The Journey to Cultural Competence

The Journey to Cultural Competence

INTRODUCTION
As a counselor in an increasingly diverse world you will be called upon to work effectively with clients from all walks of life. Cultural competence and social justice advocacy are essential to ethical counseling practice, and are seen by many as inherent to what it means to be a counselor. The American Counseling Association (2011) defines counseling as a “professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health wellness, education and career goals” (American Counseling Association, 2011, p. 65).
Diversity is a term that encompasses a range of bio-psycho-social characteristics (such as age, ethnicity, gender, physical appearance and ability, race, sexual identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and religion) that serve not only to distinguish individuals and groups, but also translate to experiences of privilege and oppression in day-to-day experience. The ethical and professional standards of practice across our specialization areas hold us accountable for taking into account how diversity impacts us, our clients, and the counseling process, and for speaking up to promote a more just world.
In this course we will be challenged to reflect on our diversity, as individuals and in dialogue with one another, as an important step in becoming culturally competent. Our text speaks to the range of emotions we may experience as we begin to explore what diversity has meant for us and our colleagues, in terms of experiences of privilege or oppression. Mock (2008) reminds clinicians and trainees that cultural competence “is not an end destination but a continuous journey. After all, as is the case with all ‘isms’… getting ‘sick’ may not have been our fault but getting ‘well’ might very well be one of our primary responsibilities as practitioners” (p. 427). As we begin this journey it will be important to be open to one another’s stories, to be caring with yourself and others, and to be courageous as we explore what it means to be a cultural being.
References
American Counseling Association. (2011). Counseling definition endorsed by 29 diverse organizations. Counseling Today, 53(9), 65.
Mock, M. (2008). Visioning social justice: Narrative of diversity, social location, and personal compassion. In M. McGoldrick & K. V. Hardy (Eds.), Re-visioning family therapy: Race, culture and gender in clinical practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford.

OBJECTIVE
• TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE THIS LEARNING UNIT, YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO:
1. ANALYZE THE INFLUENCE OF CULTURE ON ATTITUDES, VALUES, PERCEPTIONS, HUMAN BEHAVIOR, AND INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS.
2. RECOGNIZE CONTEXTUAL AND SYSTEMIC DYNAMICS (SUCH AS GENDER, AGE, SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, CULTURE, RACE, ETHNICITY, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, SPIRITUALITY, LARGER SYSTEMS, AND SOCIAL CONTEXT) THAT IMPACT COUNSELING.
3. IDENTIFY PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS THAT PROMOTE COUNSELING AND ADVOCACY COMPETENCE IN WORKING WITH MULTICULTURAL CLIENTS.
4. PREPARE FOR THE CULTURAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY ASSIGNMENT BY IDENTIFYING FAMILY MEMBERS FOR YOUR INTERVIEW AND GATHERING PERSONAL STORIES, JOURNALING, ET CETERA.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES: READING STUDIES
USE YOUR TEXTBOOK, SUE AND SUE’S COUNSELING THE CULTURALLY DIVERSE: THEORY AND PRACTICE, TO COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING:
• READ CHAPTER 1, “THE MULTICULTURAL JOURNEY TO CULTURAL COMPETENCE: PERSONAL NARRATIVES,” PAGES 5–31.
USE THE LIBRARY TO COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING:
• READ ARREDONDO’S 1999 ARTICLE, “MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING COMPETENCIES AS TOOLS TO ADDRESS OPPRESSION AND RACISM,” FROM JOURNAL OF COUNSELING AND DEVELOPMENT, VOLUME 77, ISSUE 1, PAGES 102–107.
USE THE INTERNET TO LOCATE AND EXPLORE THE CODE OF ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS RELATED TO CULTURAL COMPETENCE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ADVOCACY FOR YOUR PROFESSION (YOU WILL USE THESE CODES OF ETHICS TO COMPLETE UNIT 1 DISCUSSION 2, CULTURAL COMPETENCE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ADVOCACY):
• ALL: AMERICAN COUNSELING ASSOCIATION. EXPLORE THE ACA WEB SITE AND BROWSE THE PUBLICATIONS. SPECIFICALLY, READ THESE PUBLICATIONS:
O ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS.
O ADVOCACY COMPETENCY DOMAINS.
• ADDICTIONS COUNSELING: NAADAC: THE ASSOCIATION FOR ADDICTION PROFESSIONALS.
• CAREER COUNSELING: NATIONAL CAREER DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION.
• MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY: AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY.
• MENTAL HEALTH: AMERICAN MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS ASSOCIATION.
• SCHOOL COUNSELING: AMERICAN SCHOOL COUNSELOR ASSOCIATION.

