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Multicultural Awareness Paper

Autor:   •  July 11, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  1,040 Words (5 Pages)  •  303 Views

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Multicultural Awareness Paper

Joan Lesley, Will Darden, Susan Scott, Sarah Pherigo, Laura Rubio

BSHS/335

March 30, 2015

Stephanie Chupein


Multicultural Awareness Paper

As a therapist becomes aware of clients values and beliefs, they have to consider their sets of values and beliefs as well.  Good ethical practice begins when a therapist can respect the way others view life, although it differs from the others view.  The therapist has to accept the variation of culturally learned assumptions in order to establish an effective therapeutic relationship. If a therapist chooses to practice good ethics, they must become aware of the personal issues of clients in diverse cultures if they want to be effective in their work.   Therapists have to learn as much about diversity of cultures so they can build a relationship where the client feels comfortable enough.  The client may want  to open up and begin working on deep rooted issues which some of those issues may have come from the beliefs, values and system of their culture. (Callanan, 2011).

        The population today is much more diverse than it used to be. There are many more people who have immigrated to the country and people’s life choices are becoming more vocalized. According to the National Association of Social Workers, It is no exaggeration to say that a culturally competent provider can mean the difference between a person “making it” or “falling through the cracks” (NASW, 2001). Human Services workers will come into contact with a large amount of different cultures and need to be able be confident in their ability to communicate with them their needs, and the options for helping them. To be able to truly help someone you have to be able to understand their beliefs and their culture. Not doing so could result in a feeling of disrespect, and this could hinder communication from the client, and therefore, helping them would be incredibly difficult.

        Multicultural awareness is vital to the human services field.    Without it, a counselor would not be able to effectively help their clients.  Not only does a counselor need to know about the clients’ culture, but also their own.    For example, in American culture being on time for an appointment is a must.  A counselor who values punctuality may not be able to work effectively with a Hispanic client.   In the Hispanic culture, being on time is not of great importance. Therefore, a Hispanic client may be frequently late for appointments (Hede, 2013).  

 This may be seen by the counselor as disrespect or the counselor may think the Hispanic client is not serious about receiving help if they constantly show up late.  However, if the counselor is aware of the Hispanic culture, they may schedule the client for the end of the day in order to accommodate for the lateness.  Just by being aware of the small differences in cultures can make a world of difference in the human services field.

There are many challenges for human services workers. The multicultural counseling competencies which were developed by the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (Roysircar et al., 2003) they provide a framework for the effective delivery of services to diverse client populations. Another useful resource is the APA’s (1993) “Guidelines for Providers of Psychological Services to Ethnic, Linguistic, and Culturally Diverse Populations.” The APA’s guidelines challenge practitioners to respect the roles of family members and the community structures, hierarchies, values, and beliefs that are an important part of their client’s culture.

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