Ethics and Cross Cultural Counseling

Topics: Ethics, Culture, Mental health professional Pages: 9 (1806 words) Published: May 26, 2014

Kendra DiLascio
February 23, 2014
Unit 7 Assignment

Culture is a group's way of life. It is visible and invisible, cognitive and affective, conscious and unconscious, and much more. There are at least five sources of it. They are the universal, ecological, national, regional, and racio-ethnic tributaries. Interactively, they shape and influence all human behavior, including counseling. The majority of the professional groups or sub-groups such as the counseling industry have moral codes of conducts, procedures and laws. These behavioral principles are geared towards counselors for high efficiency and success rates in therapy sessions (Hill, 2004). They help maintain the integrity of the counselor which helps maintain the trust between the therapist and the patient. There are inconsistencies and discrepancies with these moral values or code of conducts (Jennings et al., 2005) .Many professionals put precedence over rules and regulations, just as many Christians can be overly zealous with God’s commands that they miss out in creating and maintaining meaningful relationships. Many counselors can also miss out on the strengths of relationships as they focus on just the foundational moral values they bring into their professions (Jennings, 2005) In other words, it is not merely enough to go by the “codes” in one’s professional culture. These codes can be too broad. One’s beliefs, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, justice and sound mind should also be a direct and large part in the behavior of a counselor. Each profession, including the counseling profession must create a balance or equilibrium for such rules. Cultural norms or societal standards are highly regulated principles set forth by a certain group within a profession. For instance, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs regulate the principles and procedures within the counseling profession. The principles set forth are guidance procedures that keep the professionals professional, and the clients protected. Such accrediting bodies or regulatory agencies also set forth educational and professional backgrounds for counselors to adhere to or live by. In other words, counseling groups require their professionals to attain certain amount of education, training and experience to ensure that their professionals are skilled and prepared to counsel clients from various diversities and cultural and emotional backgrounds (Hill, 2004). The counselor’s competence is a priority. The main issue, when it comes to competence, is the fact that the counselor has built ample set of skills, through education and experience, in order to effectively, successfully and ethically counsel others relationally (Jennings , 2005) After all, psychologists are professionals who use most of their time observing human behavior and experiences and interpreting these into progressive theories that can benefit others mentally and emotionally in their physical, social and environmental relationships. The professional must know how to deal with people and this includes listening, suggesting, advising and creating plans for individuals. These plans can highly affect the individuals’ self esteem and progress. Ethical issues in social work group settings are challenging. It’s far more complex than what the general public knows about. One of the ethical standards is that the group leader must have ample amount of experience in different types of group settings; must have a very extensive perspective; and must be equipped to face the obstacles and complexities that rise more commonly in group settings. Therapists must be able to overcome conflicts and tackle crises . Therefore, the therapist must be skilled in screening potential group members Conflicts are inevitable in any group setting because individuals are made up of different personalities, educational and socio-economic backgrounds and mental, physical...
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