Multicultural Counseling: Trends, Expectations, and Evolving Standards

645 Words3 Pages
Multicultural counseling: Trends, expectations, and evolving standards The relationship of a counselor to his or her client can be troubled when the two come from different cultural backgrounds. "As counselors incorporate a greater awareness of their clients' culture into their theory and practice, they must realize that, historically, cultural differences have been viewed as deficits (Romero, 1985). Adherence to white cultural values has brought about a naive imposition of narrowly defined criteria for normality on culturally diverse people" (Bolton-Brownlee 1987). The challenge for counselors today is to balance multiculturalism and sensitivity for the client with the need to move the client forward and enable him or her to reach productive life goals. Cultural acceptance cannot be synonymous with complacency. Still, the counselor must realize that his or her intuitive assumptions are based in a particular cultural worldview. This does not negate his or her ability to counsel persons from different cultures, but it does demand the ability of the counselor to step back and to view his words with an objective perspective. For example, when counseling an Asian family, the counselor may have to contextualize the parent's demand for obedience as a cultural product, and not simply see it as a neurotic instrument of control. The relationship of parent to child may be different from what the counselor has personally experienced in his or her own life and also what conventional
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