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In need of a 250 word response/discussion to each of the following forum posts. Agreement/disagreement/and/or continuing the discussion.

Original forum discussion/topic post is as follows:

This week's forum focuses on diverse populations. Mental health practitioners have an ethical and professional responsibility to develop cultural competency.

In this week's forum, respond to the following questions:

  • What are your thoughts on the issue of matching client and counselor?
  • In what areas do you think it is important to be matched with a client?
  • How can you bridge any differences?
  • What are the main characteristics of the culturally skilled counselor?





Forum post response #1

Matching a client with a counselor is important for both the counselor’s and the client’s comfort and the effectiveness of the work they do together. If a client is unwilling to discuss issues with a counselor because the relationship lacks trust or the counselor is biased in some way, then there will be no client progress or resolution. A good therapeutic relationship is a major factor in client progress (Keelan, 2017). There are two areas where fitness is a priority.

Personal fit (Keelan, 2017) involves whether both parties like one another and experience mutual respect. Although an accomplished counselor will be able to overlook physical qualities of a client, the client may not like the way the counselor looks, talks, or walks (Keelan, 2017). The second area, approach and methods (Keelan, 2017), is basically the counselor’s theoretical perspective. A counselor can base her practice on positive psychology methods, but a client might be seeking someone with a psychoanalytical preference. This is one area where cross-cultural fairness in testing and assessment measures, diagnostic reliability, and understanding of the client’s emotional and psychological distress is a vital component of the client-counselor dynamic. Remembering our human qualities while being culturally aware can also add to the relationship.

Bridging differences has a direct correlation to a counselor’s cultural skills (Kottler & Shepard, 2015). A culturally skilled counselor bridges differences by learning all they can about a client’s cultural background, by being aware of their own personal value system, behaviors, and biases, by understanding the limitations brought to sessions through personal culture, by being open to new experiences, and by seeing each client as a unique and valuable human being (Kottler & Shepard, 2015). A culturally skilled counselor is flexible to each client’s needs, taking diversity into consideration. Recognizing that cultural backgrounds affect each client’s understanding of counseling concepts differently (Kottler & Shepard, 2015), the wise counselor will adapt the power differential, client expected growth, time management, and best solutions to every client based on their preferences and needs.

I think a significant factor to consider when working with diverse populations is acknowledging that, as a counselor, you are working on personal biases and prejudices that stereotype others. It is also important to understand and clarify the client’s worldview in light of those stereotypes and to take a stand against any oppression they might be experiencing in life due to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, or specific victimization (Kottler & Shepard, 2015). All people who differ from what society describes as normal face discrimination in one form or another. As effective counselors we must work to combat such discrimination.

Forum post response #2

Class and Professor,

I do believe that only language barrier could be the reason why people or clients could be paired during treatment plan otherwise there's no other need, on else cultural. People should not be paired on else the need is very important.

When matching client with counselor it could be due to the fact that the client only speaks a language that is not English or so, otherwise say the client has a believe or culture that permits them to only talk to doctor who came from their origin. This is the important time to Match the client with the right counselor because of their religious and cultural believe. Or otherwise if the person does not speak English at all.

This is how I would bridge any difference. Before any person could come to USA, or win a visa to come to the United States, the person must know how to speak English. This is a true fact. Of course most people come with educational purposes provided they were educated with English language. Nevertheless if a person persist on speaking a foreign language that no one understands then it is important to find someone who could interpret or be a doctor to them.

Characteristics of culturally skilled counselor include:

1. The attitude and belief of the counselor will be better off than putting together people without the same culture.

2. People with the same culture has the same kind of knowledge and this will help with the treatment plan. It will make them able to communicate wisely.

3. A culturally skilled counselor should be able to be trusted. If it is hard to trust a counselor who speaks another language to a person who is a client, then it is really against the working procedure at the health care place. The USA has been attacked by terrorists already and we don't want this to happen again.

4. A culturally skilled counselor should be polite enough to work with the clients and their conditions. Most people are mean to people from their place of living (country) and those kind of people are people who don't want to go back to the Village no more. If they develop attitude towards the client, it is a bad thing and this would affect the treatment for the client.

5. Having a cultural background makes treatment option easier. This is because most doctors and nurses came from places that are not United States and with the fact of the background they have, they will be able to communicate and know problem of the people. They would have a better understanding of the problem that the person or client is going through.

Forum post response #3

Hello Everyone,

  • When it comes to my thoughts on the issue of matching client and counselor is something I felt is very diversified and related to cultural competency, race, and sexuality. The reason is that, client's might feel very comfortable and confident sharing their confidential information with counselor's who are culturally competent with client's cultural background and is able to understand the client during therapeutic process compared to counselor's who have no cultural knowledge understanding the needs and beliefs of the client. Also, client's might feel very save with counselor's who are from the same race and ethnicity which will make them stay more longer during therapeutic treatment compared to cultural mismatch as a result of trust and confidence. Sometimes, clients might put sexuality into consideration, which is found to be very common with adolescents who might insist of having same sexed counselors. They believe their confidential information is more protected and secured with same-sexed counselors which might increased the needs of counseling relationships compared to the opposite sex as a result of sex differences.
  • I absolutely believe there are different areas it is important to be matched with a client. First and foremost, due to the fact that racism, discrimination, stereotype, and prejudice is an ongoing issues related to human nature and a challenging factor in our society, this might be a challenging factor to put into consideration. Secondly, due to the practice of different sexuality going on in our society which include homosexuality, bisexuality, heterosexuality, gay, lesbianism, and a lot more. This might be something that as well that is very important factor to be matched with a client's in order to avoid negative issues associated with threat of rape, sexual assault, and other forms of discrimination during therapeutic process. Also, due to lack of professional cultural competency with the counselor understanding the client's values, belief system, cultures, and religion might be something that needs to be matched with a client towards therapeutic relationship of a positive outcome.
  • I believe we as professionals can bridge any differences in different ways associated with the client's cultures, values, belief system, and other behaviors in order to create a professional counseling relationship with the client. Based on the fact that we as professionals, it is our responsibility and obligation to ensure that the client's well-being is our ultimate priority, having a professional competency understanding the client's values, beliefs, and other cultural competency in order to feel accepted and loved in very essential. Also, developing a cultural competent skills to adapt with the client's demand in order to make the counseling process a success is very paramount. Lastly, having the tolerance applying a critical time management of openness and understanding the client's needs and demand in order not to see the counselor differently is very paramount because the more the counselor is welling and able to listen to their client's the better the client will have the feelings of acceptance to share their personal related issues to improve the counseling process a success. This also on the other hand will help the counselor to map out a positive strategy of treatment as well.
  • There are different characteristics for a culturally skilled counselor during therapeutic intervention. This helps to improve the therapeutic process such as communication skills, flexibility, acceptance and not judgmental, empathy and compassionate attitude, problem- solving skills, rapport-building skills, self-awareness, and professional competency. These are very important characteristics that are highly required for a culturally skilled counselor to possess during therapeutic intervention to be a success. The ability as a professional to see the client's problem as ours and be able to change their negative perception towards such negative harmful behavior is very paramount to improve the therapeutic process. I absolutely believe all of these characteristics mentioned is an inbuilt confidence and trust that client's are expecting from a culturally skilled counselor's to help improve the therapeutic process.

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