Different people view the world in various ways due to their worldly experiences. The world might be supportive of some people while hostile to others. The action, thus, might interfere with their cultural and personal perceptions regarding people or things. To help solve some crucial psychological challenges, counselors and therapists are always trained to embrace all cultural differences to ensure effective counseling. The paper, therefore, expounds on the significant historical changes in the society that influenced multicultural counseling, the contemporary issues in counseling, and implications of privilege, prejudice, ethnicity, culture, and worldview in counseling. The discussion also focuses on personal biases that stemmed from my worldview as well as the importance of multicultural practice standards in professional counseling.
A worldview is a set of beliefs regarding fundamentals reality aspects that influence and ground a person’s doing, knowing, thinking, and perception. Also, it can be said to be a specific life philosophy or conception of the world (Darnell & Kuperminc, 2016). A counselor can assess a client’s worldview by giving them room to control the session according to their desires that will make them feel comfortable while expressing and explaining themselves. The action will make the counselor identify the psychological challenge easily or challenge their automatic tendency to direct the session and instead, approach specific topics only when the client has opened the door (Sue et al., 2013).
Also, a client’s worldview can be assessed through empowerment, acceptance, and validation where the counselor makes the client feel heard and understood. The client is allowed to give feedback regarding the counseling process and keep checking in more often (Katz, 2015). The action will allow the counselor to show acceptance of the sincere feelings of the client, whether good or bad. The effect that the client’s worldview might have on the counseling relationship is that they can perceive the world as a hostile or friendly environment. If a client sees the world as friendly, then they are likely to expect what is required to be available. However, if a client sees the world as a hostile environment or unsupportive, then adverse conditions experience might be normal (Sue et al., 2013).
The position of every person in the world often affects the type of action they will take. The language used by clients often communicates the position and world perception that can be understood by counselors. Through the model, counselors might try to persuade clients to their views (Sue et al., 2013). However, clients and counselors might not view some things the same way when the client is resisting the counseling effort.
The action might then result in a greater empathy degree on the counselor by providing another client understanding level. Given the current climate of majorly divergent views on important events, the understanding of the worldview might be helpful when thinking about issues and dealing with others as it will make counselors understand clients in different economic, social, and cultural contexts as they will be experiencing different people with various reactions and perceptions about the world (Katz, 2015).
Significant Historical Changes in Society that Influenced Multicultural Counseling
Attaining distinguished competence in psychology and counseling originated as a result of the combination of professional, social, and historical advances. Psychology associations and counseling affiliates wanted shared power, sensitivity, and social change (Katz, 2015). Additionally, members of the psychology and counseling association wanted acceptance in the society who later proceeded to establish culture-specific associations of mental health; questioning the succeeding research methods and counselor development as well as clinical and appraisal practices and multicultural standards (Katz, 2015). Nevertheless, training advances, multicultural models, and changes to the code of ethics of the American Counseling Association provided important advancements that influenced multicultural counseling.
Implications of Worldview, Culture, Ethnicity, Prejudice, and Privilege in Counseling
Privileges, prejudices, ethnicity, culture, and worldviews influence how counselors mark particular occurrences, behave, resolve issues, and think. Different multicultural psychologists and counselors believe that the psychotherapy and counseling theories showcase varying worldviews. Education for psychotherapy and counseling originated from a Western European view, making the perception of the world to be difficult to share in America for some ethnic minority groups (Arredondo et al., 2018). Every worldview has its presumptions, biases, and values about human behavior. However, people might not have or share similar world perceptions as society is multicultural.
What a particular culture deems as normal might be abnormal to another culture (Charles, 2019). Therefore, therapists and counselors should share and understand the worldviews of their culturally diverse patients or clients. Additionally, culture is always simpler for a therapist to focus on as opposed to discussing issues regarding racism that a client might experience. It is challenging to alter how people behave and view a specific ethnic group or race, making it important for therapists to understand concerns related to ethnicity and culture (Maiter, 2019). Ethnicity can be said to be stable but can be changed. Upon migrating to a new nation, many people might be forced to conform to the culture of that nation. However, some might find it difficult to conform to some cultures.
