College Essay Examples

Family Therapy

How has the way you grew up impacted your tendency to be biased to people that are different? 

Literature Review

Based on the way we are brought up, it is inherent in us to adopt the various biases impacted in us by our families and caregivers. I, for one, grew up in an environment where my family instilled values of diversity and inclusion. I was taught to accept and appreciate people despite their backgrounds and ethnicity. This was part of our entire value system. I was instructed on how to curb prejudice and stand up for those who are discriminated against.

Growing up, I attended a school with students from all ethnic communities, i.e., Black, Hispanic, Asian, and White. Our interactions were never strained, and my close group of friends was from different ethnic backgrounds. I was allowed by my parents to host them at our home as we played and interacted together. 

The area I grew up in also had different people from various ethnic groups, and we all interacted freely with no strain. My parents hosted our neighbors for Sunday lunches in our backyard who were also from different backgrounds. We interacted freely with them, and the color of their skin never seemed to be an issue of concern. I, therefore, did not seem to understand why on the news broadcasted there was a lot of hatred and violence against people of color and the immigrants in the United States. I did not see the difference in the color of my friend’s or neighbors skin as a threat but just a unique difference.

However, after self-reflection, I realized that despite these values being instilled in me by my parents, I still had an implicit bias towards people from different ethnic backgrounds; this refers to the unconscious bias that we do not recognize. They are attitudes or stereotypes that impact our understanding, decisions, and actions made in an unconscious way (Gawronski, 2019). They are not intentional. For example, historically, racism was negative thoughts and hatred towards a particular group of people. However, nowadays, it is very subtle. It is quite unfortunate that at times when I am dealing with a client who is, for example, from the Black or Hispanic community that has tattoos engraved on their body, I might tend to feel unsafe with my client because I assume that they are a violent person belonging to a violent gang involved in crime even before listening to them. This shows that multi-cultural bias can be embedded in us and we may not be actively hating against people who are different from us. Still, our subconscious mind may not have caught up, so we find ourselves in such situations of bias.

How will you handle this aspect of self when working with clients from this group?

It is noteworthy that it is challenging to avoid bias since I have already convinced myself that I am not prejudiced against my clients. However, my subconscious mind needs to catch up on this. The manner in which I deal with my clients is very crucial, and having biases towards them can negatively impact how I deal with them. It is therefore imperative to be self-aware. When working with these clients, it is prudent to accept and acknowledge that I am bound to have an implicit bias against them. It is not possible to completely get rid of them. It’s like having habits of mind that one grows up with. However, the key not is to be very careful and self-aware and consciously make informed conclusions that are not based on stereotypes.

Another way I can handle clients from this group is by interacting with clients who are not from my racial and ethnic background. This would help me increase my exposure to their lifestyle and values. Ideally, the first thing one would think of is avoiding these groups of people so that no form of bias may be experienced. However, the opposite is essential. By interacting with them, I will stop perceiving them as members of that group solely but think of them as individuals. This will help me interact with them better and adjust my perspective about them and see things from their standpoint. Finally, I can also take time to pause, reflect and practice mindfulness. This will help stop any reflexive reactions, pinpoint potential biases, replace them with positive perspectives, and become more aware of my thoughts and subsequent actions.



Gawronski, B. (2019). Six lessons for a cogent science of implicit bias and its criticism. Perspectives on Psychological Science14(4), 574-595.


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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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