• OPTIONAL READINGS
THE LITERATURE IS RICH WITH RESOURCES TO HELP COUNSELORS AND THERAPISTS DELVE MORE DEEPLY INTO THE TOPICS BEING COVERED IN THIS COURSE AND TO PURSUE THEIR OWN SPECIAL INTERESTS. IN EACH UNIT YOU WILL FIND A REFERENCE LIST COMPILED BY EXPERTS IN EACH OF THE SPECIALIZATION AREAS AT CAPELLA UNIVERSITY; LOOK TO THESE FOR INFORMATION AND USE AS YOU WISH IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. PLEASE NOTE THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO DRAW FROM THESE RESOURCES FOR YOUR DISCUSSIONS AND ASSIGNMENTS; HOWEVER, YOU SHOULD NOT RELY EXCLUSIVELY ON THESE RESOURCES IN COMPLETING ASSIGNMENTS THAT REQUIRE LIBRARY RESEARCH.
• IN MCGOLDRICK AND HARDY’S RE-VISIONING FAMILY THERAPY: RACE, CULTURE, AND GENDER IN CLINICAL PRACTICE (2ND ED.), READ THE HARDY AND LASZLOFFY CHAPTER, “THE DYNAMICS OF A PRO-RACIST IDEOLOGY: IMPLICATIONS FOR FAMILY THERAPISTS,” PAGES 225–237.
• SEARCH THE LIBRARY TO FIND AND READ KLEINIG’S 2008 ARTICLE, “THE ETHICS OF HARM REDUCTION,” IN SUBSTANCE USE & MISUSE, VOLUME 43, ISSUE 1, PAGES 1–16. Substance Use & Misuse, volume 43, issue 1, pages 1–16.

Unit 1 Study 2
Identify Family Member for Cultural Autobiography
In Unit 5, you will be submitting the assignment Cultural Autobiography. Your cultural autobiography is a combination of data you collect from interviewing a family member (or members), a self-reflection, and peer-reviewed article readings. Start thinking about family members who would have the time and interest to help you delve into your family background. You are required to interview at least one family member. Jotting down notes and thoughts about your family and cultural heritage will also help your self-reflection piece.

Question 1: 1 page needed with two references.
Cultural Introductions
In Chapter 1, Sue and Sue emphasize that understanding diverse groups and what it means to be disempowered requires more than reading and coursework. They urge us to be courageous in exploring ourselves, and others, as cultural beings; to take care to listen to personal narratives and understand what it means to be marginalized, and to seek out experiences with people who are different from us.
In this course we have a clear opportunity to learn from one another and the diverse experiences each of us brings. For this discussion activity, prepare a post that accomplishes the following:
• Introduce yourself to your peers, first speaking to one or two aspects of you and your family members’ bio-psycho-social identities (such as age, ethnicity, family configuration, gender, immigration history or status, physical appearance, physical ability, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, et cetera) that have been salient in your life, which you feel safe sharing, and how they have resulted in challenges or opportunities.
• Then speak to one or two aspects of the bio-psycho-social identities (yours and your family members’) that have not been salient for you, and consider why you have not paid much to attention these aspects of yourself.
• Discuss how these aspects of your identities have resulted in challenges or opportunities for you and/or your family members.

Question 2: 1page needed with two references.
Cultural Competence and Social Justice Advocacy
The 2005 ACA Code of Ethics addresses the ethical responsibilities of counselors with respect to providing counseling in a culturally sensitive manner, and to advocating for the removal of barriers that hamper the growth and development of clients. As you read, ACA also endorses professional standards related to cultural competence and social justice advocacy. Based on your visit to the website of the professional association for your specialization area (Addiction Counseling), what did you find with respect to ethical codes and standards of practice (For example, does the NCDA have its own Code of Ethics? Does the AAMFT have professional standards related to Advocacy?) What other resources or information did you notice on the site? Is there a peer-reviewed journal affiliated with your professional association?

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