Essay Sample on Cultural Competence

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  973 Words
Date:  2022-03-27


In a counseling setting people from different cultural diversities usually come together, but for the counselors, they mostly come from one given cultural identity. About this scenario, clients seeking counseling may find part of the tactics used to be either effective or ineffective in addressing a specific issue they want help. Therefore history and theories of counseling are both vessels of benefits and too of oppression depending on the situation as depicted below.

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Oppression - Majority of counseling therapists usually train with a given approach, for this reason, they lack the skills and know-how to operate in a background of culturally diverse people seeking counseling services. The model of counseling used conflicts with the cultural fabric of a particular group of clients, thus termed as inappropriate as it tends to lower the status of one cultural group in the eyes of another raising the eyebrows of superiority and discrimination (Sue & Sue, 2016). The magnitude of oppression highly based on the fact that, the model of psychotherapy, especially the counseling theories, are pegged on customs beliefs and dominance of a selected high profiled community in the society.

Benefits - In a diverse cultural setting, for people in the community seeking counseling services to reap positives solutions from their predicaments, they would require services from only culturally competent counselors, proven to have skills operating in a diverse cultural setting. With these skills, it would enable them to understand different cultural contexts for the benefit and inclusion of every client coming from different cultural orientation (Lee & Zaharlick, 2013). The above eliminates the element of biases, and more so, trust between clients and counselors is built over time especially when the counselor relates and borrow some notes from the history of a client.

Explanation Support

To support my explanation made above, let us relate to Asian cultural diversity. A client from an Asian culture might feel offered by an offensive gesture, where a counselor may suggest a Gestalt empty seat exercise to a woman, the thought of her father on the same seat telling him to tell her what opinions are on her mind invites discomfort. Considering in Asian culture respect for elders is of paramount importance, in this scenario as expected the client will feel offended to reveal her feelings to her father (Sue & Sue, 2016). As a counter effect to the humiliation, she may decide to end the counseling process, since she feels oppressed by the cultural theory reason she ends up hurt more as her problems taking her to counsel are not solved as anticipated instead she get offended (Pedersen, Lonner, Draguns, Trimble & Scharron-del Rio, 2015). Given the above experience of Asian cultural interaction, it help us better understand how both history and cultural theories of counseling either benefit or oppress an individual depending on their respective cultural identity.

An impact on an aspect of history. Let us consider in history archives the World War II experience and its effects across the globe. One notable consequence of the war was a decrease in the artificial intelligence quotient (IQ) of a perceived group of people. A faulty equation of Intelligence on one's IQ resulted in misclassification of many Latino, African-American, and Native American children. They were believed to be mental dwarfs with low reasoning, as such would have originated from the war trauma plus the residues of explosives used (Jared, 2015). Due to various engagement of diverse cultures in this war and the role played by each, the emergence of superior powers took center stage drawing lines of ethnic and racial differences. Africans participation and contribution declined due to some factors such as lack of enough resources needed. The co-drivers of the war engaged Africans as servants and termed them as less civilized. They resulted in being subject of discrimination, and they ended up in vices of the slave trade. Overtime Africans believed the whites were more superior and had a higher IQ compared to them. To date, the wounds and racial lines drawn are felt and have resulted in the emergence of various human rights bodies fighting for equal rights and cohesion.

Importance of History on Cultural Competence

Cultural competence has over time become a vital tool in the creation of a conducive and habitable environment for various cultural grouping integration. Understanding history aspects help build on a robust attitude towards a range of diverse cultures, interacting with them and developing a common understanding of the different diversities present (Lee & Zaharlick, 2013). The importance of this solves instances of oppression and cultivates the element of inclusion of all cultures. Understanding the history of different cultures is known to promote mental wellness, positive behavior and engages various communities for a common purpose.


It is essential to have in mind, cultural competence trigger achievements by ensuring that every given cultural group brings values, which in return help bring about the concept of a truly cohesive society. In this case, a community can be satisfied by a continued approach in exploring one's culture, beliefs, and values that give them an identity. Also an individual believing they can interact with people of diverse race and ethnicity. An assumption that there is heterogeneity within an ethnic group is vital, but that the basis of cultural values is likely to be homogenous should help bring the sense of understanding. Lastly engaging in dialogues with various people within one's circle would result in increased cultural literacy.


Sue, D., & Sue, D. (2016). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (7th ed.). Hoboken: Wiley.

Jared, K. (2015). Handbook of Research on Promoting Cross-Cultural Competence and Social. Dakota USA: IGI Global.

Lee, M., & Zaharlick, A. (2013). Culturally Competent Research: Using Ethnography as a Meta-Framework. United States of America: Oxford University Press.

Pedersen, P., Lonner, W., Draguns, J., Trimble, J., & Scharron-del Rio, M. (2015). Counseling Across Cultures (7th ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE Publication Inc.

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