As a result, counselors, and therapists today use different multicultural strategies and approaches rather than theoretical approaches to assist their clients to have a better understanding of culture regardless of its effects to individuals (Maiter, 2019). Prejudice, such as sexism, homophobia, and racism can hinder stable and healthy performance in different people. Counselors and therapists should agree on ways of curbing discrimination, lack of information, and personal biases regarding diverse cultural groups. To overcome the depicted challenges, counselors must have a positive change in behavior, emotions, beliefs, and attitudes (Arredondo et al., 2018). Also, due to multiculturalism, social privilege plays an important role in counseling as it comes with privilege talk that involves interchanges and discussions about sexism, racism, coercion, privilege, and other repressive behaviors (Arredondo et al., 2018).
Acquiring a diverse society is essential for a counselor as it allows different cultures to contribute to society. As counselors operate in different surroundings and encounter various people from varying ethnic groups in hospitals, clinics, schools, and counseling centers, they should embrace a progressive part in enhancing and promoting societal and organizational procedures that commit to improving cultural competence. However, discrimination is also diverse and everywhere as it takes place within minority groups (Arredondo et al., 2018). For instance, racial groups can experience misconceptions, envy, and mistrust towards each other. Sadly, due to discrimination, some people also might benefit from the available culturally sensitive counseling services forgetting the critical clients who are in dire need of the services. To curb the action, counselors and therapists should handle misinformation, discrimination, prejudices, and personal biases professionally and according to the counseling, ethics to assist clients in different cultural environments.
Personal Biases that Stemmed from My Worldview
Growing up as an Islamic African American in Southern California where there are numerous Hispanics, I experienced many stereotypical biases. In the Hispanic community, there is a strong fear towards the Whites. Stigmatization has always been part of me as we (the blacks) have always been considered as robbers, dirty, and dangerous people. If a black was seen wearing baggy clothes accompanied by jewelry, then they would be killed in public, assuming that they were a threat to other people and the nation. Moreover, in the environment, blacks are considered to be less important and, therefore, cannot serve as leaders. I always knew that leaders were Whites and in case a black wanted to vie to be a leader, then they would be digging their graves. For many years, the Mexican government has always been ruled by whites who have the European lineage and up to date, there has never been a “black” state leader. The action is still part of an unspoken culture.
Importance of Multicultural Standards for Practice in Professional Counseling
Multicultural standards are essential in the current professional counseling as counselors and therapists are trained to have a clear understanding of a client through their experiences. English might be a secondary language to many people, which is why therapists must acknowledge bilingualism to be a culturally skilled professional (Charles, 2019). Also, multicultural standards are vital as some cultures might be the same which might create similar experiences of biculturalism and linguistic concerns, and conflict among cultures. Without the multicultural standards, there can be a vast misunderstanding between clients and counselors that can hinder effective counseling (Charles, 2019). Therefore, to understand the race, ethnicity, and culture of a client, counselors must first understand the cultural background of the client.
In conclusion, influential historical alterations in the society, changes in privileges, prejudice, ethnicity, culture, and worldview, contemporary societal issues, discrimination effects, and multicultural standards are important concerns in counseling. Therapists and counselors should embrace all cultural differences to understand their clients better for effective counseling.
American Counseling Association. (2015). American Counseling Association code of ethics. Alexandria, VA: Author. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10447-020-09406-w
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Charles, J. M. (2019). Investigating Multiculturalism in Sport Psychology (Doctoral dissertation, Western Illinois University). Doi: 10.1080/01933920802424423
Darnell, A. J., & Kuperminc, G. P. (2016). Organizational cultural competence in mental health service delivery: A multilevel analysis. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 34(4), 194-207. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2161-1912.2006.tb00039.x
Katz, J. H. (2015). The sociopolitical nature of counseling. The counseling psychologist, 13(4), 615-624. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000085134005
Maiter, S. (2019). Using an anti-racist framework for assessment and intervention in clinical practice with families from diverse ethnic-racial backgrounds. Clinical social work journal, 37(4), 267. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10615-009-0198-0
Sue, D. W., Gallardo, M. E., & Neville, H. A. (2013). Case studies in multicultural counseling and therapy. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN:978-1-118-48755-6
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