Own Self-Awareness and Cultural Background in Counseling

Topics: Culture, Sociology, Intercultural competence Pages: 2 (568 words) Published: January 1, 2009
Cultural Competence Haily Carter December 19, 2008 University of Phoenix CNSL/557 Colleen Moore Cultural Competence Culture is defined as the beliefs, values, and norm people of a particular group share. One aspect of training culturally competent counselors is making sure they are aware of their own culture and how it has shaped their beliefs and values. The beliefs and values individuals have define how they see the world and what they view on being important. An example of this is how a Euro-American culture places value on individualism and importance on autonomy, independence, and uniqueness (Sue & Sue, 2003). Counselors in this culture may see views such as individualism as being the “right way”. But, there are a number of cultures who do not value individualism andput more importance on collectivism. Collectivism places more worth on the group as a whole and is considered more important than the individual who must sacrifice his self-interest to that of the group. Because culture can lead individuals to have very different views and see the world from different perspectives it is important that counselors are aware of this. To provide a client with counseling that will lead to a positive outcome the counselor must learn to be culturally competent. Counselors can also learn to be more culturally competent by becoming self-aware. Self-Awareness can move individuals towards cultural competency in many ways. First becoming aware helps a counselor become sensitive to his or her own cultural heritage and to valuing and respecting differences. Second awareness leads counselors to realize their own partiality and how this might affect how they may affect their clients who are culturally different. Becoming aware also helps a counselor be more comfortable with the differences that exist between themselves and their clients in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation. Awareness also helps a counselor acknowledge his or her own racist, sexist,...

References: Heppner, P., (2006). The benefit and challenges of becoming cross-culturally competent counseling psychologists. The Counseling Psychologist, 34, p. 147-172. Retrieved December 19, 2008 from http://tcp.sagpub.com/cgi/content/abstract/34/1/147 Sue D. W., & Sue D., (2003). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice. http://tcp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/34/1/147
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