Counseling involves empathetic listening and creating a relationship with ones clients which form the core of counseling. This is followed by giving the client an opportunity to tell their story where we can assist them in rewriting their story efficiently and help them with their worries in the real world. As a counselor, working with multicultural clients is inevitable. Working with these clients brings in a lot of issues that need to be looked at in depth. For instance, in some cultures, it is wrong to look one directly in the eye when talking with them. In other cultures, avoiding eye contact is seen as a sign of dishonesty. This sharp contradiction in the cultures and cultural behavior dictate that a counselor must know their clients background well. Breaking down racial, ethnic, and cultural individuality is an important factor in counseling. This paper looks at working with multicultural clients (Jerry, Looby, & Sandhu, 2002).
Explore the relationship between appreciating diversity among racial, ethnic, and other minority groups and being an effective counselor. Substantiate your answer using examples
Appreciating diversity in clients is an important part of counseling. As a counselor, one should have an open mind. An effective counselor is well aware of their own racial and cultural background thus they respect diversity. The counselor knows that their point of view is only one and they use caution when using their point of view to assess a client. They do not see diversity as always deviant. For instance, when a counselor has a gay client who is stigmatized, even if the they don’t accept the lifestyle of the person, the counselor will assess the client impartially not giving their personal opinion but rather their professional opinion (Jerry, Looby, & Sandhu, 2002).
An effective counselor is in a position to fully understand diverse races, ethnic and minority backgrounds. They will also better understand their backgrounds and know how to overcome their inhibitions. The counselor will be able to better understand what their client is going through and advice them accordingly when they appreciate and accommodate peoples diversity (Zalaquett, Allen, & Zalaquett, 2013).
What types of racial, ethnic, and other minority groups do you think you would work particularly well with? Explain why
I would work well with white and African Americans. I have lived with this group from my child hood. I know their lifestyle, beliefs, and attitudes. Understanding their story would be a lot easier as compared from other groups. I have adequate knowledge of inaccurate stereotypes and myths surrounding the two groups. I know my perception and how it may be a barrier in understanding the clients based on my beliefs of the two groups. However, knowing them can be a challenge to. I would find myself approaching them with their story in mind as opposed to listening to them (Zalaquett, Allen, & Zalaquett, 2013).
What types of racial, ethnic, and other minority groups do you think you would have difficulty working with? Explain why.
I would work with almost any race, ethnic, and minority groups. This can be attributed to the fact that I am a good listener. Listening and understanding a clients need and story is an important element in counseling. There are many instances that you might encounter a client of a similar race and ethnicity such as yours. But their background and upbringing and yours are totally different. The only way to know their story is by listening to them. It would however be difficult for me to understand someone who does not speak English well. I would have a hard time understanding them (Jerry, Looby, & Sandhu, 2002).
What steps would you like to take in the near future to improve your sensitivity to diverse clients and become an effective counselor?
There are arrays of steps that I will take to improve my sensitivity to diverse clients. First I would research on my clients backgrounds to help me better understand them. This includes their culture and story. I would also reflect on myself and establish my beliefs and attitudes which will give me a good handle when dealing with diverse clients (Jerry, Looby, & Sandhu, 2002).
The world we are leaving in is rapidly changing with people traveling all over for different purposes. It is vital for every counselor to equip themselves with skills for handling diverse clients effectively. Having an accommodative mind is also crucial. This is the ability to assist clients who come from different school of thought as once own. One should approach diversity with curiosity and a positive mind in order to be effective.
Jerry, T., Looby, E. J., & Sandhu, D. S. (2002). Multicultural Counseling: Context, Theory and Practice, and Competence. New York: Nova Publishers.
Zalaquett, C., Allen, I., & Zalaquett, C. (2013). Intentional Interviewing and Counseling: Facilitating Client Development in a Multicultural Society. California: Cengage Learning.