Research conducted by Dr. Pederson defined the culture centered therapy by “assumes that cultural factors complicate counseling but, in a positive way, and that behaviors have no meaning until they are understood in the cultural context” (Pederson, page 1). In a session, a counselor should explore the client’s context, focus on patterns and themes, and reflect on culturally mediated meanings (Pederson, page 2). A counselor should listen to the client and avoid stereotypes. In addition to explore the client’s context, we also need to monitor our own verbal and nonverbal expressions. These expressions are known as micro counseling skills.
For instance, you can have two individuals from the same cultural background and family values, but these individuals live in an entirely different environment or learned different family values and belief system. When working with a diverse client, it is very important to monitor your own culturally beliefs and be willing to work with the client no matter if you have any biases or prejudice towards them. Some of the strategies that could be helpful in these situations include, (a) treat the client the same way you would like to be treated, (b) research some information about the clients background and, (c) beware of your own cultural biases and prejudices when counseling minorities if your unaware of their backgrounds.
Retrieved from http://www.counseling.org/Resources/aca-code-of-ethics.pdf American Psychological Association. (2007). APA Ethics Committee rules and procedures. Retrieved from www.apa.org/ethics/code/committee.aspx Corey, Gerald. Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions.
This is a prime example of how imposing your own beliefs and values can cause ethical issues. If a counselor finds a client is challenging to work with there are a few different approaches they can take to get more out of the client. One important action a counselor can take is changing how the counselor interacts with the client. A publication on managing resistant clients found if counselors focus on organic interaction with the client and allow all course of actions to take place naturally this establishes a less resistant client and therapy is more effective. There are several laws that protect clients and less, that protect counselors.
Furthermore, the counselors’ failure to understand her own values and her attempt to impose her values on the client constitutes yet another ethical violation which undermined the clients’ autonomy (ACA, 2005). The counselor set goals for the therapy sessions based on her own values without considering the presenting problem from the client’s perspective. It appears that the counselor views the familial life as repressive and uses the sessions as a way to bring to light the causes of the repression. Ignoring the work related issues that could have serious consequences for the client including termination of her employment. There may also be an issue of competing interest, for example, the client sought to improve her issues with taking initiative and being indecisive while the counselor is more interested in practicing new techniques that she has learned.
For example, making inappropriate comments or stating that the client’s sexual preference is wrong, immoral, etc. would be causing harm to that client and is unethical. A second possible infraction can be found under section C.2 Professional Competence within subsection C.2.a Boundaries of Competence. This section states, “Counselors practice only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, state, and national professional credentials, and appropriate professional experience. Counselors gain knowledge, personal awareness, sensitivity, and skills pertinent to working with a diverse client population (American Counseling Association , 2005).” ... ... middle of paper ... ...p the client.
The amount of trust a client has in their counselor is going to be determined upon their world view (Sue & Sue, 2013). A persons world view is going to be shaped by their cultural upbringing and past experiences (2013). Counselors also need to understand that a clients locus of control and locus of responsibility is also going to be dependent upon their upon their upbringing and culture. For example American culture values self reliance and other cultures such as Asian cultures value collectiveness (2013). There is also the issue of oppression and discrimination that may leave a client feeling powerless, regardless of what they try to do.
The myth of value neutral psychotherapy has been shattered. Therapist trainees are encouraged to examine their personal assumptions and biases and to increase their own self-awareness, so that they will not impose their values on clients in psychotherapy. Nevertheless, no one is free from values, and sometimes psychologist may need to discuss their values with clients for the following reasons: First, psychotherapy theories have value-laden components and they are often hidden or taken granted; these values may not be consistent with what clients want. Therefore, clients have the right to know them to make informed choices about their treatments. In addition, sometimes psychologists cannot put aside their values in psychotherapy; values is communicated through what they do and how they do it—the way psychologists relate to clients as well as in their theoretical orientations or treatment modalities.
This understanding is also crucial to effective intervention with individuals who have different values compared to me as a counselor. Understanding the individual theory of the world also helps me as a counselor in the identification of weaknesses and strengths and areas of improvement. As a counselor, my personal orientations on the other hand are the influences like values, interests, compassion, and self-awareness among others, which influence the personal theory of counseling, discussed above. These personal orientations correspond with other approaches to therapy while others do not hence the understanding is important. Family systems theory bases its argument on the concepts that in order to understand the family effectively and efficiently, the whole family has to be assessed.
The need to have such rules protects the client as it protects the counselor and the association he or she is representing. In both individual and group counseling there are unique ethical attributions that counselors must stay focused on. One is what type of leader is he/she within the group. What preparations and qualifications they have earned, and how much experience they have with in the subjects that they are discussing. Jacobs et al., advises that “More and more clients are becoming aware that therapists have ethical standards by which they should abide; thus, an increasing number of clients are challenging the ethical behavior of professional helpers” (Jacobs p. 28).