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Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions 10th Edition

Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions (10th Edition)

Book Edition10th Edition
Author(s)Corey, Corey
PublisherCengage Learning
Ethical Issues in the Diversity Training of Group Workers
Ethical Issues in Forming and Managing Groups
The Case of Emily and Lois
Confidentiality in Groups
Chapter 12, Ethical Issues in the Diversity Training of Group Workers, The Case of John, Exercise 01
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The White family (consisting of wife, husband, four children, and the wife's parents) has been involved in family therapy for several months. During one of the sessions, Naomi (the wife) expresses the desire to return to her career as an athletic coach. This wish causes tremendous resistance on the part of every member of her family. Her husband says that he wants her to continue to be involved in his professional life and that, although he admires her ambitions, he simply feels that it would put too much strain on the entire family if they were both to work outside of the home. Naomi's parents are shocked by their daughter's desire, viewing it as selfish, and they urge her to put the family's welfare first. The children express their desires for a full-time mother. Naomi feels great pressure from all sides, yet she seems committed to following through with her professional plans. She is aware of the sacrifices that would be associated with her going back to work, but she is asking for everyone in the family to make adjustments so she can fulfill her professional dreams. She is convinced that her plans would not be detrimental to the family's welfare. The therapist shows an obvious bias by giving no attention or support to Naomi's desires and by not asking the family to consider making any basic adjustments.


Do you think this therapist is guilty of furthering gender-role stereotypes?


The cultural competency of a counselor indicates the ability to work efficiently with the cross-cultural population. Just because someone knows a lot of different cultures does not mean they will be good at dealing with people from different cultures, that is, counselors, irrespective of their unique cultural learning and experiences, should be self-conscious and mindful of issues of diversity that may surface in a group. Discussion with the group members about their religion, race, or ethnicity might help the counselor become aware of their cultural background.


Counselor J works as a school counselor in a school with a cross-cultural background. To complete their study in counseling, Counselor J had to struggle and overcome various obstacles. While working with high-risk adolescents, Counselor J defines the problem and the goals that are common for every person in the group and fails to consider an ethical view to understand the needs and requirements of the group members. 


Counselor J is not a culturally competent counselor because of the following reasons:

  • Counselor J considered themselves to be competent counselor. However, Counselor J failed to gain an in-depth understanding of the students included in the high-risk group of adolescents. Counselor J did not attempt to assess the needs of the students and rather chose to provide them with the same treatment, irrespective of the group members' individual worldview and needs. Such common treatment indicates that Counselor J is a culturally encapsulated counselor.
  • Counselor J ignored that all the group members may have different pros and cons as high school students, which might be adding to their unique experiences and struggles as young individuals. Additionally, Counselor J provided stereotyped opinions about the parents of every group member [parents being disinterested in the development of their children and the unwillingness to become independent], which could lead to conflict between the group members. Such behavior by Counselor J indicates insensitivity toward cultural differences [pointing out how specific differences in speaking of language might be adding up to differences in learning experiences] of every group member and indicates incompetency as a counselor.
  • Counselor J seems to overlook the effect of community and culture in the treatment of a person since Counselor J did not make use of any learning from the culture or the community of the individual group members during the course of the treatment. Counselor J also did not consider interacting with colleagues, teachers, and administrators in the school and attempted to ignore crucial learning from them regarding the community. Moreover, Counselor J, without any proof, perceived that the other counselors and teachers were least interested in the students and were more engaged in the politics among the working professionals.

Verified Answer

Counselor J's behavior and approach toward the students in the group indicate that Counselor J lacks skills and the training required to become a culturally competent counselor:

  • The aims set for the group by Counselor J are not in the accordance with the cultural background of the group members, and Counselor J does not seem to have enough knowledge about the influence of the culture on the individuals.
  • Counselor J failed to take into consideration the unique experiences of the group members belonging to a diverse school community and attempted to infiltrate the stereotypical bias among the parents and the students of the group by pointing out the differences.
  • Counselor J perceived their colleagues as ignorant working professionals and refrained from gaining any insight about the school community and ignored the unique learning traditions of the group members in terms of cultural background.
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