Monday, May 25, 2015

Ethical Practices with Culturally Diverse Clients

■ 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. offers online prep for NASW. Unlimited access to practice exams, case studies, simulations, video, audio, and flash cards 24/7.