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Multicultural ism and Social Justice:

Two Sides of the Same Coin


ManivongJ. Ratts
The development of multicultural and advocacy competencies evolved out
of the multicultural and social justice movements. To help readers more fully
understand the complementary nature between these 2 sets of competencies
and to connect both movements, this article introduces the Multicultural and
Advocacy Dimensions model. Implications are also discussed.
El desarrollo de las competencias multiculturales y de defensora surgi a partir
de los movimientos multiculturales y de justicia social. Para ayudar a los lecto-
res a comprender en ms detalle la naturaleza complementaria entre estos 2
niveles de competencias y conectar ambos movimientos, este artculo introduce
el modelo de Dimensiones Multiculturales y de Defensora (MAD, por sus siglas
en ingls). Tambin se discuten sus implicaciones.
T
here is a seamless connection between multiculturalism and social justice
in counseling. Both the multicultural and social jtistice counseling per-
spectives acknowledge the importance of diversity and recognize that
oppression has a debilitating effect on mental health. Together, both perspec-
tives promote the need to develop multiculturally and advocacy competent
helping professionals. The imprint of multiculturalism and social justice on
the counseling field has also revolutionized the profession. To illustrate, the
multicultural counseling perspective shifted the helping paradigm from one
that ignored the sociopolitical context to one that recognizes the importance
of cultural variables in the counseling relationship (Ponterotto, Casas, Suzuki,
& Alexander, 2010). Similarly, the social justice counseling perspective has
brought attention to the importance of using advocacy as a mechanism to
address systemic barriers that hinder clients' ability to achieve optimal psycho-
logical health and well-being (Constantine, Hage, Kindaichi, & Bryant, 2007;
Toporek, Gerstein, Fouad, Roysircar, & Israel, 2006).
The link between multiculturalism and social justice, as well as its integration
in counseling, is perhaps best reflected in the American Counseling Associa-
tion's (2005) ACA Code of Ethics. For example. Section E.5.b states that coun-
selors have an ethical obligation to provide multiculturally competent services.
Counselors are also ethically bound to advocate with and on behalf of clients
at the individual, group, institutional, and societal levels should such situations
arise, as stated in Section A.6.a. The maturation of the multicultural and social
justice perspectives, as reflected in the ethical codes, brings these two schools
of thought from the margins to the center of the counseling profession.
ManivongJ. Ratts, Department of Counseling and School Psychology, Seattle University. Correspondence
concerning this article should be addressed to ManivongJ. Ratts, Department of Counseling and School
Psychology, Seattle University, 901 12th Avenue, College of Education, 216 Loyola HaU, Seattle, WA 98122
(e-mail: vong@seattleu.edu).
2011 American Counseling Association. All rights reserved.
24 JOURNAL OF MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING AND DEVELOPMENT January 2011 Vol. 39
The growth of the multicultural and social justice counseling perspectives
can be attributed to the increasing diversity of otir clientele (Smith, Baluch,
Bernabei, Robohm, & Sheehy, 2003), the lack of attention to cultural fac-
tors in counseling (Ponterotto et al., 2010), and the growing realization that
office-based interventions that ignore the social milieu may have daunting
limitations (Lewis & Bradley, 2000; Ratts, Toporek, & Lewis, 2010). These
concerns highlight the need for counselors to be both advocacy and multicul-
lurally competent helping professionals (Toporek, Lewis, & Crethar, 2009).
Multiculturally competent counselors are aware, knowledgeable, and skilled
with the ways in which sociopolitical factors contribute to client problems
and understand how cultural variables shape the counseling relationship
(Roysircar, Arredondo, Fuertes, Ponterotto, & Toporek, 2003). Likewise, so-
cial justice counseling professionals recognize that moving beyond time- and
office-bound approaches may sometimes be necessary (Vera & Speight, 2003).
