As modern society fractionalizes, the culture too diversifies. Traditional Korean
culture contained a strong community component based on farm life, but today
there isn’t any single integrating culture. For many, it is a positive unfolding
now that each generation, class and area have their own voice compared to the
preceding culture led by the older generation, the higher classes and from the
center. However, for others this diversification is considered a serious problem.
With so many different cultures among each generation, class and area, there
isn’t any universal culture nor any accepted communication between the different
So far, America has developed and practiced most of the various counseling
approaches used today. These counseling approaches represented mostly white
middle class values; promoting individualism, emphasizing independent problem
solving and taking responsibility for their freedom.
When people began to criticize that this white class oriented counseling
approach could be applied to other nationalities, cross-cultural counseling was developed.
This resulted in multicultural counseling taking into consideration different
Though Korea is a small land and does not consist of different races like the
United States, it has a strong provincial character and each province tries hard
to differentiate itself. Each province has a unique way of thinking and an individual
personality. Even within Seoul, the inhabitants differentiate people who
live south of the Han river from those living north of it.
Since Koreans tend to differentiate themselves and because we lack any
accepted communication between cultures, I believe the most victimized group
is the so-called the third gender, the Ajummas (literally married women). With
their marriage, these women were drowned in this collective culture. Society
further denied these women’s self identity by promoting sacrifice and services.
As mentioned above, the cultural tendency of a nation has a strong impact on
each member of the nation. That’s because to whatever culture the individual belongs
influences the diversity of his thoughts and actions.
Therefore, in order to help these women, a pastoral counselor has to be aware
of which value he has and which role he is playing. At the same time he should
explore what kind of influence he is making on the client. Jesus is a good example
of pastoral counselor. He himself was aware of the diverse culture in which
he lived and he healed and counseled people regardless of their class and provincial affiliation.