Knowledge Of Culture In Counselling

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This essay explains how important it is for a counsellor to have a deep systematic and objective knowledge of the culture of a client. We live in a multicultural society. However this does not mean we understand or know about the variety of different cultures and beliefs, which all come with different behaviours. Laungani points out the usefulness of the knowledge of a client’s culture. However, there are practices that do not take a persons culture into consideration when treating patients. These practices can be collectively termed the “colour blind, culture blind way.” This essay will examine both these points of view. Laungani’s point is backed up by the fact that not knowing a client’s culture can lead to misdiagnosis. A client living in a society that has another value system and culture than that of their own can lead to issues. Such issues include client’s exhibiting behaviours that are not recognised by such a society. This, in turn can lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding between the client and the counsellor. For example LaFromboise argues that “Adherence to a specific counselling theory or method may also limit the success of counselling. Many cultural groups do not share the values implied by the method and thus do not share the counsellor’s expectations for the conduct or outcome of the counselling session. To counter these differences, effective counsellors must investigate their clients’ cultural background and be open to flexible definitions of ‘appropriate’ or ‘correct’ behaviour (LaFromboise, 1985). Many groups have particular needs, different from those of the majority. Such groups are usually the ethnic minorities who are not used to counselling and what they need from it might be very different from the majority. Most of these groups also will experience prejudice or some form of discrimination and therefore have suspicions of
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