The rise in the multicultural and social justice movements led to the de-
velopment of multicultural and advocacy competencies. The Association for
Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD) commissioned Derald
Wing Sue, Patricia Arredondo, and Roderick McDavis to propose multicul-
tural competencies for the profession (Toporek et al., 2009). Their work
led to the creation of the Multicultural Counseling Competencies (MCCs)
in 1991. The belief was that a set of multicultural guidelines were necessary
to guide professional counselors in their work with diverse clients. In 2001,
jane Goodman, past president of the ACA, created a taskforce consisting of
Judith Lewis, Mary Arnold, Reese House, and Rebecca Toporek to develop
advocacy competencies for the field (Toporek et al., 2009). The work of the
taskforce led to the development of the ACA Advocacy Competencies. The
Advocacy Competencies provide helping professionals with a framework for
implementing advocacy strategies and initiatives. A more in-depth overview
o both competencies is addressed later in this article.
With the advent of multiculturalism and social justice in counseling, as
evidenced by the creation of the MCCs and Advocacy Competencies, comes
a need to connect these two perspectives. Integrating the multicultural and
social justice counseling perspectives is important in light of Toporek et al.'s
(2009) contention that both are critical to effectively carrying out multicul-
turally competent social justice initiatives. To understand more fully and
appreciate the complementary nature between the multicultural and social
justice perspectives, the reader is introduced here to the Multicultural and
Advocacy Dimensions (MAD) model. The MAD model provides a conceptual
framework for understanding how the MCCs and the Advocacy Competencies
are linked. Moreover, the MAD model is a tool that illustrates how these two
competencies come to life within the therapeutic relationship. The following
sections begin with a rationale for connecting the multicultural and social
justice movements. An overview of the MCCs and Advocacy Competencies is
JOURNAL OF MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING AND DEVELOPMENT January 2011 Vol. 39 25
also provided as a foundation to understanding the MAD model. A description
of the MAD model along with examples of its use is discussed and implications
for the counseling profession are provided.
multiculturalism and social justice:
an overview
The developments within the multicultural counseling movement led Peder-
son (1991) to refer to the multicultural perspective as a "fourth force" among
counseling paradigms following the psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral,
and humanistic counseling "forces" in the profession. As a paradigm unto
itself, the multicultural counseling perspective has helped counselors better
understand the importance of cultural variables and the need to view clients
in the context of their environment. Prior to the multicultural counseling
perspective, traditional counseling paradigms did not take sociopolitical
factors into consideration when explaining psychosocial development. The
inability of helping professionals to view client problems through a wider lens
often led to approaches that conceptualized human development issues as an
internal phenomenon, which in turn led to interventions that blamed clients
for their predicament (Sue & Sue, 2008).
Ratts, D'Andrea, and Arredondo (2004) identified the socialjustice counseling
perspective as a "fifth force" in the field. Ratts (2009) further conceptualized
that the socialjustice perspective has shifted the helping paradigm in three
ways: (a) how client problems are understood, (b) the types of interventions
used, and (c) the role of the professional counselor. Other scholars have also
followed suit indicating that the socialjustice counseling paradigm is chang-
ing how counseling is viewed and practiced (Fouad, Gerstein, & Toporek,
2006; Lee, 2007). The shift toward the socialjustice counseling perspective
is in reaction to the need to consider approaches that will alter oppressive
environmental conditions that hinder human development.
The labeling of multiculturalism and social justice as separate "forces,"
coupled with the development of the MGGs and Advocacy Gompetencies,
raises a need to clarify the harmonizing nature between these two paradigms.
As we strengthen the counseling profession, we need to examine how these
two forces complement each other. We need to identify how the Advocacy
Gompetencies can be used in conjunction with the MGGs. Gan the two com-
petencies be integrated? One suggestion offered by Lewis and Arnold (1998)
is to view multiculturalism and social justice as two sides of the same coin.
