SAGE Journal Articles
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This article examines current and historical trends in psychotherapy research and practice with racial/ethnic minority populations. Initially, research on Derald Sue’s multicultural counseling competencies is provided as a foundation to further examine the evidence regarding effective cultural adaptations to mainstream treatment approaches, such as cognitive-behavior therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy. Next, a brief outline of Carl Rogers’s psychotherapy research tradition is presented, with a focus on both past and present evidence suggesting that person-centered therapy may be effective across diagnoses, as well as cultures. Using psychotherapy evidence from both the latter half of the 20th century and the initial decades of the 21st century, cultural adaptations to previously hypothesized person-centered therapy mechanisms of change are proposed. In particular, this culturally adapted person-centered approach is suggested to provide a competent and effective treatment system for racial/ethnic minority clients and families.
Questions to Consider:
- According to the author, “In all, the effectiveness of a culturally adapted person-centered approach is dependent on the therapist and his or her willingness to be a person, flawed yet genuine, in the presence of the client.” What does this statement mean to you as you enter the field?
- Compare and contrast the historical and current trends in psychotherapy research and practice with racial/ethnic minority populations as discussed in this article.
- Summarize Sue’s multicultural counseling competencies and assess your current level of proficiency and comfort with each one.
- Do you have a case at your field site where a culturally adapted person-centered approach would be appropriate? How can you work with your supervisor to implement this approach to provide a competent and effective treatment system for a racial/ethnic minority client?
The construct of multicultural competence has gained much currency in the counseling psychology literature. This article provides a critique of the multicultural counseling competencies and argues that counseling psychology’s operationalization of multicultural competence must be grounded in a commitment to social justice. Such a commitment necessitates an expansion of our professional activities beyond counseling and psychotherapy. While counseling is one way to provide services to clients from oppressed groups, it is limited in its ability to foster social change. Engaging in advocacy, prevention, and outreach is critical to social justice efforts, as is grounding teaching and research in collaborative and social action processes.
Questions to Consider:
- Do you agree with the following statement from this article: “If counseling psychology is to be committed to an agenda of multiculturalism, and there is no doubt that this commitment exists, then the field must also be committed to social justice.” Please explain how you would (or would not) interpret this statement as a personal/professional call to action?
- What are the 7 multicultural counseling competencies (of the total 31) that explicitly or implicitly articulate ways in which counselors should attend to issues of oppression?
- A later approach to social justice embraced by several contemporary social justice scholars is referred to as a communitarian model of justice or deliberative justice. How is this model of social justice different from older models in terms of decision making and resources?
- After reading this article, how has your understanding of multicultural competence grown? Do you believe that your obligation as a counselor reaches further than your actual clients of record? Where is your boundary of personal/professional responsibility to social justice?
Intimate partner sexual assault is a prevalent form of violence against women and outnumbers both stranger and acquaintance sexual assault. However, very little information is available on intimate partner sexual assault, let alone the experience and perception of different ethnicities in sexually violent relationships. To be effective, it is necessary for multiculturally competent counselors to understand the unique cultural, social, and economic experience of each couple to implement appropriate interventions.
Questions to Consider:
- Were you surprised to see this article in the multicultural section of these materials? As you read chapter 7 of your text, did you consider gender to be part of multicultural counseling competency? Does your gender identity have a part in this multicultural equation?
- This article reads as if the victim/survivor will always be female. Is that what you would expect as well? Would anything change if the victim/survivor were male?
- Would it be difficult for you to to initiate the discussions detailed in this article? Would there be clients from cultures that would be more difficult for you help effectively? Why or why not? How can you use supervision to process this article?