Essay Sample on Ethical Issues in Multicultural Counseling

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1006 Words
Date:  2022-07-08


My preferred topic is ethical issues in multicultural counseling. I selected the topic since I work with a diverse group of people. The diverse community requires a multicultural counselor who will understand the cultural issues and respond appropriately (Wendt et al., 2015). When a counselor is not culturally competent, he or she will experience challenges handling people from diverse groups (Dillon et al., 2016). Additionally, I have experienced people with different challenges due to their cultural diversity. The reason is that the world is growing fast and the needs of the various diverse groups are increasing. It is the responsibility of the counselor to ensure the cultural background of the client is a priority in offering the service.

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Ethical Issues

Ethical issues refer to the moral decisions or acceptable behavior that a counselor is expected to demonstrate while dealing with client (Wendt et al., 2015). It is the responsibility of a counselor to maintain a healthy, straightforward and professional relationship with a client. Multicultural counseling refers to interacting with clients from different backgrounds while applying different cultural dimensions (Wendt et al., 2015). The perspectives of a counselor based on their cultural background should not affect the decisions to be made. The various cultural issues include sex, traditions, gender, race, color, religion and ethnicity (Dillon et al., 2016). A counselor is required to be culture-sensitive since a client can be angered during the counseling session when their cultural background is not respected. The various ethical issues that counselors deal with include culture of the counselor, the culture of the client and individual differences.

The cultural background of a counselor will limit the understanding of other cultures (Wendt et al., 2015). A counselor may express negative attitudes towards other cultural traditions without realizing they are hurting the client. It is thus important to realize that the cultural background can affect the quality of services offered to the client. It is crucial for the counselor to have self-awareness since it will expose the various pitfalls he or she may express bias while offering counseling services. The self-awareness includes realizing the various negative attitudes that may be expressed towards a certain religion, gender or color (Wendt et al., 2015). A good example is a Muslim counselor who is expected to offer counseling services to a Christian. The religious differences may play out in the course of the counseling process. Finally, the client may realize the counselor did not view them as Christians, but as rebels of their religion. In this scenario, the counselor should accept that such issues should not affect the counseling process (Dillon et al., 2016). The culture of the counselor includes a specific theory that the counselor prefers to use on specific cases. A counselor may have formed a culture of using a specific theory when dealing with ladies. The bias may be evident while dealing with a lady since the counselor will express poor judgment. In some cases, the counselor will not even listen to the client effectively since he or she has already formed a conclusion on how to handle the case.

The culture of the client is an ethical issue in multicultural counseling. The reason is that the counselor may have different views of various people (Dillon et al., 2016). Different people express themselves in diverse ways and it may prompt a counselor to make wrong conclusions. A good example is the verbal articulation of the Americans compared to the Chinese. Another example is the value placed on children by Africans, who believe children are gifts from God. While dealing with such a diverse group, a counselor may fail to address each of them effectively (Hays & Erford, 2018). A client may be tempted to think the counselor is a racist when they realize he or she is not demonstrating an understanding of their cultural background. Some of the ethical issues include respect for the elderly, interferences during sessions and tonal variation. A good example of a Latin culture shows that people place value on family support. Therefore, the counselor is required to express a positive attitude towards the family.

Counselors may be influenced by individual differences in regards to the roles of a husband or wife, level of education, social status or life stage (Wendt et al., 2015). It would be wrong to form a poor judgment towards an issue of a person based on how old they are or how poor they are. The counselor is thus required to express caution against being influenced by personal differences. The society has labeled the young people as dynamic and irresponsible. Therefore, while dealing with a young person, a counselor may fail to make the right conclusions. It is important for the counselor to view the client in light of the problem they are facing. Viewing the client in terms of how old, young, poor, rich or educated or illiterate they are will jeopardize the counseling process (Dillon et al., 2016). The counselor will be required to be neutral while dealing with clients regardless of their social status.


Multicultural counseling is faced with various ethical dilemmas. The various ethical issues include the culture of the client, the culture of the counselor and the personal differences. It is important to ensure the ethical issues do not affect the counseling process negatively. The reason is that they will lead to poor judgment and the client will end up dissatisfied. A counselor should thus realize the reality of such interferences and deal with them. The growing diversity in the world requires counselors to deal with clients from various cultural backgrounds. Therefore, the decisions made should be based on facts and not personal cultural perspectives.


Dillon, F. R., Odera, L., Fons-Scheyd, A., Sheu, H. B., Ebersole, R. C., & Spanierman, L. B. (2016). A dyadic study of multicultural counseling competence. Journal of counseling psychology, 63(1), 57.

Hays, D. G., & Erford, B. T. (2018). Developing multicultural counseling competence: A systems approach (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Wendt, D. C., Gone, J. P., & Nagata, D. K. (2015). Potentially harmful therapy and multicultural counseling: Bridging two disciplinary discourses. The Counseling Psychologist, 43(3), 334-358.

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