How to Choose a Culturally Sensitive Counselor

The United States is often referred to as a “melting pot” but what does that mean and how do you choose a culturally sensitive counselor? The term “melting pot” in the context of the United States refers to its diverse population, encompassing various people, languages, styles, and cultures. To select a culturally sensitive therapist in such a multicultural environment, it’s essential to look for agencies that actively embrace and advocate for culturally affirming practices. These practices should incorporate multicultural counseling competencies. This can serve as a guide for fostering a therapeutic relationship that respects and acknowledges cultural differences.

Culturally sensitive agencies prioritize infusing culturally informed services from the client’s initial contact and throughout their treatment journey. This approach creates an optimal environment for personal growth and goal achievement. It ensures that the therapy process is inclusive, respectful, and effective for clients from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Here are some traits indicative of a culturally sensitive counselor

 

Self-Awareness 

A culturally sensitive counselor engages in self-reflection to understand their own attitudes and beliefs, utilizing this insight to inform their interactions with clients.

Broaching

Culturally sensitive counselors demonstrate a willingness to address culturally sensitive topics such as religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status, rather than avoiding them.

Understanding the Client’s Worldview 

Similar to self-awareness, this trait involves the counselor empathizing with the client’s reality and perspective.

Counseling Relationship

Culturally sensitive counselors are attentive, knowledgeable, and skilled. They are proactive in acknowledging and addressing how the client’s worldview influences the counseling relationship.

Counseling and Advocacy

Culturally sensitive counselors advocate for their clients at various levels. This can including intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional, community, public policy, and even international/global levels. This may manifest as involvement in community service or initiatives aimed at positively impacting their community.

How to make the best choice

 

Do your homework

Explore the traits you find most important for a counselor. Counselors can have different specializations, credentials, and guiding theories. Most of this information you can find on the therapists’ website.

Ask questions

It’s okay to want to know a little more about your counselors guiding modality. This will help you make sure your counselor is the best fit during your intake session. Typically, clients are asked if they have any questions or concerns at the close of their session. Come to your session prepared. Bring questions you’d like to ask about traits that are important to you in a counselor. Don’t be afraid to discontinue sessions if you feel it is not a good fit for you.

Have open dialogue

Broach the topics that are important to you but may be a difficult subject matter with open and honest dialogue.

Don’t be afraid to clarify

It’s important that your counselor has the ability to understand your experiences even if they are not their lived experience/identity.

Securing a culturally sensitive counselor is crucial, as it fosters a more comfortable and fruitful therapy experience. Trust and authenticity serve as the catalysts for cultivating an environment conducive to change. If you or someone you know wrestles with feeling heard, understood, or supported, we encourage you to reach out to us at Texas Harmony Counseling. 

You can call us at 832-352-1600 or contact us through our website at txharmonycounseling.com/contact-us.

Remember, you are not alone.

Tershundrea Branch, LPC

Tershundrea Branch, LPC

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