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STEPS TOWARD EFFECTIVE

M U LT I C U LT U R A L C O U N S E L I N G
FOR CAREER SERVICES

SMDH

WHAT IS MULTICULTURAL
COUNSELING?
Multicultural counseling is defined as what occurs when the
professional career counselor works with someone from a different
cultural group and how that might affect interactions that take place
within the counseling relationship. Differences not limited to
anything on the diversity wheel: race and ethnicity, religion and
spirituality, sexual orientation, gender, age and maturity,
socioeconomic class, family history, geographic location.

STEP ONE: DISCUSS THE NATURE OF THE


STUDENTS VISIT
Discuss what brings a person into counseling and to
identify the presenting problem. The typical Western
style of finding answers through a direct approach is
not compatible with many cultures. This technique
includes use of body language, eye contact, and using
open-ended questions.

Step two: identify differences,


UNDERSTAND & ADDRESS ISSUES
Recognizing and being sensitive to cultural differences is essential for
establishing the trust necessary to conduct effective career
counseling sessions. Openly acknowledge any differences.
Part of establishing rapport with multicultural clients is expressing a
willingness to learn more about, and showing respect for, their
worldview, belief systems, and means of problem-solving. Learning
about and addressing the clients realities will allow you to create
culturally-sensitive interventions.

Step three: self reflect to push past


your biases
Self-reflection is vital to becoming a culturally-competent counselor.
Start by clearly identifying your own worldview and personal beliefs
about those who are different from you. This exercise will assist you
in uncovering your own prejudices, feelings, and stereotypical ideas
about clients from other cultures. Being open-minded and willing to
educate yourself about culturally different groups is a productive way
of moving forward toward your goal of working effectively with them
in counseling. Becoming self-aware is an ongoing practice, and
allowing new information to play a part in shaping your professional
identity is a valuable tool.

Step four: continue to learn and seek


out resources
Its important to understand that professional counselors
never master the ability to understand every unique cultural
difference; this is a continual state of learning.Your
knowledge base will grow as you work with a greater
number of diverse clients, but the learning doesnt stop
there. Working in this area of higher education will
continually provide you with opportunities to gain new
insights and skills with each new college student.

REFERENCES
Delaware Valley University Faculty. (2014, July 29). Five important aspects
of multicultural counseling competencies. Retrieved from
http://www.delval.edu/blog/five-important-aspects-of-multiculturalcounseling-competencies
Pope, R. L., Reynolds, A. L., & Mueller, J. A. (2004). Multicultural competence
in student affairs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Reynolds, A. L., Mueller, J. A., & Clark, M. R. (2009). Helping college students:
Developing essential support skills for student affairs practice. San Francisco,
CA: Jossey-Bass.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS ON
MULTICULTURAL CAREER COUNSELING
Alexander, C. M. (2009). Handbook of multicultural counseling (3rd ed.). J. G.
Ponterotto, J. M. Casas, & L. Suzuki (Eds.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE
Publications, Inc.

David, S., & Wing, D. (2003). Counseling the culturally diverse:Theory and practice.
New York, CA: J. Wiley.
Pope, R. L., Reynolds, A. L., & Mueller, J. A. (2004). Multicultural competence in
student affairs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Reynolds, A. L., Mueller, J. A., & Clark, M. R. (2009). Helping college students:
Developing essential support skills for student affairs practice. San Francisco, CA:
Jossey-Bass.
Zunker,V. G. (2015). Career counseling: A holistic approach (9th ed.). Brooks Cole.