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Running head: SOCIAL AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY PAPER 1 Social and Cultural Diversity Paper Bridgette Williams, LMSW, MSW Grand Canyon University CNL 590: Counseling the Culturally Diverse July 10, 2019
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY PAPER 2 Abstract As a professional counselor, it is imperative to understand how cultural factors such as age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, race, economic status, social/ethnic customs, and beliefs can impact the counseling relationship. Thus, the counselor must be aware of personal bias(es) before rendering services to clients from multicultural backgrounds. In this paper, we will discuss why it is important to be aware of personal bias(es) and how it can affect therapeutic relationship when working with clients from multicultural backgrounds. We will demonstrate an understanding of our personal experiences with discrimination and how our cultural backgrounds impacted these experiences. We will identify and discuss personal experiences with individuals from other cultural backgrounds and describe those interactions. Lastly, we will discuss the ACA/NAADAC Code of Ethics and how it relates to our profession and cultural diversity.
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY PAPER 3 Social and Cultural Diversity in the U.S The United States (US) has been recognized as the land of social and cultural diversity. Because of its vast size, cultural diversity and blending of multicultural backgrounds, the U.S. is known as the melting pot. Cultural diversity provides us an opportunity to become aware, recognize and esteem distinguished ways of being that are not necessarily our own. The term “culture” is used to describe the cultural traits and understanding of individuals from other ethnic and racial backgrounds. The word culture is typically used to identify beliefs, values, attitudes and customs shared by a certain group of people. Cultural diversity plays an important part in professional counseling. As a professional, it is essential to remain open to others’ viewpoints, ideas, progress and learning experiences without being judgmental. Cultural diversity provides the counselor an opportunity to embrace the unknown and a different perspective shared in diverse populations. Personal Cultural Bias(es) Before engaging or building rapport with a client, it is important that the counselor identify and recognize his/her own personal bias(es) before rendering services. Therefore, for the therapeutic experience to be effective and successful, the counselor must seek to identify and confront any psychological and/or emotional limitations that might hinder the therapeutic alliance. According to Myers, Morse, & Wheeler (2014), counselors will be faced with difficult situations when working closely with individuals from diverse backgrounds. Unethical issues may arise if the counselor allows his/her own personal biases or beliefs to interfere with the therapeutic experience. The writers in this paper discuss how counselors own cultural biases can negatively affect the counseling relationship and create ethical issues. Myers, et al (2014) implies

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