “gay”. San Diegans have created disparaging terms like “Manila Mesa”, “Chula Juana”, “Clantee” or “Nasty City”. I find that although our county is rich in ethnic enclaves, many people of here wish to see a revisionist reality, and many people who relocate here so often expect a California that we see on television when actual California is exotic and dynamic because of the cultural milieu within it giving birth to new cultural creations like California rolls, California Burritos, Chimichangas, Kwanzaa and more.

My experience of being a black male has introduced me to the experiences of all discrimination types. References that as a black person you’re less intelligent and more athletic; or the assumption of heteronormativity rather than nonconforming sexual identities, etc. are throughout my life. My own family roots can contribute to some of these social problematic discrepancies too. My parents were both baptized as children and in some ways they are both Christian “by birth”. So our family fits into the Black Anglo Saxon Protestant (BASP) pattern. This pattern is a slightly more diverse than WASP, but the other two factors outside of race are minimally divergent from the stereotypical American pattern. My families—especially visible through distant family members—have habits that are rooted in anglicized culture and Abrahamic religion. In fact, some of the movement my grandfather made towards the NOI solidified some bias in views towards non-Muslims and non-Blacks.

But accordingly, as the son of parents in the helping professions, I challenged this. I pursued Eurasian culture not just out of economic gain, but for philosophical understanding. I internalized African-centered thought for my personal development rather than racial insulation. I changed my diet to understand human nutrition and culture. I liberated my views on my body via calculated risk, cross-cultural experience and artistic exhibition. I learned sexual fluidity by taking to heart the wisdom of my gender non-conformist role elders and teachers and made intimate friends of different backgrounds but all from the same priceless place of everlasting compassion.

I’ve come to see myself as a San Diego and Pacific native, ethnic African-American, California American nationalist, pan-human culturalist, Japanophile, androphile and internet scholar. More simply put: inevitably distracted. I feel my technical personality is particularly influenced by my father who spent much of his youth on paper and in the dojang. I followed his framework of development prescriptively and intuitively pursuing up to a second degree black belt in the Korean martial art of Tang Soo Do. Additionally I followed his example by exploring his interests in anthropology, black studies, politics, science-fiction writing, non-Western philosophy, fantasy illustration, and abstract illustration. My interest in the arts is very much inherited as it is cultivated. But my emotional bearings for flexibility, playfulness and improvisation are especially attributed to my mother. This is particularly in that place of being an effective and business-sharp professional.

As far as my personal cultivation, the visibility comes particularly through how I’ve pursued my hobbies and formal education. In my primary school years, thanks to video games, hobbies with friends and a highly film literate older sister, I took to comic books/ sequential art. What engaged me was the scientific basis for many of the stories, the attention to anatomical detail, the use of international themes, the frequent addressing of social issues and the incorporation of classical art themes and mythology. Upon reaching the last two years of high school, I wrote a junior paper that explored American comic book censorship and then for my senior paper I examined the legitimacy of comic books as a formal art in addition to illustrating my own. I graduated from Helix High School of La Mesa, California with the high hopes of completing a degree in sequential art at the Kubert School of Art or Savannah College of Art and Design. However, my financial and social realities set in before I could make the deadlines and I ultimately pursued my studies via Grossmont College and SDSU.

Once arriving at Grossmont College, I pursued graphic design while heavily focusing on Japanese language studies. However, after not being able to sustain my motivation for sequential arts, my creativity became honed into Japanese language arts to a large degree. I became fluent and befriended many Japanese exchange students, studying and internalizing their mannerisms and speaking styles. I advanced so much in my Japanese studies that once I transferred to SDSU, I was able to work closely with the department head, Dr. Yoshiko Higurashi in addition to becoming a shoe-in for study abroad at Osaka University of Arts.

There at OUA, I was able to explore first hand, a private art institution and the variety of classes that they offered. I saw my first Kabuki performance at the school’s newly revamped theatre. I received the opportunity to illustrate frames for the traditional animation, Apu no Jitensha, directed by a graduate student from Bangladesh. I took classes in woodblock cutting, screen printing, oil painting, computer arts and traditional watercolor painting. I also attended a few practices for the Judo club.

Outside of campus, I participated in the Tondabayashi City fall Danjiri festival—which I did return several times once I returned to Japan for English teaching. I also was able to visit several temple and shrine complexes including Shi Ten No Ji and others in the Osaka proper. My first vacations with classmates allowed me the chance to see the Nikou Shrine complex—the gravesite of Tokugawa Ieyasu in the Kantou region. But this trip to Osaka gave me much more room to roam. When I returned for work, I was able to experience and see much more including a traditional Ragaku presentation, Eiheiji temple of Fukui prefecture and the great Buddhist Temple complex of Mt. Kouya—the site where the famous monk Kukai first brought a particular variety of Buddhism from China. I even found the opportunity to dabble in some Kyokushin Karate, Aikido and bodybuilding.

In all, I was able to mature my interests in both American and Japanese traditional and popular arts, linguistic arts, Japanese religious art, Japanese performing arts and martial arts.

