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Cultural diversity plays a key role in understanding the client environment and learning how he/ she perceives it, relate to each other, and improve communication between the counselor and client. In counseling, the relationship between the counselor and client is critical and both have to understand each other in the context of their culture to reach a meaningful goal setting in a counseling process.
Cultural diversity also determines the client’s ability to relate well with the counselor. Without the freedom and appreciation of different cultures between the service provider and client, the counseling session may end up in raw conclusion and judgments, which will further affect the client health and stability (Getceusnow, 2013).
In addition, diversity in cultures enhances comprehensive counseling discussion. Seemingly, this influences better conclusions and enables the counselor to relate well with the client. It helps to identify the relationship of the issue at hand, and, therefore, providing better suggestions. On the contrary, the lack of respect for others culture will provide suggestions based on personal feelings and beliefs, rather than an assessment of the issue on both individual and environmental contexts.
In a country like this, cultural diversity spearheads most of the success in many programs that aim at improving the lives of citizens. Minorities’ and immigrants’ needs may be influenced by their culture identity; this is seen in the manner they relate with the hosting country culture. The psychosocial problems of an immigrant, for instance, may be aggravated to lack of appreciation of each ones’ culture and traditions and a counselor needs to be keen in identifying such issues during a counseling session.
Importance of Gender, Cultural Differences, and Identity
Gender, cultural differences, and identity is vital in helping one to relate well in an environment, which they are more comfortable and feel they are respected. Gender identity, for instance, plays a key role in an individual, their peers and those they relate with can understand them. Identity helps one to know themselves, others, and find similarities among themselves, thus help them connect in the society. Conflict in gender identity pose a major challenge in helping one relate well in their environment – in schools, family, and social places, thus a critical analysis of the client gender must be put into consideration when handling clients with gender issues (LeBeaf, Smaby, & Maddux, 2009).
Cultural differences, on the other hand, are also vital in helping individuals learn from each other and appreciate other cultures. Cultural differences provide a vast society where people of different cultures share their traditions, beliefs, and cultures. An individual’s culture might dictate how he or she relates with each other and enables one to socialize freely without limitations. Cultural differences will enable the society to live in harmony and know they all have differences and similarities in terms of their cultures.
How one can Respect Cultural Differences within the Counseling Setting
Respect for other cultures is very important and plays a significant role in the counseling setting (LeBeauf, 2008). In respect to different culture of the client, the following examples should be considered:
An example includes language consideration, as a counselor, one should always learn to appreciate the clients’ language, however, much he or she is does not comply with a way a client speaks. A client who does not understand English and is striving to express him/ herself should be given time and be listened to without expression of boredom or distasteful form the counselor.
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Personal beliefs is another key example on how one can respect cultural differences; a client may hold some weird beliefs about themselves, their families, their teachers in school or other beliefs; this should not be a barrier for them to get service by the counselor. For instance, if a counselor beliefs their neighbor is a witch and they are the cause of his misery, then as a counselor, one is not supposed to neglect such belief even if the counselor is not superstitious.
A client’s dress code may be different from the culture of the counselor. As a counselor, one must appreciate each other dressing styles, even if the counselor has different preferences. For instance, if he/ she wears clothes that expose almost much of their body parts, and the counselor wears different ones, then, they should not be judgmental and ignore such clients.
Religious beliefs may also be different among different cultures; for instance, if a client believes in idols or does not subscribe to the counselors’ religious beliefs then the counselor should respect that client and provide them with service without discrimination.
In conclusion, cultural diversity plays a major role in the counseling process. This helps in goal setting and coming up with proper discussions and conclusions during counseling. Cultural diversity should not be a barrier to service but rather an addition in identifying proper causes and solutions to the client’s issues. Therefore, counselors must be keen when dealing with clients in order to yield optimum benefits in terms of successful session, which should reflect on the well being of the involved parties. This cannot be achieved without considering diversity and hence, its importance cannot be overemphasized.
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