Title page for ETD etd-03292007-173605

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Burger, Dennis Frederick
Email burgerdennis@yahoo.com
URN etd-03292007-173605
Document Title Perspectives on counselling and the counsellor in the Korean culture : a narrative approach
Degree MA(Practical Theology)
Department Practical Theology
Advisor Name Title
Dr M van Niekerk
Prof J C Muller
  • Korea religion
  • storytelling religious aspects Christianity
  • pastoral counseling Korea
  • Korea history
  • Korea civilization
Date 2006-05-04
Availability unrestricted

I studied perspectives on counselling and the counsellor in Korean culture. For this research I made use of a Narrative pastoral counselling approach that was situated in a Postmodern paradigm. As this research method concentrates on the life stories told by the life-story-tellers or co- researchers, I chose a few focus groups consisting of Koreans of different ages and both genders to help me to correct and understand my findings. I also used a questionnaire because language and communication is and was a big problem in Korea (I cannot speak Korean, and most Korean people cannot speak English). The findings were used as discussion topics in the focus groups and also in the interviews I had with several Korean individuals.

In this study I dealt with many of the interesting and new things I learnt in Korea and from the Korean people (my story). Secondly, I shared the results from the questionnaires and also the feedback from the focus groups and interviews concerning these results (the Action story). Thirdly, I also tried to share a very in-depth picture of the Korean people’s history, customs, language, psychology, present-day Korea and Korean religions (their story or background story). In the background story, I used their stories, thus, I have made use of different story tellers’ stories and have used these voices as is.

In listening to all of these life stories from Korean people, I have come to a better understanding of how Korean people deal with their problems. Coming from a paradigm where I tell my story with a Western culture’s tune, I have also came to see that even though I have come to a better understanding of how Korean people deal with their problems, it was still impossible for me to come to a true understanding of their approach.

My biggest discovery was that one has to realize that each culture, even each individual, has a unique story. To come to a better understanding of this story, I have to have empathy and also to allow myself to be pulled over the threshold into the other person’s life. Even so, I also have to realize that my listening will still be obscured by the “noise” of my own self.

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