However now as I pursue my studies further, and after experiencing nationalism of a different variety, I’d like to meld these influences into a new, revolutionary and ultimately evolutionary direction: purposeful, practical, proportionate and sustainable homogenization via the arts for the sake of the public good


Individuation: Qamarism

Cold winter nights and hot summers between ESL classes, I would spend my time reading articles on Wikipedia about virtually everything. Japan left me isolated and seeking. I got to the point where I felt like I understood when Buddhist theologists preached about emptiness; when Trungpa or Soho preached about the idea of void. Although I had friends, I felt alone and the only thing that seemed to comfort me after a while was knowledge. My time was spent in a sort of chrysalis of introspection. And totally unaware I would return to the USA and pursue my parent’s field of counseling, I found myself pulled towards Carl Jung. One of his most useful concepts I stumbled upon during those lonely times with my little Acer netbook and Wikipedia articles was his term “individuation”. I think I was pretty sure I was led to it while cross referencing Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy. Individuation is essentially the process in which we realize our individuality. It’s on the road to Maslow’s uppermost pyramidal levels, self-actualization and self-realization. Constantly being asked who I was and constantly having to consider my origins, I realized my opportunity to be where I was allowed me to delve deep into my individuation.

Thanks to this experience and in combination with the program my personal outlook concerning my perceptions of disability, gender role, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation has ha become one of universalism. My personal philosophy, I found in my isolation abroad and visiting spiritual places of Japan at Kouya Mountain temple complex, Nikou burial complex, Shiten no Ji, etc. My experience led me to a gestation and rebirth once I came back to the USA. Being so close to a foreign culture that by law kept me distant I was able to observe the multicultural interaction of human beings. Despite the propaganda of a “homogenous” nationalistic Japan, I observed the intentional interactions of Hindu, Chinese, Korean, Ainu, Ryukyuan and proto-Korean peoples. Even evidence of Ethiopian and Spanish influences shined through the cracks of Japan’s historical foundation. As much as Japan is well branded, it is also a nation easily recognizable as man-made.

With this realization, my view on everything has changed. From the cross-cultural exposure of my upbringing, my worldview has become very universally focused. I realize that not only are cultures created, but they also create themselves. And that every innovative method that people develop to survive is unique and distinct, and never been done before, especially within that unique context of geography and time. And I think that has given me personal identity that almost exists interstitially and absolutely.

This course has given me the ability to brand my own view of universalism. I feel I’ve gained the maturity and wisdom to see my own ethnic distinctness and value in African-Americana. When previously I felt intimidated about embracing Pan-Africanism and Afrocentricty, I now understand that as a unique ethnicity–like Japanese, South Korean or Taiwanese–I have the right to maintain our new cultural traditions like Kwanzaa. I better see the beauty in the kinara (candleholder) and I don’t mind sharing that anymore. I appreciate that my eclectic and mixed Pan-African origins give me the cultural freedom to create my own African-American aesthetic and share this with the world. But I also realize my Californian American identity also makes me an inheritor or the culture of the Pacific environment in which I was raised.

Psychoprojection: Californiacation

This self-realization I had ethnically also applied to my life nationalistically. And I started to think of Confucian social hierarchy and realized that despite our Federal emphasis on love of country, it was virtually impossible if people couldn’t do so in the right order. How can one love their entire country if they don’t love their entire region, state, county or city? Deepening my love for myself ethnically, I’ve invested some time formulating–especially via my arts background–on how to appreciate my life from the context of the polity closest to me: California. And I ultimately live to do so epistemologically in how I study counseling and then eventually back to my first passion: art.

Developing a Californian health and rehabilitation philosophy

China remains world famous for its indigenous medicinal practices of circulatory, nutritional and thermological therapies. However pre-Columbian methods must have existed and may have a way of being popularized, advantageously using local agriculture, too. What are local Amerind medicines and health practices? How can they be expanded? How can they be hybridized? What are the applications of our local natural products like manzanita or white sage?

Considering my exposure to Asian martial arts, I feel quite knowledgeable about their development and origins. In addition I have looked into the beginnings of fighting styles in other regions as well outside of Asia including Europe, Africa and the Americas. Becoming familiar with such an array of fighting styles has led me to the question: What would constitute a Californian Martial Art? How would it incorporate observation of Californian nature? How would it incorporate Californian aesthetics? What would be the weapons used in such martial arts? What would be the costuming? How would the forms and basic techniques take shape? Martial arts give us an opportunity to master self-defense as well as understand the physicality of our bodies. Like in discovering your gait after an injury or living with cerebral palsy, a dojo or dojang provides facility for rehabilitation and rediscovery. Raised in Tang Soo Do, I feel my cultural mark as a Californian exists in this context.

The synthesis of California culinary

Discovering and quit often teaching about Japanese cooking was very enlightening for me. Aside from their government having strict dietary regulations especially out of healthcare reasons, the Buddhist institutions also took care in advising people to eat healthfully as well as peacefully. Nonetheless the culinary palette and range is expansive. In California, although we have developed culinary specialties of our own like the California roll, California burrito, Julian pie, wine, etc. I am also interested in exploring other avenues of California based recipes that incorporate strictly what is available and can be processed in here, starting especially in San Diego. A few ideas include sea-salt, Kumeyaay buckwheat, lemon marmalade, plum wine, etc.

The exploration of a Californian visual arts system

One of the unique things I observed in general in Asia was that many arts would be “nationalized” and stamped with the country’s name on it. For instance, pigment based water color is called日本画 “Nihonga” which just means “Japan pictures” when translated directly. The same convention is used when addressing that of China and South Korea, from what I picked up in conversation. Such a subtle process brought me to ask the question: If we in California took the same procedure in branding our art as a polity, what would be created? What would a California pictures genre be? What would be the subject matter? Further thought brought me to consider what the exploration my entail by incorporating calligraphy, Native American pottery, woodworking, paper crafts, etc. under a “California” branding. This includes the exploration of Californian textile and fashion such as Mountain-Desert-Beach style, harajuku, facing California-inward and away from New York and Paris, Pacific Style.