These scholars added:
It is a short step from becoming aware of the impact of the cultural milieti to noticing
the role of oppression in our clients' lives. Once we begin to notice systemic oppression,
it is just one more short step to accepting our responsibility for social action, (p. 51)
26 JOURNAL OF MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING AND DEVELOPMENT January 2011 Vol. 39
The assumption here is that multiculturalism and social justice are intercon-
nected parts. In other words, developing multicultural competence is a process
in that multiculturalism can serve as an impetus for social justice advocacy
(Ratts et al., 2004); however, multicultural competence alone may have its
limits. Vera and Speight (2003) added that multicultural competence falls
short in its ability to address systemic barriers often faced by clients. Although
multiculturalism is about social justice, these scholars argued that issues of
equity cannot always be addressed through one-on-one counseling alone. In
the same vein, engaging in social justice advocacy without having developed
a sense of multicultural competence may lead to advocacy strategies that
ignore clients' cultural background (Rubel & Ratts, 2007). If counselors do
not possess multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills, they may not be
competent in multictiltural practice and run the risk of violating professional
standards and ethics of counseling.
linking the MCCs and
advocacy competencies^
Understanding the complementary nature between multiculturalism and
social justice through their respective competencies is important for several
reasons. First, the MCCs and Advocacy Competencies have been endorsed by
ACA (American Counseling Association, 2003) and one of its divisions, the
Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (2007). The endorse-
ment of both competencies by these organizations further promotes the
relevance of tiuilticulturalism and social justice to the field. Second, when
used together, both competencies can strengthen counselors' ability to help
clients. Toporek et al. (2009) contended "the MCCs have paved the way for
the Advocacy Competencies" (p. 261). They further suggested that the com-
bination of in-office interventions emphasized by the MCCs and out-of-office
advocacy approaches encouraged by the Advocacy Competencies provide
counselors a more balanced and comprehensive approach to working with
clients. The MCCs are useful in helping counselors understand the roles that
bias, culture, and oppression play in clients' lives and their influence on the
overall counseling process. Conversely, the Advocacy Competencies provide
counselors alternative means by which to put their awareness and knowledge
of systemic barriers into community action. Third, the abstract or theoretical
nature of both competencies can sometimes make it difficult to implement
them conjointly in practice. Clarifying how to connect these two competencies
may simplify how counselors are to carry out multicultural and social justice
advocacy strategies in a meaningful, comprehensive way. Fourth, connect-
ing both competencies is an attempt to bridge the multicultural and social
justice counseling forces. Connecting these two forces, through the MCCs
JOURNAL OF MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING AND DEVELOPMENT January 2011 Vol. 39 27
and Advocacy Competencies, may help counselors better understand and
appreciate the overlap, distinctions, and meaningful interactions stemming
between multictilturalism and social justice.
MCCs and advorary rnmpRtencies
MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING COMPETENCIES
The MCCs were created in an effort to reduce bias in counseling and to help
professional counselors develop the requisite awareness, knowledge, and skills
needed to provide culturally sensitive and appropriate counseling for their
diverse clientele. The development of the MCCs shifted the helping paradigm
from one that traditionally viewed psychological stress and disorders as an
inner phenomenon to one that recognizes the role culture and sociopoliti-
cal factors play in counseling (Sue, Ivey, & Pedersen, 1996). The creation of
the MCCs was considered so revolutionary to the field that, in 1992, it was
published in two separate journals: the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and
Development (Volume 20, Issue 2) and the Journal of Counseling &" Development
(Volume 70, Issue 1).
The MCCs are categorized into three areas: (a) counselor awareness of their
own cultural values and biases, (b) counselor awareness of clients' worldview,
and (c) the use of culturally appropriate interventions and strategies in coun-
seling (Roysircar et al., 2003). Inherent within each of the three areas are
competency principles. Each competency principle addresses a counselor's
attitudes and beliefs, knowledge, and skills as they relate to multicultural
competence.
Counselor awareness constitutes the first area of the MCCs. At this level,
counselors develop awareness of their cultural values, beliefs, and assump-
tions. It is important that counselors are aware of their own culture and the
cultural background of their clients, are cognizant of the role culture plays
in the counseling process, and possess an understanding of how sociopoliti-
cal factors affect mental health issues. Becoming a multiculturally competent
counselor is also a process that involves internal self-exploration, education,
and a willingness to expand one's awareness, knowledge, and skills (Arre-
dondo et al., 1996).
