Discuss strengths with the Three-factor Model of multicultural counseling for consumers with disabilities.

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Jessica Gardner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Three-Factor Model of multicultural counseling for consumers with disabilties is a general outline for counselors working with consumers of diverse backgrounds. As a framework it is highly adaptible and should be individualized to attend to a particular consumer's needs. Because of this combination of a general outline that can be fine-tuned to suit the particular individuals involved, the Three-Factor Model is mostly successful.

The following could be said to be its three main strengths:

  1. It prepares the counselor to work with a consumer who does not share the same cultural background as said counselor, including those obstructed by disabilities.
  2. The model also helps the counselor recognize his/her capability to represent the consumer. Thus, even if the counselor decides he or she is incapable of working with a particular consumer, the model has already done its job in providing the evaluation skills necessary to ensure the best fit, as "if on either dimension the counselor determines that he/she is not equipped to work with a particular consumer, enhanced supervision or referral to another counselor can be arranged" (Lewis). 
  3. The review of the consumer's three critical components ("disability, stage of development, and cultural identity") "is highly related to positive counseling outcomes," meaning the Three-Factor model improves the consumer's likelihood of reaching a positive result (Lewis).

All in all, the Three-Factor Model of multicultural counseling both prepares and equips counselors to work with consumers of diverse backgrounds, helping them "to become more effective in serving [the] underserved and culturally diverse populations" that exist in our society (Lewis).

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