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How can the cultural heritage of the counselor impact on counseling interactions with...

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clevergloggs | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted May 13, 2013 at 10:04 PM via web

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How can the cultural heritage of the counselor impact on counseling interactions with clients?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 13, 2013 at 10:20 PM (Answer #1)

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In counseling you always have to be aware of bias.  Bias sounds like a bad thing, but it really isn’t.  It just refers to the way we look at the world.  If we have a bias toward something, we will act differently.  If we have a bias against something, we will act differently.  In counseling, it is important to acknowledge and even address your own biases before interacting with clients.

Religious and racial biases can have a big impact on the counselor-client relationship if you are not careful.  Your client might come to you with a problem that you would give a different answer to based on your religion.  However, you need to be careful because your client may have a different religion, and also is not coming to you for religious counsel.  You can suggest other advisors, such as spiritual advisors, but you must be careful when giving advice colored by your religious or ethnic lens.

As a counselor, you have to be able to both empathize and generalize.  You have to see problems from multiple points of view, and be able to use your background but also your training.  Your background makes you who you are, but should not impede your work.

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