The second area of the MCCs is the importance of being aware of a client's
worldview. According to Sue and Sue (2008), one's worldview shapes one's
thinking, values, beliefs, behaviors, and overall perception of the world. It
is important to understand clients' worldviews because many diverse groups
may hold differing points of view to those of the dominant culture, including
their counselor. This awareness involves being cognizant of potential cultural
differences between the counselor and client, using identity development
models to understand clients' perspectives, and increasing one's understanding
28 JOURNAL OF MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING AND DEVELOPMENT January 2011 Vol. 39
of others by attending cultural celebrations, political events, and community
grotip meetings. These activities may help to increase counselor tuiderstand-
ing of the overt or subtle oppressions experienced daily in the lives of their
culturally diverse clients.
The third area of the MCCs involves the use of culturally appropriate in-
terventions and strategies. This may require counselors to step outside of
their comfort zones and use nontraditional counseling techniques such as
iudigenous healing practices, integrating religious/spirittial beliefs into the
counseling process, using translators, and consulting with community lead-
ers to aid clients in their development. Although described separately, each
of the three areas of the MCCs is intricately connected to each other, and
when combined, they help counselors to develop multicultural competence.
ADVOCACY COMPETENCIES
Similar to Bronfenbrenner's (1981) ecological model of human development,
the Advocacy Competencies provide a context for conceptualizing clients'
problems from a perspective that considers the interplay between clients
and their environment (Ratts, DeKruyf; & Chen-Hayes, 2007). Specifically,
the Advocacy Competencies have been an important development in helping
counselors conceptualize whether office-based interventions, out-of-office based
interventions, or a combination of both is necessary. The premise behind the
Advocacy Competencies is related to the belief that clients' problems need
to be understood within the context of their environment.
The Advocacy Competencies include three levels of advocacy: (a) client/
student advocacy, (b) school/community advocacy, and the (c) public arena
level of advocacy. Each level of advocacy includes two domains and specific
competency areas. Within each level, advocacy occurs with and on behalf o
individuals and their community.
The client/student advocacy level takes place at the microlevel (Bronfen-
brenner, 1981 ). This level of advocacy incltides the client/sttident empowerment
and client/student advocacy domains. At this level, counselors recognize the
impact environmental factors have on the academic, career, and personal/
social well-being of individuals. Counselors use empowerment strategies to
help individuals understand their lives in context, as well as remove external
barriers that contribute to psychological stress and disorders.
The school/community level of advocacy takes place at the mesolevel (Bron-
fenbrenner, 1981 ). This level of advocacy includes the community collaboration
and systems advocacy domains. Within the community collaboration domain,
counselors serve as allies by identifying and working with existing organiza-
tions to effect social justice change. Networking with community agencies
allows counselors to provide clients with resources, inchiding information
resources, that may not otherwise be available to them. At the systems advo-
cacy domain, counselors recognize environmental factors that hinder human
JOURNAL OF MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING AND DEVELOPMENT January 2011 Vol. 39 29
development. Counselors can use their expertise in data analysis, knowledge
of systems, and leadership skills to remove unnecessary systemic barriers that
negatively affect client development.
Within the public arena level, advocacy takes place at the macrolevel (Bron-
fenbrenner, 1981). This level of advocacy involves the public information and
social/political advocacy domains. As counselors become aware of societal
and normative barriers, they may take action by informing others of social
injustices. For example, school counselors can create websites to notify par-
ents and community members about how effects of poverty correlate with
low achievement rates in K-12 schools. These efforts may lead counselors
to change class-related systems that affect clients and students. This could
involve advocating for political and systems changes, lobbying legislators, and
changing health care and public education systems.
Oftentimes, advocacy at one level can be strengthened if advocacy efforts
are made at other levels (Ratts et al., 2007). For example, school counselors
working to reduce bullying can advocate at the client/student level by help-
ing students develop strategies to confront and report bullying (microlevel).
