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Professional Issues in Multicultural Counseling

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Lee Anne Thrift

on 28 September 2014

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Transcript of Professional Issues in Multicultural Counseling

Professional Issues in Multicultural Counseling

Role of Counselors

Multicultural Counseling Defined
A person's culture can include the person's values, religion, communication, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, race, relationships, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity.
Multicultural counseling began when a small group of counselors and psychologists became interested in cross-cultural differences (Chu-Lien Chao, 2012).
Multicultural counseling can be defined as, "Professional intervention and counseling relationships in which the counselor and the client belong to different cultural groups, subscribe to different worldviews, and have distinguishing differences such as gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, social class, spirituality, and lifespan period" (Baruth, & Manning, 2012).
Key Aspects
Counselors need to plan accordingly for differences in their interventions and strategies depending on the cultural backgrounds of the clients.
Culturally based counseling involves both the counselor and the client bringing their worldviews and cultural perspectives to the counseling process.
Differing socioeconomic class and cultural values.
Language barriers between the counselor and client.

Counselors need to remember not to rely on stereotypes to learn about the different cultures.
Gaining factual information to learn beliefs of other cultures
Lee Anne Thrift

Ethics Associated with Multicultural
Counselors need to be aware of their own values. Discovering their own biases, assumptions, and beliefs will help them to better counsel others (Comstock, Hammer, Strentzsch, Cannon, Parsons, & Salazar, 2008)
Counselors need to have knowledge of other cultures' values, biases, and assumptions (Baruth & Manning, 2012).
Counselors should commit to creating culturally appropriate intervention strategies (Baruth & Manning, 2012).
Due to cultural and ethnic backgrounds, lifespan period, gender perspectives, and sexual orientation, clients bring different concerns to counseling.
Due to cultural differences, clients and counselors might vary in their perceptions of the counseling process.
Challenges Confronting

Understanding of one's own culture as a counselor.
Client reluctance and resistance to a counselor from differing culture background.
Lack of cultural relativity
Differing worldviews (Crethar, Torres Rivera, & Nash, 2008).
Multicultural Issues

Chu-Lien Chao, R. (2012). Racial/Ethnic Identity, Gender-Role Attitudes,
and Multicultural Counseling Competence: The Role of
Multicultural Counseling Training.
Journal Of Counseling &
, 90(1), 35-44.
Comstock, D. L., Hammer, T. R., Strentzsch, J., Cannon, K., Parsons, J., &
Salazar, G. (2008). Relational-cultural theory: A framework for bridging
relational, multicultural, and social justice competencies.
Journal of
Counseling & Development
, 86, 279-287.
Crethar, H. C, Torres Rivera, E., & Nash, S. (2008). In search of common
threads: Linking multicultural, feminist, and social justice counseling
Journal of Counseling & Development
, 86, 269-278.

Baruth, L. G. & Manning, M. L. (2012). Multicultural Counseling and
Psychotherapy: A Lifespan Approach. Boston, MA: Pearson.
Guidelines to follow:
Inform families of the ability limits
Be familiar with state statutes regarding privilege
Clarify policies regarding confidentiality
Obtain informed consent or parental consent when working with minors
Maintain accurate records
Possess professional liability coverage
Barriers may impede counselor's efforts. Such barriers include:
Multicultural counselors need specific competencies related to culture and the effects of culture on counseling.
The counselor should be able to:
Relate the history of their culture to educational opportunities.
Explain the influences of their culture.
Identify social and cultural influences on cognitive development.
The counselor should be able to:
Be cognizant of his/her own culture.
Identify the impact of his/her culture's beliefs on others.
Articulate the beliefs of their own culture.
Counselors need to be able to send and receive verbal and nonverbal responses appropriately.
Counselor should exercise interventions on behalf of their clients.
Counselors should familiarize themselves with the latest research regarding the different culture groups.
Counselors should possess knowledge of the different culture groups in which they are working with.
Counselors need to be aware of their limitations when working with different cultures.
Counselors should constantly seek understanding of their own culture.
Counselors should educate their clients in the counseling interventions.
Counselors need to eliminate any biases, prejudices, or stereotypes when conducting evaluations and providing interventions.
Issue One: How inclusive should a definition of multicultural counseling be?
Individuals may be discriminated due to culture.
Every individual deserves equal respect no matter what culture they belong.
Issue Two: How can counselors perceive clients' diversity?
Counselors need to focus on the diversity of each client, disregarding biases and stereotypes of that culture.
Issue Three: What ethical and legal standards should guide counselors??
Counselors should always abide by the American Counseling Association standards.
Counselors should embrace a cross-cultural approach.
Issue Four: How can counselors most effectively assess clients of differing cultural backgrounds?
Counselors need to ensure that cultural assumptions have minimal effect on clients of differing cultural backgrounds.
Issue Five: What research concerns will be relevant in the future?
Research needs to be directed toward the counselor's interactions and the client's lifespan stage. (Baruth & Manning, 2012)

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