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What Does It Mean to Be a Culturally-Competent Counselor? Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 591

Essay

Diversity Response

It is possible for individuals who are not accustomed to their work environment to function as effective clinicians in more or less diverse environments because training in the field involves preparing students for a variety of situations (American Counseling Association). Ultimately, effective counselors need to be ready for a variety of situations because even in rural environments, it is possible to encounter individuals that do not represent a majority of the population (Ahmed). To make these individuals more effective in doing so, it is essential to read case studies and peer-reviewed journal articles to learn more information about the cultural background of these clients in addition to lifestyle factors that may be different for them (IFC Wellness Center). This will help the counselor understand these individuals within the context of their own life situations.

Vignette Question 1

Stephen is guilty of deception. Even though he is being dishonest to these families to show them their progress and to reflect upon them after the session has finished, it is important for him to be completely honest in the counselor/client relationship as failure to do so could undermine the client’s trust in him. Furthermore, it is necessary to consider that this is unethical behavior because the clients are providing Stephen with a lot of personal information that they may not wish to be recorded. As a consequence, it is important for counselors to ask permission to record their clients if they wish to do so, and to not record them without receiving prior approval and making a record of the agreement.

Not only is Stephen being dishonest, but he could end up in potential legal trouble if his client’s personal information enters the public. It is the responsibility of the counselor to protect this information and ensure that case data cannot be linked back to the individual. Recording a session is in clear violation of this law.

Vignette Question 2

Marriage and family therapists experience ethical situations that are unique to this specialty. One of the important factors to be considered in the client/counselor relationship is that client confidentiality must be insured. An example of when this becomes a moral conflict is when an individual comes to the counselor that appears to be abused, because this cannot be reported to the authorities without permission of the client. A second dilemma is when a client is cheating on his or her spouse. This must be kept from the partner as well, unless a waiver or written authorization has been granted. It is important for these counselors to ensure that such allowances are made in writing to ensure legal protection (Perilla).

Furthermore, couples may have different beliefs according to what constitutes a relationship, such as involvement of three partners. The counselor must advise the clients in a manner that is in accordance to their views rather than the counselor’s predisposed opinions. These issues become complex when these individuals have mental health problems that cause the problems in the couple or family. Last, these counselors must provide their clients with informed consent so that the clients are aware of the terms of treatment and are aware of the changes that they will need to make in their lives immediately to be successful with the program that was created for them.

Works Cited

Ahmed S. What Does It Mean to Be a Culturally-Competent Counselor? 2011. N.D. Web. 4 January 2015. <http://www.psysr.org/jsacp/ahmed-v3n1-11_17-28.pdf>

American Counseling Association. Multiculturalism and Diversity. N.D. Web. 4 January 2015. <http://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/browse-by-topic/multiculturalism-diversity>

IFC Wellness Center. Multicultural Issues/Diversity. N.D. Web. 4 January 2015. <http://www.ifcwellnesscenter.com/multicultural_diversity.html>

Perilla J. Ethical Dilemmas in Couples Counseling. N.D. Web. 4 January 2015.  <http://www.ehow.com/info_8494402_ethical-dilemmas-couples-counseling.html>

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