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Reflecting on Client Differences for Best Practice & Sound Ethics - Essay Example

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1. Scenario One A 37-year-old minister of a Christian religion seeks counseling because of his struggle to come to terms with his own homosexual interests and is weighing up whether or not to come out. The notion of homosexuality is in complete opposition to the values and beliefs of his religion and congregation…
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Reflecting on Client Differences for Best Practice & Sound Ethics
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Download file to see previous pages It responds to the reality that the common ground with which people of today encounter is through the truism of differences and similarities. However, despite the fact of plurality and diversity, what cannot be denied is the supposition that our world is still plagued by social divisions that establish a divide that maybe invisible but utterly obvious. Scenario one presents the reality of the divide that is perpetuated in terms of our sexual differences. Gender and sexuality are two different ideas; however, the discrimination and harassment of sexual minorities are intertwined with the cultural structure of gender (Marshall, 2004). As such, it frames sexual preferences and sexual identities within the accepted parameters of the society, which is heterosexual, and anything that counters it is considered as abnormal, corrupt or even criminal (Corrigan & Matthew, 2003; Ji, 2007; Marshall, 2004). Thus, the reality of stigma, fear, exclusion and being considered as mentally ill is the current vulnerated condition of the client. Moreover, the situation of our client is confounded further by two immensely influential factors – religion and his work. In this regard, the client –counselor relationship opens the opportunity for an authentic encounter between two persons. This is claimed base on the supposition that both the counselor and the client are coming from two different perspectives, different view of the world, variegated values, different perception and acceptance of sexuality and identity. This does not constitute a schism, but instead, it proffers the prospects for the counselor to remove the invisible veil that is consisted of his/her own prejudice and bias (Marshall, 2004). Furthermore, as it accounts for the reality that each of us is working within the frame of own culture and traditions, the counselor is required to become knowledgeable not only of his own cultural context, but is also keen to understand and respect the cultural context of the client and at the same time bridge the gap between the two to establish a relationship that is built on trust (Sue, Arrendondo & Davis, 1994). However, the moment that the counselor starts seeing his/her values and perspectives as superior over that of the client, the problem begins. Since, there is the increase likelihood that we will fail to see and understand the patient from his own circumstances and within his own story and this counters the ethos of multicultural counseling. As such, the circumstances of the minister have the potential of establishing a strain on the client-counselor relationship if the counselor will act as a big brother instead of an equal. On the other hand, the quality of the relation between the client and the counselor is such that it becomes the arena wherein the meeting of two different persons at the time of the need of the other (client)becomes an authentic encounter, an affirmation of each other’s being, an attestation of life (Ponterotto et al., 2004, Ricouer, 1990). However, considering the actual context of the minister vis-a-vis support services, realistically he cannot get support from his friends, family and work. The closest person that he has now is us- his counselors (Corrigan & Matthew, 2003). Coming out of the closet is one of the most difficult decisions that gays and lesbians have to make (Corrigan & Matthew, 2003; Marshall, 2004). In this context, as the counselor, it is our responsibility to be accessible to the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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