The realization of a California state spiritual system

Homogenizing California Indian spiritualities with environmentalism and creating sacred California spaces and hot spring pilgrimage system so people can find quiet connections to the Earth and their ancestry through nature. This could also proper respects given to Native American holy sites via state recognition and hopefully eventually National recognition.

The development of a Californian orthography

Considering the development of the Hangul orthography that functions both as alphabet and syllabary, what system could serve the same for California English while incorporating Spanish and Native American languages? I feel one reason why the US economy is so limited for people is because our domestic language’s accessibility. While in disability, access is integral, having an economy that is internatioanlly infiltratabl emakes things impossibly competitive for someone who is disabled and only understands English.

Developing an Idealized California infrastructure

How does political branding affect those who are residents of areas? How would we be affected if everywhere we went we could find the county and city insignia? What revenue could potentially come from the sales of such memorabilia and merchandising of county and city insignia? How might we be relying upon corporate sports too heavily? Just in working for the State, I can see how there is a void in our local national identities. There are so many cities and counties without flags, complete school systems or government service structures. THese things are all components of autonomy, tourism and merchandising. If our institutions have glaring non-accommodated disabilities, there’s little hope of accommodations of our citizens with disabilities.

California has one of the largest economies in the USA. How would we be if we were a nation to ourselves? What would our policies be? What would dour own immigration policies be? How could we make sure we retain generational Californians? How could we solidify or markets as gateways to the Pacific, Mexico, the American Northwest and Southwest? No matter what vagrant seizes the White House, we still have to sustain ourselves in our region and State Government. And in doing so, we have to maintain positive and functional relationships with our regional partners, including passing on favorable word about them to the rst of the USA.

Modern politics introduced the discourse of a California bullet train. What other expansions and developments are ideal? How can other infrastructures be bundled in creation with transportation? How can California aqueductre be expanded for agricultural development—esp. in San Diego and at the county level—to be as, and if not more advanced than Rome? How can we tap and develop our estuaries into something more advanced than Egyptian deltas? How can sustainable systems like solar be used in a long-term, large-scale desalinization plant? How can we rapidly replenish and expand our groundwater reserves? My cultural exposure to Asia and the understanding of how I fit into things as ethnically African and nationally American deepened my cultural sensitivity, competence and humility. And as a result, I feel that included in our cultural experience is also our vision of potential long term cultural development: the ability to envision civilization.


Men’s Domestic Violence Rehabilitation Group Plan

Men’s Domestic Violence Rehabilitation Group Plan

Qamar Bradford

ARB 648

San Diego State University


This paper explores rehabilitation for male populations in support groups through a combination of a variety of therapeutic, educational and habilitation techniques. The paper will outline 1) the problem statement; 2) the group organization; 3) the group goals; 4) the group rules; 5) the group format; and finally 6) the assessment method. The problem statement will explore some of the issues plaguing male populations from the standpoint of disability rather than from the common approach of medical malady or social stigma. In addition the solution approach of group therapy dynamics will take a holistic approach rooted in scientific environmental and social sustainability rather than ethically ambiguous social or criminal justice concepts.

Keywords: men’s rehabilitation, disability, social sustainability, bullying, domestic violence

The problem statement

As modern society in the US realizes less disparity between the sexes and a more even distribution of opportunity, we still encounter a variety of social problems that at times seem to disproportionately affect both male and non-female populations. In a previous paper I explore the group dynamics of a non-profit that provides support for male offenders in domestic violence cases and many themes arose within that process. Timeless controversies like gender, sexuality, health, ability, power, dominance, courtship and social expectation were underlying the accusations that brought the men together into that room and upon which the conversation touched upon. In addressing these issues, it’s integral to summarize them into their most basic themes in order to fit them into the group process so that topics can be thoroughly, regularly and constructively explored and hopefully resolved.

In a report by headed by Clare Cannon, MA, he uncovers three integral flaws n the effectiveness of Batterer Intervention Programs (BIPs) (1) Unlike similar demographics like specific law offenders and chemical dependents, there is little research on batterers and tons of inconclusive data on BIPs and the models they follow (p 227); (2) Most regulatory state laws on BIPs are erred, detailing only non-evidence based approaches, ignoring social science research data, yet instead only following recommendations from victim advocacy groups (p 227). The unfortunate result is that most states reinforce the patriarchal “Duluth” model of “power and treatment styles and penalizing cognitive-behavioral therapy approaches that reasonably emphasize a participant’s psychiatry and character; (3) Third, virtually no thought is put into guaranteeing therapies are administered according to the nuances of each client, rooted in meaningful testing or assessment (p 228).