Using data to assess the school culture and determine the type of prevention
programs and group counseling services needed is an example of advocacy
at the school/community level (mesolevel), or holding an in-service to equip
teachers with the skills to confront bullying is a way of advocating on behalf of
a student (mesolevel). This effort may have a wider impact if it is connected
to the public arena level of advocacy. This may involve lobbying legislators
for antibuUying laws or joining national and local counseling organizations
that put pressure on the youth legal system (macrolevel).
MAD model
The development of the MCCs and Advocacy Competencies brings with it
the need to consider how to connect both competencies. The MAD model
(see Figure 1) illustrates the interaction between the MCCs and Advocacy
Competencies and the dynamic nature of multiculturalism and social justice
advocacy in counseling. The conceptual idea behind the MAD model's atom-
like framework is borrowed from the Multiple Dimensions of Identity model
developed by Jones and McEwen (2000). Their model examined how aspects
of human diversity (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sextial orientation) interact
and the salience of people's identities at a given moment in time. More spe-
cifically, they explored why individuals were more conscious of some aspects
of identity (e.g., race) than other aspects of identity (e.g., sexual orienta-
tion) at a given period of time. Although the present article is not focused
on the salience of human identity, the conceptual idea behind the atomlike
structure provided in Jones and McEwen's model is useful for understanding
the connection between the MCCs and Advocacy Competencies. Moreover,
30 JOURNAL OF MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING AND DEVELOPMENT January 2011 Vol. 39
turally ApproprisK
terventions Strategi
C lient/Student
Level Advocacy
Sociopolitical Context
FIGURE 1
Multicultural and Advocacy Dimensions Model
the atomlike f ratnework provides the reader with a "big picture" idea of the
fluidity of the three areas of the MGGs and the three levels of the Advocacy
Gompetencies. A description of the MAD model is provided along with a
discussion of its use in counselor education and counseling.
OVERVIEW OF THE MAD MODEL
The conceptual framework of the MAD model provides a snapshot of a
specific period of time during a cotuiseling session. The nucleus of the
MAD model represents the working alliance between the professional
counselor and client. According to Bordin (1979), the working alliance is
a key aspect of the helping paradigin. Within the MAD model, the nucleus
represents the task (e.g., specific activities clients must engage in), bond
(e.g., client-counselor relationship), and goals (e.g., objectives or out-
comes) of counseling (Safran & Muran, 2000). It is important to consider
JOURNAL OF MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING AND DEVELOPMENT January 2011 Vol. 39
31
the MCCs and Advocacy Competencies when determining the task, bond,
and goal of counseling. Ignoring multicultural and social justice factors
when considering these aspects of counseling can lead to interventions
and practices that are culturally insensitive and that promote an oppres-
sive status quo.
Similar to how electrons and protons orbit an atom, the items surrotmding
the nucleus (i.e., working alliance) of the MAD model represent the three
areas of the MCCs and the three levels of the Advocacy Competencies. For
the MCCs, these are (a) counselors' awareness of their values and beliefs, (b)
knowledge of clients' worldview, and (c) culturally appropriate interventions
and strategies. For the Advocacy Competencies, these are (a) client/student
advocacy, (b) school/community advocacy, and the (c) public arena level of
advocacy. The orbiting balls, which move around the nucleus of the model,
reflect the fluidity of the MCCs and Advocacy Competencies. The MCCs and
Advocacy Competencies are not static; rather, the competencies ebb and flow
throughout the course of the counseling relationship. For instance, attending
to a client's worldview (an MCC strategy) may require more attention during
certain periods of the counseling process than others. Likewise, client intra-
personal and interpersonal problems may not always call for social/political
levels of advocacy outlined in the Advocacy Competencies.
