One very important in the counseling profession is respect for clients. Clients present themselves before counselors for assistance and as such should be treated people of worth regardless of their behaviors. Counselors must make clients feel valued and appreciated in order to make the experience memorable. Imposing personal beliefs on clients is disrespectful for instance and attracts resistance. On other hand accepting clients for who they are and their present situations in life improves the relationship. If a counselor accepts a client and treats respectfully, then with time the clients will grow close to theirs. The counselor’s values therefore greatly impact the counseling practice as they determine counselor to patient relationship.
Requirements to becoming a multicultural skilled counselor include; credibility, expertness and trustworthiness. Credibility enhances the counselor’s reliability, capability and confidence in helping clients heal. It fosters creation of a relational connection between the counselor and the patient which greatly improves patient outcomes. Another important requirement is building expertise by continually being in relationships with other professionals not only for friendship but also collegial support. They must be sufficiently informed, intelligent and good communicators. Trustworthiness is another value for multicultural counseling; through respectfulness and making perceived valid assertions, the counselor gains the trust of clients (Corey, 2015).
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Another important as aspect of multicultural counseling is autonomy. People’s right of determining their own lives is a central value that must guide the counselor in making practically ethical decisions. Multicultural counselors appreciate their patients’ worldviews and believe that for any positive change to take place, clients must in charge of their own therapeutic experience. These counselors also need to be exceptionally competent. They must possess great skills in their work and should be motivated to go the extra mile so as to reduce human suffering. These counselors are be highly self-aware so as to be able to fulfill not just emotional & physical needs but also conflicts and vulnerabilities. They must be able to use appropriate language and pace as well as understanding the unique cultural need of clients (Gerald & Gerald, 2015).
It is very important that the counselor addresses places the needs of clients before anything else. There is for instance an inevitable contract for confidentiality between counselors and their clients unless the counselor makes it clear to the client otherwise. When making ethical decisions, counselors must be cognizant of their responsibilities to clients and always strive to fulfill the same. They also have a responsibility to the community that may be conflict with clients’ needs such as confidentiality. Counselors must report appropriately if they think clients or members of a community face imminent danger of harm. There may be many conflicting situations with ethical implications but the counselor must always consider the needs of clients. It is when clients feel valued, appreciated and safe before the counselor that their trust grows with positive outcomes (Leach & Aten, 2009).
In conclusion therefore the counseling profession is a noble one as mental illnesses affect many people in our population. Counselors are ever in a position of influence whenever they interact with clients and therefore respect the patients’ worldviews and allowing the autonomy to control their own healing can be very beneficial to the relationship. Important values of multicultural outselling include credibility, trustworthiness, expertness among others. Another important aspect of the counseling profession is considering the needs of clients when making ethical decisions.
- Corey G. (2013). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. Brooks Cole.
- Firman, D. (2009). Stepping up: Strategies for new counselors. In N. Young & C. Michael (Eds.), Counseling with Confidence (pp.15-28). Amherst, MA: Synthesis Center Press.
- Gerald , K., & Gerald, K. (2005). Basic Personal Counselling: A Training Manual for Counsellors. Pearson Education.
- Len Jennings, et al. (2005). Nine Ethical Values of Master Therapists. Journal of Mental Health Counselling.
- Mark M. Leach and Jamie D. Aten. (2009). Culture and the Therapeutic Process: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals. Taylor & Francis.