Cannon goes on to explain, (a) criminal surveys contain a bias that under reports assaults overall and only portrays female victim, ultimately being unreliable data (p 228). Then (b) she compares the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, (which looks at a sample of,365,000 men and 4,741,000 women) found the rate of victimized men to be at 4.5% for minor victimizations like slapping, pushing, shoving, etc. And at 2.0% for severe victimizing like punching, striking with a hard object, beating, etc. Rates in the female population were at 3.6% for minor victimizations and 2.7% for major. In an approximate total, 7.3 million men and 7.5 million women were victimized (p 228). And she also finds when It comes to psychological abuse (PA), abuse, controlling, and stalking, and sexual harassment more often than those for physical assault. In the US 80% of individuals experienced physical abuse or harassment at least once (p 228). Surprisingly she reports that the rates of PA minimally changes throughout genders regarding the occurrence of psycho-emotional abuse and control, including in BIP samples. But women consistently have a higher likelihood of victimization of stalking and sexual harassment (p229). She explains “the impact of [abuse] is greater on female victims, in terms of serious bodily injury requiring medical attention, fear, and mental health symptoms such as anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and clinical depression [with] some effect on abuse dynamics.”(p 229). On a larger scale, Cannon reports the negative effects on children, regarding “the impact of female-perpetrated abuse on families, especially its correlation with aggression and other externalized symptoms (p 229).

Defining Assault, Abuse, Sexual Violence, etc.

One of the most imprtant tasks in a domestic violence group, abuse needs to be defined. Cannon explains several types, 1) intimate terrorism (IT): “When combined with physical assaults, a sustained pattern of emotional/psychological abuse and control is known alternatively as battering or intimate terrorism (IT). Then there’s 2) situational violence (SV): . Following that there’s, 3) partner abuse (PA)/ domestic violence (DV): “a serious public health problem that includes physical as well as nonphysical forms of relationship aggression among dating, cohabitating, and married couples from all ethnic and cultural groups, of both opposite-sex and same-sex orientation”. And there’s intimate personal violence (IPV)

Risk factors

One of the most striking points of research by Ms. Cannon revealed risk factors most correlated with partner violence (PV) included low socioeconomic status, poor education, the experience of childhood abuse, dependency on drugs and alcohol, and an aggressive personality (p 229). Many of these factors are very sex neutral and could affect anyone.

The literature and information that Clare Cannon sheds on regarding the nature of DV not only reveals that the approach to treating it is unnecessarily pragmatic with the over-emphasis of the Duluth model, it also largely doesn’t consider the diversity of the people who make up these situations. As a disability theory academic, the CBT and psychodynamic approaches seem the most relevant in providing guidance to a group in order to find resolution to their individual issues. Accordingly my approach will have the members consider these diverse situations and explore the dynamism of a group interaction between members of diverse backgrounds.

Group goals

The general issue the article and my experience highlights is that the goals of the groups tends to be to vent. Also the design also seems to be rooted on power and control in a patriarchal legal justice fashion rather than to do psychosocial repair work. A more constructive goal would focus on rehabilitation by smoking out underlying issues and bringing resolution to the parties involved.

The group goals correlate with the research of the literature reviewed: a low socioeconomic status; b) poor education; c) the experience of childhood abuse; d) dependency on drugs and alcohol; e) and an aggressive personality. The goals accordingly are to 1) help members understand the role of gender diversity and the relativism of gender roles because it is a group for male perpetrators; 2) help members understand the importance of emotional expression in a nonviolent manner via conversation on upbringing and how they were treated by their parents; 3) to help group members consider their behavior in the context of intoxication and their responsibilities and aspirations; 4) And discuss the difference between assertiveness and aggression, escalation and deescalation.

Group rules

For a IPV/DV group I would consider the rules of: 1) breaking into groups when the larger group exceeds five people to maintain intimacy of conversation. I think too many voices makes a pace much slower. In addition, I would time the duration in which a person can take time to talk if the numbers are too large. 2) I would require members to distinguish between proper language, improper language and male vernacular. Because of my language background, I truly think of language as gendered and we should be aware of our communication styles at all times. 4) I’d of course reinforce the rules of what is said in the group stays in the group, but to ensure this, I would require members to also respect the confidentiality of non-group members and use alternative names. 5) Lastly, I’d require some sort of homework to explore different themes relevant to the individual situations of each participant and that they bring in and share on verbally for their rehabilitation.

Group format

Considering the literature, I feel that a workshop or a series of class-like modules would be most ideal to cover a variety of topics in variety and in depth. From my observation and from the literature it is very clear that DV has multiple genders, dispositions, and other factors. A curriculum that explores and addresses these issues can help rehabilitate what plenty of evidence displays as more than just an issue between the sexes, but instead comorbid problem with cognitive disabilities, psychiatric disabilities and substance abuse. The sessions would be for 36 weeks as described as in the text, but in a workshop and modularized format, fitting into the two hour support group time slot but dividing it into sessions.

Assessment method

For assessment, I’d rely on a curriculum based approach for indicating members performance. As previously stated, a workshop format in dual sessions will allow me to explore more areas on which those involved need to work. In addition, in between those segments evaluations via likert scale and short answer can be distributed and gathered in order to collect timely and relevant feedback from participants.


Cannon, C. (2016). A survey of domestic violence perpetrator programs in the United States and Canada: findings and implications for policy and intervention. Partner abuse, 7(3), 226.

Group Observation: Men’s DV Rehabilitation

Group Observation: Men’s DV Rehabilitation

Qamar Bradford

San Diego State University


This paper is a reaction to sitting in on a men’s Domestic Violence Rehabilitation group. Within it is a discussion of the processes and and group dynamics of the program–which focuses on batteries or the accused perpetrators of domestic violence as order by the San Diego Superior Court system–and potential areas of further study and improvement. The paper also hopes to spurn an investigation into to underlying cognitive disabilities of men in situations of conflict as an approach to rehabilitation.

