Explain how the Three-factor Model of multicultural counseling builds in multiple steps that add accountability for counselors.

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The three-factor model is an assessment tool based on interviewing potential clients in terms of three important component of the counselor/client relationship. The first, is the cultural identity of the client: who does client think that he is? how does the client feel that he or she fits within a specific group? This is extremely important because it is the best way for a counselor to predict possible outcomes out of possible interventions. The second question is the degree of adjustment that the client possesses. Are we talking to someone who is resilient or self-pitying? Finally, how developmentally adept is the client? Is he/she mature or immature for his or her age? In which Ericson stage (for example) can the client be placed? Once these three determining factors are identified, the counselor can decide from a series of approaches that can be used for the process of counseling a client with disabilities of any kind. The way in which the model adds accountability for counselors is because the counselor is in complete ownership of the tool: the line of inquiry can be developed by the counselor and, as observations emerge, the counselor can tweak the tool to meet the client's need. The fact that it is not just a standardized model that aims to gather generic information is what makes the tool all the more relevant to the needs of the counselor; this is one of the key steps of adding accountability. The second way in which the model adds accountability is by building a sort of "alliance" between client and counselor where a game plan will be developed out of the data found in the interviews. This means that the different competencies within multicultural counseling are met gradually as the information fluctuates in conversation. The second competency is the ability to understand completely the point of view of a client understanding their cultural roots so completely that no bias is at all possible. The third competency consists on actually developing the game plan; that intervention strategy that will be in tandem with all culturally diverse clients. This third competency will determine the success of the therapy session as it will be the counselor's own tool-created and built by the counselor- that will be used as the leading assessment. That is the way in which, step by step, the dynamics between client and counselor produce a practice that develops and grows bigger and better.