Multicultural Counseling

Topics: Patient, Therapy, Anxiety Pages: 2 (777 words) Published: April 17, 2005
Multicultural Counseling
After reading the many articles on the notion of diagnosis and counseling with multicultural/ethnic patients, it has come to my attention that this focus is solely based on stereotypical attitudes. Sure, it can be said that it is important for a therapist to have a background of the patient's heritage and culture, but doesn't this necessarily mean that the outlook of the therapist will be put in a box by doing so? I think multicultural competency is a ridiculous way to improve patient-therapist relationships because of several reasons. First off, generalities and race-centralisms only hinder, not improve, the inner workings of a therapy session. Second, there is no real way to test for competency of multicultural issues. So the question of competency cannot be tested and thus should be removed from the criteria of abilities of a therapist. Third, these types of attachments in the learning of diagnosis and therapy only add to stereotypical and racist behavior. A superior kind of therapeutic relationship depends on both an emotional bond with the therapist and a rational and functioning connection. Both concepts have relevance for multicultural clinical work. I agree that it is important that a therapist explore the ethnic/multicultural background of a patient if and only if the betterment of the patient depends on it. This means that whatever the problem with the patient, it must be of a direct relationship to the culture and race in which the patient takes part. If multicultural competency is a requirement, then therapist will just be forced to have a bias. This bias will be formed in the "classroom" in which multicultural competency takes place. If therapists are taught certain things about certain races, they have no choice but to implement these issues into their practice. I think the implementation of any sort of knowledge is absolutely dependent on the patient and what is the nature of their illness.

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