Multiculturalism in Counseling

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By khwarden
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Multiculturalism: The Suppressor of Universality in all Counseling
Krystin Warden
Indiana University, Bloomington
November 12, 2013

Multiculturalism is a widely-known issue in psychotherapy. Therapists have a hard time counseling culturally diverse clients, especially when they are unaware of their values, beliefs, and perceptions. There is debate on whether or not therapy works equally well for different populations; such as age groups, racial/ethnic groups, sexual minorities, different genders, socioeconomic class, and disabled bodies. Although some therapies might not work as well as they do with certain populations, techniques within those therapies can be taken and worked with multiple populations.
Keywords: multiculturalism, psychotherapy

Original and traditional definitions of counseling, therapy, and mental health practice arose from a White-Euro American society; a single culture with specific norms, beliefs, and values (Sue & Sue, 2013). In other words, these long-established definitions excluded other cultures of the world. Our knowledge in such topics stems all the way back to a society that took up 5% of the world’s population, therefore we are not taking into account the other 95% of the world’s beliefs and values that also play a role in therapy (Sue & Sue, 2013). What is considered to be “good therapy” in context is in actuality “good therapy” to only the society whom the context originated from, giving misrepresentation (Sue & Sue, 2013). For example, assuming disorders were similar in every culture, each disorder would receive the same treatment.
Although some mental health professionals don’t take multiculturalism into consideration, those who do believe that your environment and the culture in which you grow up being a part of heavily affects who you are and your behavior (Sue & Sue, 2013).…...

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