Importance Of The Racial/Cultural Identity Development Model In Counseling

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It is important for a counselor to be culturally competent. This is not always an easy task because there are a lot of different cultures with different values. The Racial/ Cultural Identity Development Model was created to help counselors understand their culturally diverse clients more. This model has five levels: conformity, dissonance, resistance and immersion, introspection, and integrative awareness. In this essay I am going to describe these levels and how it can impact the counseling process.
The first level of the Racial / Cultural Identity Development Model is the conformity level. Conformity means within standards or what is considered to be normal. People in this stage may feel pressured to repress their culture value or identity so that they can feel as if they fit in. “It is reasonable to believe that members of one cultural group tend to adjust themselves to the group possessing the greater prestige and power in order to avoid feelings of inferiority” (Sue & Sue, 2016, p.368). This level is important because it is an example of internalized racism. This means that they view their
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If they have a counselor from a minority racial group they are more likely to be resistant and have a negative attitude towards them. If the person on this level has a counselor from the dominant group they will constantly seek approval from them. This can cause problems in the counselor – client relationship because there can be negative feelings towards the counselor and the client may not take what the counselor is saying seriously because they feel as if they don’t identify with them or they feel threatened by them. It doesn’t have to have a negative effect on the counselor – client relationship. If the counselor can help the client be aware of their feelings and biases then they can work through it and change their
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