Multicultural Counseling and Therapy (MCT)
How does MCT expand the practices and roles of counselors as therapists, as compared to traditional practices and roles?
According to Sue & Sue (2013), the traditional multicultural counseling role is defined as a helping role that consist of teaching, consulting and advocacy. Surprisingly interesting, the role of a counselor doesn’t carry the extended responsibility and requirements of a Multicultural therapist. Sue & Sue (2013) is strikingly different with their traditional views of counseling and therapy. Dr. Sue expressed in the mini-lecture that MCT has a dual definition as a helping role, processing the use of modalities and defining goals, consistent with the life experiences and cultural values of clients.
In addition, MCT actually broaden the role; enhancing the need to play multiple roles including systems intervention. The two main important roles are avoiding a blind application of techniques regarding all situations and populations, using empathy, self-disclosure, respect, warmth, agreeing on goal setting with client (Sue & Sue, 2013).
What is the significance of a client’s social and cultural context within MCT and how does MCT challenge counselors to intervene at the systems level?
(Sue & Sue, 2013), explains the importance of how multicultural therapy balances both/combine the individualism approach and the collective approach, with the acknowledgement of communities, cultures, families – even spouses (mates). It’s equally important that the counselor recognize the clients gender, cultural and racial background, and their economic status which can affect/change the assessment, diagnosis and/or treatment plan.
MCT challenges the counselor to understand individuality, create an environment that cultivates the optimal development of the client and their systems, by using only facts, removing self-bias and supporting confidentiality.
American Psychological Association (2003). Multicultural guidelines: Education, research, and practice. American Psychologist, 58, 377–402.
Pedersen, P. B. (2002). The Making of a Culturally Competent Counselor. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 10(3).