Cultural Pluralism

A counselor needs to be competent to work with clients from different cultures. However, there are times when cultural differences between the counselor and the client may influence the counseling relationship. For example, suppose a counselor promotes the cause of independence for all people (i.e., an individualistic culture) while the client’s culture values strong family and community cohesion (i.e., a collectivist culture). In this case, the client’s values are equivalent to dependency in the eyes of the counselor and can adversely influence counseling outcomes. However, if the counselor possesses the cultural competence necessary to work with the client, he or she is better equipped to manage this discrepancy. When situations such as these arise, the multiculturally competent counselor works from the client’s unique worldview, being aware of the needs of the client.

When potential ethical conflicts occur due to various differences, the counselor faces the challenge of making the appropriate ethical decision to ensure that the rights of his or her client are protected while receiving services. The assignment will explore the role of such cultural influences and help counselors achieve cultural pluralism.


On the basis of this module’s readings and research on the Internet, discuss the influence of culture in ethical decision-making. Search for terms found in your course materials such as multicultural counseling, diversity and counseling, and acculturation. Respond to the following in a minimum of 200 words:

  • Address the influence of culture on the individual perceptions of the counselor and the client.
  • Focus on the potential ethical dilemmas that might arise from differences in cultural perspectives. Discuss these examples in your response.
  • Discuss the “cultural tunnel vision.” How could this play a role, and what are the implications for the client?
  • Discuss what a counselor can or should do to raise his or her level of self-awareness in terms of his or her culture.

Support your discussion with resources from professional literature in your response. Professional literature may include the National Louis online library resources; relevant textbooks; peer-reviewed journal articles; and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu or .gov).

Read all of your classmates’ postings and comment on current practices or additional strategies to use when writing your response to other students’ postings. Think about the language you use to comment constructively on other students’ posts. Do not just say “I agree” or “good job.”

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