Self Exploration in Counseling Psychology

Topics: Psychotherapy, Culture, Therapy Pages: 4 (1708 words) Published: November 12, 2013
As professionals, we must be careful not to force our values on clients but guide them toward making their own decisions. I am of Dutch heritage, and it will always be a part of who I am. The values I ascribe primarily to my culture come from how I was raised and the influence of my family members. My values have changed over time due to my own personal life experiences, world views, relationships, and interaction with others. We are all culture-bound to some extent, and it takes an effort to be always aware to monitor our biases so that they do not affect the formation of counseling relationships. In addition, greater differences could exist within the same cultural group than between different cultural groups. I will not only to be sensitive to other cultures, but to my own as well. The biggest challenge I foresee in forming trusting relationships with clients who are culturally different is remembering not to hold my group as the standard by which to determine appropriate behavior in others. Cultural sensitivity is not limited to one group either, but applies to all cultures. Clients and counselors bring a great variety of culturally learned attitudes, values, assumptions, biases, beliefs, and behaviors to the therapeutic relationship. By being ignorant of the values and attitudes of a diverse range of clients, counselors open themselves to criticism and ineffectiveness. Solutions to dealing with the cultural issue in counseling entail rethinking theories and modifying techniques to meet clients’ unique needs and not simply applying the same techniques with all clients. In my career, I am striving to become more self-aware and remember that the clients are the focus. Counselors must confront their own problems and biases, which can lead them to hold limited expectations and preconceived notions during therapy. When working in the field, I feel it is necessary that one’s values and moral beliefs are not imposed onto a client. The topic is quite problematic as...
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