The CMHC in a Diverse Society
The American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics (2005) states that its members “recognize diversity and embrace a cross-cultural
approach in support of the worth, dignity, potential, and uniqueness of people within their social and cultural contexts” (p. 3). In this unit, you will learn about the process of becoming a multiculturally competent clinical mental health counselor in our very diverse society—under ethical expectations that define diversity very broadly. The process of becoming self-aware; acquiring the needed knowledge about diverse cultures, backgrounds, and abilities; and developing multicultural and cross-cultural counseling skills is one that requires our attention and dedication throughout our training and careers as professional counselors.
To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:
1. Explore the roles and functions of human services professionals that provide effective mental health services to clients of diverse ages, backgrounds, and exceptional abilities, including strategies for differentiated interventions.
2. Describe the need for both interagency and interorganization collaboration to increase access and quality of services for clinical mental health clients.
3. Evaluate social context to determine appropriate and effective methods used to advocate for clients of diverse ages, backgrounds (religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status), and exceptional abilities.
4. Identify the range of mental health service delivery—such as inpatient, outpatient, partial treatment, and aftercare appropriate to the identified needs of the client.
5. Explore the counselor’s role in developing cultural self-awareness; promoting cultural social justice, advocacy, and conflict resolution; and other culturally supported behaviors that promote optimal wellness and growth of the human spirit, mind, or body.
Learning Activities Studies
Use your Orientation to the Counseling Profession text to read the following:
• Chapter 8, “Multicultural Counseling,” pages 240–273.
• Chapter 12, “Client Issues,” pages 356–386.
Use the Library to read the following:
• Ratts’s 2011 article, “Multiculturalism and Social Justice: Two Sides of the Same Coin,” from the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, volume 39, issue 1, pages 24–37.
• Schwartz, Lent, and Geihsler’s 2011 article, “Gender and Diagnosis of Mental Disorders: Implications for Mental Health Counseling,” from the Journal of Mental Health Counseling, volume 33, issue 4, pages 347–358.
Read the following Web pages:
• Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC)’s Competencies for Counseling With Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Ally Individuals.
• Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC)’s Competencies for Addressing Spiritual and Religious Issues in Counseling.
Discussion 1: 1 page needed with two references.
Alcohol Addiction Case Study
Jared presents in your office after being released from an inpatient alcohol treatment center. He reports a past history of depression and alcohol use. He states he wants to feel good and stay clean. He is distant from his family but he does have several friends. He owns a home with his partner, Kyle. Jared and Kyle have been partners for the past four years. Kyle is an active member of his church and he has a job that provides sufficient income.
It appears that Jared’s best chance at remaining sober is to receive comprehensive services.
For this discussion, please address the following:
• Identify the mental health services such as inpatient, outpatient, partial treatment, aftercare, self-help, and social support that could be utilized as part of his treatment plan.
• What types of interventions do you feel are appropriate for Jared, and which theories and models support your recommendations?
• Describe the strategies you would use to facilitate the interagency/
• Create a list of five local community resources that Jared can utilize as part of his recovery. Describe how you will help Jared understand how these resources will be of benefit to him and how he can access these resources.
• Finally, discuss the importance of family, social networks, and community resources in the treatment of Jared’s depression and alcohol abuse.
Discussion 2: 1 page needed with two references.
In reviewing the various diversity issues involved in life span development, discuss two life issues that may be problematic for you to counsel.
• Given your knowledge about the ACA Code of Ethics (2005), the counseling process and relationship, and client diversity, detail a plan for how you will ensure quality counseling and care that addresses any ethical and legal considerations for clients who present with these life issues.
• Assume that no referral is available for a client presenting with one of your chosen life issues. How will you continue to provide ethically appropriate and culturally responsive care while continuing to be sensitive to your own objection?