Keywords: rehabilitation, cognitive disability, domestic violence, men’s issues, gender

1. Introduction about the group experience (group meeting place, group meeting time, group type and stage, number of participants, and your role in the group).

Via my other internship with an entity outside of the Department of Rehabilitation, a Counseling Center, I have been shadowing a doctor. As a clinical psychologist, he has served a facilitator for a men’s Domestic Violence Rehabilitation group. The program serves as a support and resource group for men involved in battery or domestic violence. The program is mandatory and quite intense. I particularly sat in on the Wednesday evening support group which is described on the website as, “Open to men, this group of men work together discussing obstacles and achievements in fatherhood to learn and support one another” .

The first meeting I attended started early in the evening at about five. It was on the second floor of the building in a somewhat large room with couches lining the walls. In the room about thirty men accumulated to discuss an array of issues–a sort of venting session it was. The leader of the session, which wasn’t the doctor to my surprise, was another gentleman. This gentleman was an advocate of sorts for fathers going through the legal system and ensuring they had a fair trial. Along with him were two other senior group members who initiated the group share with their own narratives about the judicial system and its fairness towards accused men. Where I sat, the couch was low, the glare was strong and the air was hot. The atmosphere felt uncomfortable.

The session began with the moderator and the senior participants explaining the benefits of the group and the doctor’s supervisee. Everyone seemed to posit an amazingly long disclosure or personal narrative that took up a long amount of time, introducing how they came to the group. Although the session was laborious to sit through with the blinding light shining at me through the blinds, to be in a group of men relating to each other about similar issues along the lines of gender politics was intriguing. In addition the intensity of the conversation was also invigorating. Most counseling that I grew up seeing or that I’ve analyzed in class was seemingly “kid gloves” oriented. Usually subjects are mainstream subjects discussing mainstream topics, but in this the group’s focus was on a very marginal viewpoint: the man who fails; the men who se don’t want to be. And surprisingly the demographics that made up the room were unpredictable. The participants were a very broad variety of people–Latino, black, white, Asian, etc. They came from a variety of economic backgrounds: upper middle class, working class, poor or homeless. But when they began going into the narratives of each client, there were very similar themes of irresponsibility, inability to control anger, the need for spiteful vengeance… All the issues that brought the men to San Diego Superior Courts and for discipline were very, almost embarrassingly apparent, no matter how matter-of-fact or objectively they stated their “accusation”.

The group’s lead counselor utilized an approach of narrative therapy and sharing, but it seemed that it seemed to go haywire. The lack of focus and structure seemed to go against all the basic of group dynamics discussed in the Coreys’ text. Some members were disruptive; some members upstaged the time of others with long, detailed narratives; the rules were minimal and ambiguous… If this is the place to rehabilitate the men of broken homes and from further breaking homes, the departure from evidence-based conventions seemed to be harmful for the social and civic objective of counseling and the justice system: rehabilitation.

2. Issues discussed during the group session(s).

One told a story minimizing how he ended up in court because he lost his temper and hit his spouse across the back with a chair. Another participant minimized an accusation of him molesting a child. Another minimized any role he had in his court regulated relationship, accusing his spouse of infecting him with herpes. The group was dynamic, dramatic and very unsettling. If there’s a place that needs positive, directive and healthful psychotherapy, it’s especially in men’s groups.

3. Technique(s) used by the group leader(s) and effectiveness of the technique(s).

Narrative therapy, some motivational interviewing and sharing were the main techniques the counselor of the group utilized. But I honestly think with such a large group of men with judicially acknowledged problems, a breaking up of the group into more intimate smaller groups focused on meaningful conversation would have been helpful and therapeutic. It seemed that the process was almost an inverse of Solution Focused Therapy. The choices between disclosure versus anonymity; honesty versus superficiality; spontaneity versus control; acceptance versus rejection; and cohesion versus fragmentation could be configured in better way in the sessions. The group leader and the members were a bit anonymous on the details of their cases. All attempted to present well, but some of their cases were very serious.

I think that even in the case of accusation, there must be substantial evidence of incorrect interaction between both parties. I often heard complaint from male participants that their cases were presented in a one-sided manner in the courts, but in pursuing self-responsibility and accountability, effectively removing one’s self from a murky situation is a social obligation to maintain harmony and stability for all involved. It touches upon the root principle of I’ve always known as a martial arts practitioner: the best strategy for fighting is not to fight. Using a number of theoretical approaches in this group should all focus on conflict avoidance.

4. Knowledge and experience gained from attending/participating in the group.

I got to see the quality of help that exist in San Diego for rehabilitating men. I honestly feel the domestic violence, homophobia, bullying, etc. are indicators of cognitive disabilities in a person and require a CBT approach. I feel that identifying and clarifying goals beyond meeting court requirements and focused on becoming better men has to be the goal of a batterer’s reform group. Bringing a focus that emphasizes mindfulness and anger management would resolve many of the problems the men of the group face. Activities that would break up the group into smaller groups and allow facilitated and reflected venting of one’s issues would allow the men to see their problems together, step back from them and reflect upon them, freeing them to transform themselves and their situations. The men must ask themselves psychological questions such as, “Why am I in this relationship?”, “What do I want out of these situations?”, “Where did I learn these behaviors?”, “What is ideal and do I match up?”, “How do my actions affect others?”, “How did I feel before, during and after?” In addition they need to ask sexually relevant social questions like, “What is manhood to me?”, “Does violence make me more masculine?”, “What examples of fatherhood and manhood am I familiar with?”, “How do I feel about being a man?”, “How does society treat men?”, “How do I treat other men?”.

