■ Current ethical codes are based on individualism which is a Western characteristic.
■ There is significantly less focus on the role of family, group identity, lifestyle and religious beliefs which have equal importance to individuality in other cultures.
■ The AAMFT code of ethics states “therapists do not discriminate against or refuse professional service to anyone on the basis of race, sex, religion, or national origin.”
■ It is ethical for counselors to know their own biases and how they may impact service delivery.
■ Cultural Competence
o Recognize cultural diversity
o Understand the role that culture and ethnicity play in the sociopsychological and economic development of diverse populations
o Understand that socioeconomic and political factors significantly impact the psychosocial, political, and economic development of ethnic and culturally diverse groups
o Help clients to understand, maintain, or resolve their own cultural identification
o Understand the interaction of culture, gender, and sexual orientation on behavior and needs
■ Implications for Clinicians
o Many ethical codes have not yet adequately dealt with some cultural issues related to technology and assessment or the counseling relationship with culturally diverse clients.
o Ethnic minorities will continue to underutilize services, prematurely terminate, or fail to show positive treatment outcomes if remedies are not applied and enforced.
o Goal is to learn how to identify, understand, and accommodate the needs of differing clients.
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