The salience of each competency is represented by its position to the
nucleus (i.e., working alliance) of the model. The closer a competency is to
the nucleus, the greater its relevance in counseling. For example, in Figure 1,
a counselor would first need to attend to the client's worldview (as well as
the counselor's worldview) and subsequently implement advocacy strategies
at the school/community level because the worldview position is closest to
the nucleus of the model. If advocacy at the public arena level were needed,
as in the case of school bullying, then placement ofthat competency would
be closer to the nucleus of the model than the MCC practice of awareness
of client and counselor worldviews. The salience of each competency is de-
pendent on factors stich as the client, the client's presenting problem, and
the counselor's level of multicultural and advocacy competence.
Surrounding the orbiting competencies is the sociopolitical context. The belief
is that counseling is not a value-neutral endeavor. Social, political, economic,
and cultural variables influence the working alliance between coun.selor and
client (Katz, 1985). Both clients and counselors bring their personal histories
into the therapeutic relationship. Factors such as experiences with oppression
influence how clients and counselors experience the counseling relationship.
APPLICATION OF THE MAD MODEL
The MAD model is a useful tool for counselor educators and practitioners
alike. Counselor educators can use the MAD model to help emerging coun-
32 JOURNAL OF MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING AND DEVELOPMENT January 2011 Vol. 39
selors develop mtiltictiltural and advocacy competence. Prior to introdticing
students to the MAD model, counselor educators should familiarize themselves
and their students with the MGGs and the Advocacy Gompetencies. Being
familiar with both competencies allows counselor educators and students to
work from a solid mttlticultural and socialjustice foundation, which is critical
in preparing students for the realities of the profession.
For practicing counselors, the conceptual framework of the MAD model can
be a useful tool in determining which competency areas of the MGGs and
Advocacy Gompetencies need attention when working with clients. Gounselors
are asked to reflect on each competency to help them pinpoint where they
think a particular competency should be placed along the nucleus of the
MAD model. Gompetencies the counselor places closest to the nucleus of the
model are areas the counselor needs to address with the client.
The following questions were developed as a reflection tool to help counsel-
ing professionals determine where each competency should be positioned
along the nucleus of the MAD model:
Counselor awareness of own values and beliefs: How do your values, beliefs,
and cultural background shape your conceptualization of the client
and his or her presenting concerns?
Knowledge of the client's worldview: How does the client's worldview shape
how he or she perceives his or her presenting problem? How knowledge-
able are you about your client's worldview? How does your worldview
shape your perception of the client's problem? How is your worldview
different from and/or similar to your client's?
Culturally appropriate interventions and strategies: What culturally appropriate
interventions and strategies are necessary or important to consider, given
the client's cultural background and presenting problem(s)?
Client/student advocacy: How might you empower your client at the
microlevel?
School/community advocacy: Would involving school staff and/or com-
munity agencies help to alleviate the client's presenting concern? If
so, what strategies are necessary to involve school/community agencies
and personnel?
Public arena advocacy: Would it help the client if you brought the issues
he or she is presenting to the public eye (without breaching confiden-
tiality)? If so, how can you achieve this goal? How might advocacy at the
legislative level help the client address her or his presenting concern (s)?
Sociopoliticalcontexts:Wh2it social, political, and economic conditions are
influencing the client's presenting problem(s)? Would addressing the
sociopolitical context help alleviate the client's presenting concern(s)?
How might you alter oppressive sociopolitical conditions that hinder
your client's development?
JOURNAL OF MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING AND DEVELOPMENT January 2011 Vol. 39 33
Reflecting on the preceding questions can help counselors learn about the
MCCs and Advocacy Competencies and the extent to which they come to life
in counseling. Moreover, the aforementioned questions can help counselors
consider whether they are being multiculturally and advocacy-competent help-
ing professionals. Through skilled questioning and self-reflection, counselors
can plot each area of the MCCs and Advocacy Competencies along the MAD
model to determine the relevance of each competency when working with
particular clients. Identifying where each competency is positioned along
the nucleus of the MAD model can also help counselors determine areas for
growth. For example, if upon reflecting on the aforementioned questions
the counselor realizes that she or he needs to focus more on the client's
worldview, then that competency would be positioned closest to the nucleus
of the MAD model. This could also mean further professional development
training to effectively carry out this competency.
