Being Respectful Across Diverse Cultures Chapter Ten Multicultural A core value of the counseling profession: Honoring diversity and

Being Respectful Across Diverse Cultures

Chapter Ten


A core value of the counseling profession:

Honoring diversity and

Embracing a multicultural approach

As guardians of professional core values, counselor educators and supervisors actively infuse:

Multicultural/diversity competency in their training and supervision

Promote awareness, knowledge, and skills in the competencies of multicultural practice

Issues and Ethics




A generic term that indicates any relationship between and within two or more diverse groups

Multicultural counseling

A helping intervention and process that defines contextual goals consistent with the life experiences and cultural values of clients, balancing the importance of individualism versus collectivism in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment

Issues and Ethics


The Role of the Supervisor

A primary obligation of a counseling supervisor is to “monitor client welfare and supervisee performance and professional development”

Counselor competence includes knowledge of the diverse cultures across which the supervisee counsels.

Even the client’s diagnosis (ACA, 2014, E.5.b), may be influenced by such knowledge.

Help determine what modality would be most effective for this particular client.

Supervisory competence must include multicultural understanding.

Issues and Ethics


The Concept of Culture

Culture means “a lens through which life is perceived”.

The client’s cultural background is always a key factor in the provision of competent supervisory and counseling services.

Interpreted broadly, culture can be associated with a racial or ethnic group and with gender, religion, economic status, nationality, physical capacity or disability, and affectional or sexual orientation

Cultural diversity

The spectrum of differences that exists among groups of people with definable and unique cultural backgrounds

Issues and Ethics


The Concept of Culture

Individualist Culture

characterized by individualism, which is the prioritization or emphasis of the individual over the entire group. In individualistic cultures people are motivated by their own preference and viewpoints. Individualistic cultures focus on abstract thinking, privacy, self-dependence, uniqueness, and personal goals.

Collectivist Culture

refers to how the group makes decisions. A collectivist group or leaders of the group usually makes decisions, and they choose the option that best supports the group. Collectivist cultures also put more emphasis on group goals.

Issues and Ethics


The Concept of Culture


a sense of identity that stems from common ancestry, history, nationality, religion, and race

Issues and Ethics


The Supervisor’s Critique

A therapist who is culturally sensitive will have the capacity to enter the phenomenological world of the client and perceive the world through his cultural perspective.

The goal is to resonate with the client’s phenomenological world, grasping it on a deep emotional level enlightened by knowledge of the client’s plight.

Issues and Ethics


Barriers to Resonating with the Client Phenomenological World

As a virtuous supervisor, we need to transcend the popular stereotypes.

A stereotype is a form of oversimplified thinking that categorizes reality into overly broad categories through the use of universal quantifiers such as “all,” “no,” and “most”.

The person who stereotypes perceives the other through such a rigid conceptual framework and therefore does not see the other as an individual.

Issues and Ethics


Barriers to Resonating with the Client Phenomenological World

Stereotypes can dehumanize the other

Stereotypes permit the stereotype holder to treat the other in dehumanizing or degrading ways without taking responsibility for it.

The stereotype can conceal the transgression behind a veil of self-righteousness.

No one is immune to stereotyping.

Issues and Ethics


Barriers to Resonating with the Client Phenomenological World

A virtuous supervisor would be aware of this human propensity to stereotype and would be sensitive to identifying his own particular stereotypes and those of whom he trains.

Issues and Ethics



A mind-set is a frame of mind that is resistant to evidence to the contrary.

A supervisor needs to be aware of this tendency to dismiss evidence in helping a supervisee address their stereotypes.

Stereotypes also tend to be held as mind-sets.

Stereotypes arise through socialization.

Mass media (television shows, movies, music, etc.) tend to reinforce such stereotypes.

Issues and Ethics



A confirmation bias is used to sustain the stereotype.

If what we are looking at corresponds successfully with what we anticipated, the stereotype is reinforced for the future.

Virtuous supervisors and therapists are adeptly aware of the flawed logic of stereotyping.

Virtuous supervisors work diligently to expose this flawed logic in supervisees.

Issues and Ethics



Stereotypes are endemic to humankind.

We need keen awareness, diligence, and reflective practice in overcoming stereotypes.



Power to oppress

Issues and Ethics



Cultural tunnel vision

a perception of reality based on a very limited set of cultural experiences

Assumption: Self-disclosure is a characteristic of a healthy personality.

Fact: Some clients view self-disclosure and interpersonal warmth as inappropriate in a professional relationship with an authority figure.

Assumption: Directness and assertiveness are desirable qualities.

Fact: In some cultures, directness is perceived as rudeness and something to be avoided.

Issues and Ethics



Assumption: It is important for clients to become authentic and self-actualized.

Fact: A creative synthesis between self-actualization and responsibility to the group may be a more realistic goal for some clients.

Assumption: Direct eye contact is a sign of interest and presence, and a lack thereof is a sign of being evasive.

Fact: Many cultural expressions are subject to misinterpretation, including eye contact, silence, personal space, handshaking, dress, formality of greeting, etc.

Issues and Ethics


Client Informed Consent in the Supervisory Context

Counseling Ethics require receiving informed consent from the client about the nature of the supervision.

Methods of Supervision

Self-report is one of the most widely used supervisory methods, yet it may be the least useful. This procedure is limited by the supervisee’s conceptual and observational ability.

Process notes build on the self-report by adding a written record explaining the content of the session and the interactional processes.

Audio recording is a widely used procedure that yields direct and useful information about the supervisee.

Issues and Ethics


Client Informed Consent in the Supervisory Context

Methods of Supervision (continued…)

Video recording allows for an assessment of the subtleties of the interaction between the supervisee and the client.

Live supervision, which is conducted by the supervisor during the supervisee’s session with a client, provides the most accurate information about the therapy session.

It is preferable if informed consent about supervision is given in writing to clearly establish legal permission.

Issues and Ethics


Client Informed Consent in the Supervisory Context

Direct liability: can be incurred when the actions of supervisors are the cause for harm to client.

E.g. Giving poor or incompetent therapeutic direction to counselor

Vicarious liability: pertains to the responsibilities supervisors have to oversee the actions of their supervisees.

E.g. If counselor “goes off script” of supervision advice

Issues and Ethics


The Supervisory Relationship

Gatekeepers of the profession, supervisors have a responsibility to insure that supervisees are competent to enter the profession.

Give approval

Recommend dismissal

Help supervisee obtain remedial assistance

Supervisors also seek consultation and document their decisions.

Issues and Ethics


The Supervisory Relationship

Supervisors must also be aware of and address multiculturalism and diversity as it relates to the supervisory relationship.

If the supervisor is unable to objectively evaluate the performance of the supervisee, then the supervisor should provide appropriate referral to other potential supervisors

Supervisors do not counsel their supervisees.

Counseling a supervisee can lead to a problematic dual role relationship.

Issues and Ethics


Supervisee Informed Consent

Supervisors provide the supervisee with the opportunity to give their informed consent to the supervisory relationship

Agreements should be in writing.

Supervisor and supervisee should cooperate to develop goals of supervision.

Counseling performance


Relationship building


Treatment planning

Cognitive skills


Cultural Competence

Issues and Ethics


Online Supervision

When using online technologies in supervision, supervisors should be competent in their use.

They act diligently in protecting the confidentiality of all information transmitted through such technologies

Issues and Ethics


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