Multicultural Counseling: Finding the Right Counselor for You
People from minority cultures experience mental health problems that often get overlooked due to several factors. Misunderstanding the culture, preconceived notions, stereotyping, and lack of education and information are all factors that can harm a counselor’s multicultural competency. It might seem simple to find a multicultural counselor in a city as diverse as Houston but the reality is quite different. Keep some of these issues in mind while you do your search for competent multicultural counseling.
Defining Multicultural Counseling
Simply put, multicultural counseling is what happens when a counselor works with a client from a different cultural group. The counselor also seeks to understand and identify the differences between the counselor and the client. A multiculturally competent counselor is aware of their own biases. They seek to eliminate these biases and understand cultures that are different from their own.
Understanding Cultural Differences
Every culture varies in terms of customs, practices, history, and attitudes toward counseling. Understanding these differences is key and marks the true distinction between a multicultural competent counselor. For example, Western counselors value open body language, eye contact, and open-ended questions. Some cultures find this to be rude. Also, some cultures value collectivism rather than individualism. If a counselor seeks to impose a particular value, such as individualism, they may lose their client’s trust.
Acknowledging Cultural Differences
Competent counselors acknowledge cultural differences. When a counselor does this, it communicates to the client that they are aware of cultural differences but also respect those differences and will not try to impose any set of values. This can help build trust and understanding between counselor and client. It also communicates to the client that their counselor is willing to be open and learn and that they don’t harbor any rigid notions or judgments about the client and their culture.
Multiculturally competent counselors never assume they are the master of any particular culture and that they don’t have anymore to learn. They are in a always in a state of learning and are inquisitive, open, and respectful regarding each of their clients. If you feel that a particular counselor is making assumptions, not open to learning about your culture, or imposing a set of values, they may not be the counselor for you. Know your rights as client and what to expect from your counselor.
Eddins Counseling Group seeks to provide competent counseling to every one of their clients. Learn more about our multicultural counseling services. Contact us at 832-559-2622 or book an appointment online. Together we can help find the right counselor for you.
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