Finally, I also feel that in addition to breaking the group into smaller, mini groups in a self-conducted workshop/activity format, a focus on creating group rules could bring members to have more trust in each other and the facilitators. Over talking, misogynistic language and side remarks seemed to contribute to tenseness and in definitely hostility especially toward female parties not present. A good set of rules of interaction could move the men more towards a mode of physical, emotional and sexual accountability that may be the underlying issues of their current challenges.

Although the group’s focus may be support and venting about the legal issues that particularly affect fathers, some of the issues—as indicated by the interaction with the legal system—came from the airing of issues in a way that was inappropriate or conspicuous. Focusing on male sexual identity, interpersonal sexual politics, gender theory, Adlerian theory, Solution Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing in a workshop format would allow the men to build their empathetic abilities and hopefully generate their own solutions and rehabilitative strategies in addition to the intervention from the San Diego Court Systems.

Group Leadership Reflection Paper

Group Leadership Reflection Paper

By QABradford

ARP 648 Group Dynamics

San Diego State University



This paper examines the cumulative reactions to the ARP 648 course at San Diego State University in Group Dynamics, which culminates in a group leadership activity. It will explore innues of tranference, counter-transference, cultural diversity, ethics and planning of group counseling in the context of both a graduate student classroom context and a men’s rehabilitation counseling context. This paper also explores the exploration of using an empathy exploration game as a conduit of transference.PAGE_BREAK: PageBreak

In a traditional men’s rehabilitation group, trust is often already built out of similar conditions of being mandated by court to attend or just by being a male. Trust activities to find similarities between cases would definitely be a priority in bridge the surprise in the variety of cases present, say at a Domestic Violence Rehabilitation meeting. Of course the court system brings a variety of diverse cases of domestic violence that includes intimate partner abuse, psychological abuse, battery and child abuse. Formally speaking in order to make sure cooperation in activities, keeping a client’s case ambiguous and confidential can maintain trust between members. From one person to another, cases may be so extreme, the inability to understand could cause havoc in a group. However, fortunately in the academic context, group members already have trust from being members of the same cohort or program.

This class was a great opportunity for focusing on techniques, especially iva the material of the Corey’s text. In addition, I found the inclusion of my own techniques helpful. From the Coreys, redirection and reframing was handy. From my own repertoire, simulative transference helped me feel secure about contextual interaction. From the RCP program, the general practice of group nprs was extremely helpful too.

Transference/ Countertransference in the classroom context, especially due to the level of trust prior established did not seem particularly problematic. However in the context of Mens Rehab, I did personally witness the occurrence go awry. A group of men in a court ordained instance, venting in the name of “support” almost seemed to achieve the same effect of a group of people “grinding their axes” or deepening negative motivations was uncomfortably apparent.
In the case of my class activity, a strong point is that we are academics, comfortable in a context to which we’ve all spent years of adjustment–obviously successfully. However, even considering our adjustment, the activity did shine light on the subtle expression of underlying attitudes. The game I designed, LLPH, requires players to draw cards that indicate social and demographic statuses. Statuses like gay, black,ransexual, intersex, low income, HIV/AIDS disabled, etc.

What I did find striking was that for a class of disability counselor specialists, the knee-jerk reaction of some classmates was surprisingly negative and certainly judgemental. This gave me insight that as a processing tool of creating empathy and transference of psychoprojection, the simulation was handy. Making a person say “I am a transexual white male” or “I am an intersex Asian Muslim” brings the though so intimately with the player that Cognitive Behavior Theory comes into play. The verbal activity of being someone we are not makes a visible gut-reaction, helpful in assessing where a pupil, client, consumer, etc. Simply the negativity expressed by a participant who pulled a card they didn’t expect indicates their true feeling about that status and potentially people who have that status. This makes assessment much easier. In the context of Mens Rehab this activity could be very helpful. Often the crimes revolve around physical and status power and creating instances in which that power is transferred to an imagined statues enables a counselor to find the underlying attitudes of their participant.
The most important aspect that I found was mostly to do with the process questions employed after my classmates played the game. Helping them consider the quality of their reactions would bring apparent the psychoanalytical motivations necessary for them to identify their challenge and ultimately their rehabilitation.

In both the academic and clinical context, the idea of human-to-human transference is terrifyingly risky. Just during an internship at the Department of Rehabilitation, I learned of a tragic incident in which a female counselor lost her life to an unstable consumer. I feel it is the obligation of not only the larger overlying body of the State and Federal Government to protect the lives of civilians–especially female citizens–but there needs to be a proper methodology within the counseling industry that safeguards “too much” contact or transference. Simulative mediums like video games, board games, etc do this by anonymizing individuals into simple “users” with icons or avatars. And although people criticize digital mediums as being not real or escapist, they very much insulate people from the risks of the crimes and sadness that comes about from contact being too real. They save people from the very real problems of transference that even Sigmund Freud–the psychoanalyst who coined the phrase–was victim too via his well too documented problems with sexual molestation of female clients and self-medication of cocaine.

