Counselling Treatment Practices and Cultural Bias – Social&Family Issues Example

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"Counselling Treatment Practices and Cultural Bias" is a perfect example of a paper on social and family issues. The chances of cultural bias in counseling have been increased by the globalization and urbanization that have brought many people from diverse cultures together. However, due to the fact that mental problems affect all these people, they at some point need counselors and in such incidents, cases of cultural bias do arise due to little or no information about the culture of the patient. In other circumstances, this can be attributed to the perceived stereotypes about certain cultures that may be adopted by the counselor leading to such bias problems.

The bias on the cultural aspect can be based on several aspects like demography, status, and variables. In most cases, psychologists have always had a link in which the social characteristics ad psychological phenomena are attributed to cultural differences. In many cases, it may be unintentional despite considering themselves as fair-minded professionals. In such cases, it arises that they may come out as racists albeit subconsciously. The issue of bias in counseling will come in the aspect of a counselor trying to do the right thing according to the ethics of the culture and sticking to the professional code of conduct (Pedersen, 2007). According to Patterson (1996), the other forms of bias can come in the form of communication, especially for minority groups.

Some of the ethnic groups will not have access to this mental health service due to the counselors who are present may not be bilingual hence unless they are also members of the minority group in question, will be rendered unable to deliver any service to patients.

Besides the language barrier, the therapists may be unable to understand their values, lifestyles and backgrounds hence cannot give a treatment procedure that is culturally responsive. As an example counseling, a Native American will be hard unless the therapist understands their values and norms. Successful Counselling Practices The more commonly employed method of counseling is known as Cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a form of therapy that is aimed at changing the negative thought patterns and any maladaptive beliefs; these may be ideas about oneself that are false and leads to a negative impact.

Behavior therapy is one that is aimed at a change in the pattern of behavior. The method is based on principles of learning by provision of punishment for bad behavior and rewards for proper conduct. The final method is that of biomedical therapy, this involves the administering of drugs to assist in the management of mental health problems. The drugs used may be for the treatment of conditions like depression and psychosis. In such cases, the psychiatrists after discussion with the patient settle on the suitable course of medication to be taken (Patterson, 1996). The reason for differential treatment to be applied for various ethnic groups in counseling is because of the culture.

Each culture has diverse values, beliefs, and norms hence the technique that will be employed in each case has to be culturally relevant and appropriate. Failure of which can lead to problems due to varying dynamics. In values, there are some that are universal as they are common to many ethnicities, and there are those that are specific to a certain ethnic group.

Hence the approach in such cases has to be in line with the values of the patient. Some cultures do not disclose as it is not part of them while others do hence the treatment method in such cases will have to be different. In addition, the counselor in order to choose an effective method of therapy has to be familiar with the client's culture or else will result in assumptions that may be wrong and eventually wrong therapy options (McLeod, 2007). In conclusion, there are many diverse cultures that need consideration in counseling.

This is especially important in minority groups where little information about their beliefs may be available. In such situations and lack of knowledge of their values may result in the wrong method of therapy for them. Due to this, for effective therapy, the counselors need to be aware of the culture before selecting an appropriate method for therapy.                                    


McLeod, J. (2007). Counselling Skill. New York: McGraw-Hill International

Patterson, C.H. (1996). Multicultural counselling: from diversity to universality. Journal of Counselling and Development, 74, 227-231.

Pedersen, P. (2007). Ethics, Competence and Professional Issues in Cross-Cultural Counselling. Retrieved on 15th October 2011 from

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