implicationsJhr practice^
The development of the MAD model has immense possibilities for the
counseling profession. It is a practical tool for helping professionals
because it helps counselors realize that both multiculturalism and social
justice advocacy need to always be considered. The creation of the MAD
model also suggests that multicultural and social justice counseling schol-
ars need to stop working in isolation and consider how both perspectives,
when combined, are strengthened. For instance, it seems that a natural
partnership could develop between the leaders of AMCD and Counselors
for Social Justice, a division of the ACA. Combining forces increases the
voice of both organizations and could significantly advance each organiza-
tion's collective initiatives. The possibilities are endless. It could lead to
new theoretical helping paradigms and ways of practicing, new advocacy
opportunities and partnerships, and increased funding opportunities for
multicultural and social justice research.
Counseling professionals who use the MAD model need to also consider
potential barriers that may come with its use. Identifying potential barriers is
important, given that the MAD model requires counselors to operate in non-
traditional ways that may run counter to how an agency or educational setting
operates. For example, an aspect of the MAD model encourages counselors
to step out from the comfort of their offices and work in the community. Not
every agency or school may be set up to support this type of intervention.
Counselors who use the MAD model would position themselves well with col-
leagues, supervisors, and clients by explaining the benefits to operating from
a multicultural and social justice approach. Similarly, counselor educators
who introduce the MAD model to students may want to discuss its benefits
with faculty in the department to garner support and maximize its impact.
34 JOURNAL OF MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING AND DEVELOPMENT January 2011 Vol. 39
conclusiorL
Multiculturalism and social justice are two sides of the same coin. They are
separate yet interconnecting concepts that have transformed the counseling
profession in profound ways. They are embedded in our ethical codes and
permeate all aspects of the counseling field. Both multiculturalism and social
justice have become such integral aspects of the profession that the ACA Gov-
erning Council endorsed the MCCs and Advocacy Competencies. Support of
both competencies signifies the need for counseling professionals to actively
develop multicultural and social justice advocacy competence in an effort to
enhance their counseling relationships and counselor education programs.
This is particularly important in light of the growing body of research connect-
ing oppre.ssion with mental health issues (Albee & Joffe, 2004; Gay Lesbian
Straight Education Network, 2007) and the continued reluctance on the part
of some helping professionals (Canfield, 2008; Hunsaker, 2008) to acknowl-
edge the value of multiculturalism and social justice advocacy in counseling.
As we continue to build on the work of multicultural and socialjustice counseling
scholars, and as we think about the future of both perspectives, it is important
to consider the link between the two movements. The benefits to considering
the relationship between multiculturalism and socialjustice in counseling are
many. First, counselors who see that there is a natural relationship between
multiculttiralism and socialjustice realize that they need to operate out of both
perspectives. They recognize that awareness of the multicultural milieu, in and
of itself, is not enough. They acknowledge that a focus on socialjustice is also
necessary. Second, linking multiculturalism with socialjustice benefits clients
and their communities (Ratts, 2009). Counselors who operate from a multicul-
tural and socialjustice framework recognize that oppression can be the root of
mental health problems and, thus, focus their efforts on creating a world that
is free from such social ills as racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, ableism,
and religious persecution, to list a few. Third, connecting multiculturalism with
social justice strengthens each perspective. It allows multicultural and social
justice counseling scholars and practioners to identify the very best of what
each perspective has to offer and it opens the door for potential collaboration.
The seamless connection between multiculturalism and social jtistice can
be understood through the MAD model. The MAD model is a practical tool
to help counseling professionals to understand the complementary nature
between the MCCs and Advocacy Competencies. Moreover, the MAD model
provides a conceptual framework for understanding the connection between
the multicultural and socialjustice movements in counseling. Understand-
ing the relationship between these two concepts is particularly important if
we are to bridge the multicultural and socialjustice counseling perspectives.
Linking both perspectives through the MAD model benefits our clients and
our community, and as a byproduct, it strengthens the counseling profession.
JOURNAL OF MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING AND DEVELOPMENT January 2011 Vol. 39 35
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