Because transference is innately risky, I feel the proper ethical future of counseling will benefit from the back-end, front-end, user architecture of the IT field and its simulation gaming infrastructure. However rather than just an AI behind games, it would be a highly trained cadre of medical professionals.
In relation to clients in a men’s rehabilitation group setting, some offenses that call for court discipline could easily cause a very negative reaction from other attendees. Offenses like child molestation, depending on the personalities of group members, could easily be met with violent negative retributive reactions. Because of this, again, transference between members is risky. And like discussed in Love’s Executioner chapter with the womanizing Carlos, some members may feel uncomfortable to the point of leaving the group.
If we continued our session, I would have the members play their roles at a more gradual pace on the game board, taking note of the life event that occurred and how it relates to their current situation. In this I would focus on process questions in more detail. I’d inquire further on their feelings on their opportunities in life. What have been yur ups? What have been your downs? Did you feel the cards you were dealt–your innate attributes lke sex, prientation, religion, etc.–benefited or detracted in the difficulties you’ve had? How did it influence your relationships? How may have influenced your partner’s or children’s decisions? Although participante can’t possibly exactly know what others are feeling, based upon their own self-reflection, the start or the attempt to empathize would be great progress in a men’s rehabilitation group. A text composed of detailed, comparative questioning would be a natural extension and could be composed of lines of inquiry that can be more pointed and directed towards themes of anger management, power distribution and gender role expectations.

Overall, I learned a great deal about the opportunity to devise and plan a group session. In studying Neurofeedback with a clinical psychologist in Mission Valley, and my studying cognitive disability with SDSU, I feel the mind definitely needs structure and direction even in the most creative of situations. The group activity allowed me to solidify my opinions on this and reinforced my observations on general practices in scholastic structures and even religious and spiritual structures in passing along information. I feel the summation of my counseling style–especially in a group–is through devising a curricula of relevant information and process questions to review the activity and a then a general final reflection. I’d ultimately find this well suited for therapies like the WRAP plan, AA or others. But for the biggest lesson I learned from watching both the videos on the Coreys during the course is the volatility of transference. I think I will stay adamant about conforming to structure especially as the child of counselors. Potential client boundary issues can be minimized when the object of transference is neutral and objective along the lines of the Empty Chair technique.

A Scientific Approach to Acculturation

Initial Impression – A Scientific Approach to Acculturation

Like all industries, I think the rehabilitation industry must have appropriate and reasonable regulations. And accordingly those regulations must meet certain political and scientific requirements if they’re to make sense to anyone. 1) Requirements need to reinforce the legal language and structures of the US Constitution–in this case non-discrimination laws. Those laws of course cover disability, which has a unique culture that is intersectional across class, race, sex, orientation, gender, religion and even nationality. 2) Secondly, the requirements need to address quanitifiability and qualitativeness. This latter reason is the most daunting due to the very linguistic, conceptual and controversial nature of topics–especially culture. Although “kindness” and “tact” are central ways in order to approach culture, the very definition of those ideas are questionable if a culture is pathological.

Exploring the Components of a Multicultural Theory

In this course we covered the three unique concepts, Cultural Humility (CH), Cultural Competence (CC), and Cultural Sensitivity (CS).  My interpretations for them consider how they could and whether they are measurable. Cultural Sensitivity is essentially the capacity to sense or read the presence of a cultural interaction versus an interaction that is simply random:

-3cs… -2cs… -4cs… 0… +1cs… +2cs… +3cs…

Cultural Competence is essentially one’s capacity for performing or comprehending cultural tasks and concepts. Can you speak in a language? Can you carry out a religious ritual? Can you carry out a cultural ritual? Can you court towards a particular gender? Can you perform a certain task? All these things form cultural competence Cultural competence essentially asks of someone’s ability to accomplish an isolated cultural task. We are all culturally competent of something, even if it is seen as irrelevant to another. One person’s cultural incompetence is a competency of another. For instance when addressing the original topic of tact and kindness, with in restaurateurs, there even exists restaurants where people tip for being treated rudely, like Dick’s Last Resort. It virtually of anything nameable that a person can do can essentially be named as a competence:

(n of cc known)

Cultural Humility is a holistic process that has to consider the ratio of known human epistemology to unknown epistemology. I imagine mathematically if it was expressed in an equation, it would be the number of an individual’s cultural competencies divided by their number of cultural competencies unknown:

(n of cc known/ n of cc known)

Final Impression

When it comes to addressing these nuances I feel that we all can master cultural humility but it takes acknowledging that culture is a factor. It additionally requires that we keep a constant inventory of our cultural experiences and areas of growth. How many foreign and different friends? How many diverse food? How many lands traveled? How many languages spoken? How many romances endeavored? All these are areas of investigation deepen and strengthen our capacity as counselors.

A Qamarist Ethical Approach to Califronian Counseling Law and Ethics

As an African-American teenager growing up in San Diego, Southern California, East Asian epistemology was my basis for many things. My father was apart of the 70s Hong Kong Kung Fu generation–which included Chuck Norris in its ranks–that literally embodied the trend of martial arts. My dad being African American and in many ways a first generation immigrant. Unlike our other foreign national peers, form many African Americans we came from a country within a country, out port being the doorway of Segregation Era USA to Integration Era USA. As my Asian-American friends like to uniquely think of themselves as the only “FOB”s (fresh off the boat) on American record, we African-Americans have always had the longest freshness shelf-life not fully gaining citizenship until the 1960’s. So as many Asian Americans may see their cultural uniqueness incidentally, for guys like my dad in teh 602 and 70s, Asian esoterics was an empowering escape from the constant battle of Black vs White.

