Response to (two) discussion question by Friday 05 15 20 @ 9pm New York time
Tutor: Amanda Smith
Reply to at least 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200–300 words. Also, note that “I like what you said,” “That’s a good point,” and “I disagree with your point” do not count as a complete reply. Rather, stating why you liked or disliked the comment, adding additional thoughts or ideas to the original point, and/or providing alternative ideas or thoughts when you disagree will count as a reply. You are required to be courteous in any disagreement with a classmate.
It is vital for counselors to become culturally competent in their work and this can be accomplished by counselors following and incorporating the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies (MSJCC) into their professional practice (Hays & Erford, 2018). The MSJCC outlines four different competencies, including counselor self-awareness, client worldview, counseling relationship, and counseling and advocacy interventions (Hays & Erford, 2018). I believe that the most challenging or uncomfortable competency to develop as a counselor in training is the first competency, counselor self-awareness, but I believe that it is one of the most important competencies that an effective and competent counselor should possess. This competency means that counselors need to be aware of how their personal beliefs, values, and biases impact the counseling relationship and how we view or interact with different cultures or people from various backgrounds (Hays & Erford, 2018). Many people may not be used to or comfortable using introspection to become self-aware about how their social identity, social status, privilege, and oppression affect their worldview. I believe that this can be especially hard for people of privilege, those who are not marginalized, and those who experience very little disadvantages due to their social status or cultural identity. As a white individual who has experienced no discrimination due to my outward appearance or cultural background, I have never really thought much about my unique cultural identity or how my biases or values could be impacting my worldview and interactions with people. It may be uncomfortable to be completely self-aware and to explore personal values and biases, but it is a necessary step for counselors and counselors in training to take to ensure that they can effectively counsel clients from diverse backgrounds (Pieterse, Ritmeester, & Collins, 2013). This is something that I need to work on during my training so that I will be able to be culturally competent and able to work effectively with any group of people no matter their race, ethnicity, or background. The ACA Code of Ethics (2014) §A.4.b., states that counselors need to be “aware of—and avoid imposing—their own values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors” (p. 5). If counselors take the effort to become fully self-aware, it makes it possible for them to avoid imposing their values or beliefs onto a client, which is congruent with various ethical standards presented in the ACA Code of Ethics.
Dr. Moitinho’s (2018) presentation on cultural counseling competencies and the Christian perspective was informative and provided a great foundation for understanding how biblical principles can be incorporated into the counseling profession and working with clients from diverse backgrounds. He touched on the importance of counselors practicing God’s greatest commandments, viewing every client from a distinctive biblical anthropology, being incarnational, overcoming ethnocentrism, and contextualizing your approach (Moitinho, 2018). I believe that there is one important Christian principle, working for social justice and equality, that could be added to his presentation and would be important for counselors to consider when working with diverse clients. According to Hook and Davis (2012), throughout the Bible, “there is a consistent theme that displays God’s heart for equality, the oppressed, and social justice” (p. 104). This shows that Christian counselors should strive to fight for equality and social justice, which could be accomplished through participating in justice and advocacy efforts for clients and people who are underprivileged or from different cultural backgrounds. A bible verse that backs up the need for Christians to be involved in social justice and advocacy efforts for those who are oppressed or marginalized is Isaiah 1:17 which states, “Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause” (Christian Standard Bible, 2020).
Word Count: 615
American Counseling Association (2014). ACA Code of Ethics. Retrieved from http://counseling.org/resources/aca-code-of ethics.
Christian Standard Bible. (2020). Christian Standard Bible. https://csbible.com/
Hays, D. G., & Erford, B. T. (2018). Developing multicultural counseling competence: A systems approach (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Hook, J. N., & Davis, D. E. (2012). Integration, multicultural counseling, and social justice. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 40(2), 102-106. doi:10.1177/009164711204000203
Moitinho, E. (2018). [Multicultural Counseling Competencies and the Christian]. Liberty University.
Pieterse, A. L., Lee, M., Ritmeester, A., & Collins, N. M. (2013). Towards a model of self-awareness development for counselling and psychotherapy training. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 26(2), 190-207. doi:10.1080/09515070.2013.793451
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Upon review of the radical aspects and perceptions acknowledged among multicultural competencies within the framework of professional counseling, it is expressly counterproductive to remain biased and judgmental when attempting to counsel clients. It is suggested that professional counselors follow counseling competencies, or a set of guidelines that, along with steps directed from the Holy Spirit, allowing for the empathetic encouragement to assist clients through a multiculturalistic perspective. There are four multicultural and social justice counseling competencies addressed in our textbook. The first, Counselor Self-Awareness, suggests that counselors explore and reflect on their own attitudes and beliefs with regard to their own self-awareness and worldview (Hays & Erford, 2018). The second competency, Client Worldview, lends itself to the notion that counselors understand the view of the world from their client’s perspective (Hays & Erford, 2018). The third competency, Counseling Relationship, addresses the congruence of the counselor/client relationship as a system, and how their different statuses influence the counseling relationship, (Hays & Erford, 2018). The fourth and final competency, Counseling and Advocacy Interventions, suggests that counselors intervene, and advocate on behalf of their client with regard to community, institutional, and global levels, (Hays & Erford, 2018).
As my career path of becoming a professional counselor evolves, I see myself challenged mostly with the Competency of Counseling and Advocacy. This competency engulfs a plethora of public outlets of which i will need to explore. This competency also lists such a vast amount of resources needed to advocate for a client; submerging myself entirely feels overwhelming.
In Dr. Moitinho’s presentation of “Christian Worldviews” within the counseling profession, he addresses several key components which exemplify solid Christian principles. His use of Bible quotes and the correlation constructed among that of the client/counselor relationship was extremely beneficial to me. His utilization of Matthew 22:37, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” (NIV), suggests to counselors to honestly love their clients the way in which we love God, and to love passionately (Moitinho, 2019b). Additionally, according to Garzon, “Seeing a culture through a biblical worldview lens attempts to see culture through God’s eyes.” (Garzon, 2010c). If I could suggest an additional Christian principle that I would add to his presentation, I would choose that of truthfulness. Being honest with not only others, but also with ourselves allows for healing, closure, and a positive client/counselor relationship. In John 8:32, the Bible reads: “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free,” (GNT).
Garzon, F. (2010c). Presentation: Interpreting Culture. Liberty University.
Hays, D. G., & Erford, B. T. (2018). Developing multicultural counseling competence; a systems approach. New York, NY: Pearson.
Moitinho, E. (2019a). Presentation: Multicultural Counseling Competencies and the Christian. Liberty University.
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