Accordingly, my dad raised me on these esoterics in conjunction with both my parents’ pursuit of African-centered ethics and esoterics. Like him, I was enrolled in the South Korean martial art of Tang Soo Do, Mood Duk Kwan. I read books on Buddhism and Taoism and made the connection that many Western academics like Thoreau, Nietzsche, Frankl came to their conclusions via Eastern philosophical realizations (Jin-ping 2008) (Billimoria 2008) (Sharman 2015). And once I began immersing myself in my Japanese language studies for my bachelors, I was distinctly gravitated to the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi’s peer Takuan Soho’s counseling approach in feudal Japan and accomplishments.

I first read about Takuan Soho in the pages of a popular manga (Japanese comic book) by the famous author Takehiko Inoue entitled Vagabond which chronicled the life of the famous Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Musashi, famous for pioneering two-handed fencing during the feudal era, began as a reckless vagabond who was brought toward enlightenment from his continued counselings with the monk Takuan Soho (Bryce 2010).

Takuan Soho’s fame and influence permeated throughout Japan’s feudal society, later solidified through a treatise on swordsmanship through letters to Musashi. These letters were eventually published as The Unfettered Mind (Soho 2012). They examined the cognitive aspect of focus, concentration and strategy amidst the frequent dueling atmosphere of the tumult and violence of their warlord dominated era. Despite the power of the historical players–warlords, samurai, politicians and capitalistic merchants–Soho served as an audacious critic, straightforwardly spoken and held in high regard far beyond his sphere of Zen Buddhist liturgy. Even to this day Japan has a pickled yellow daikon dish named for him: “takuan pickles”.

Like Takuan Soho, I think it’s important to be critical and not just reinforcing of the State Laws, especially as we become more knowledgeable of their origin and our reformist responsibility as inheritors of an industry. The state of California ethics in the context of US History. Mad in America gave much insight into all the one lawful practices that contributed to many of the issues of inequality, poverty and instability of the USA. The body of regulation we see in Basics of California Law is the result of not just counselors upholding rules, but it is equally, if not more, the result of whistleblowers pursuing social justice and making the USA better

As Takuan Soho influenced lawmakers and power-holders of feudal Japan, Benjamin E. Caldwell points out that is also our role in the last chapter of the book, “Advocating for Changes in Law, Regulation or Policy.” As he iterates in a quote, “It seems most therapists are unaware of just how much the BBS and the state Legislature hunger for their opinions”. The problems of informed policy is apparent and pervasive (Caldwell 2015, 236).

And in many ways it’s telling how acute, pointed and factual counsel like that which Soho provided is in many ways is deeply needed.

For American Vocational Rehabilitation counselors, if we work within the framework of the US Constitution–a basis of Universal Rights and Maslowian Needs–we have to understand that the ultimate job of our profession is to realize egonomic methodologies for organizational development, economic interaction and physical adaptation of us as human beings along with our environment (Bay 1968).

Industrial-Business Needs x Legal Policy x Universal-Maslowian Needs

Industry-Business that meet Human  Needs

Legal Policy Human Universal/ Maslowian Needs

Business/ Industry that meet physical/ biological needs

Laws that ensure physical biological needs Physical biological needs

Business/ Industries that meet human safety needs

Laws that ensure safety needs

Safety needs

Business/ Industries that meet human affection belonging needs

Laws that ensure affection belonging needs

Affection Of belonging needs

Business/ Industries that meet human self-esteem needs

Laws that ensure self-esteem needs

Self-esteem needs

Business/ Industries that meet human self-actualization/ self-development needs Laws that self-actualization or self development needs

Self-actualization or self development needs

Implication for areas of reforms not yet addressed would have to focus on not just rehabilitation of people, but also of businesses so they have a social responsible role in society. Considering making changes away from the WASP foundations of the nation ultimately means making sure business and industry serve their biological purposes in supporting human life. Disability theory revolves around axis of ability-inability/ capacity-incapacity. I feel the future reform of the disability industry is inevitably headed toward Labor Market Ergonomics.

I think as counselors, we ultimately must make unpopular decisions if they can help us accomplish a future of access, independence and equality for not just the USA, but also the world stage as technology and wealth disseminates.

Jin-ping, Z. H. O. U. (2008). Buddhist Ideas in Thoreau’s Walden. Journal of Anqing Teachers College (Social Science Edition), 8, 025.

Bilimoria, P. (2008). Nietzsche as ‘Europe’s Buddha’and ‘Asia’s Superman’. Sophia, 47(3), 359-376.

Sharma, M. (2015). Trans-personal & Psychology of the Vedic System: Healing the Split between Psychology & Spirituality. International Journal of Yoga and Allied Sciences 1(4), 41-48.

Bryce, M., & Davis, J. (2010). An overview of manga genres. Manga. An Anthology of Global and Cultural Perspectives. Nueva York: Continuum, 34-61.

Soho, T. (2012). The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman. Shambhala Publications.

Takehiko, I. (2002). Vagabond. Egmont-vgs-Verlag-Ges.

Bay, C. (1968). Needs, wants, and political legitimacy. Canadian Journal of Political Science, 1(03), 241-260.