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Advocacy for Counseling Profession and Client
Advocacy for Counseling Profession and Client
The counseling profession has for a long time been applied to help clients deal with their emotional problems, as well as retain their coping mechanisms. Counseling is a helping profession, which helps individuals deal with and live through disappointing moments, which disable the coping mechanisms or people. Arguably, human beings of all races and color experience stressing moments at one point in their life. Stressing moments of life could entail feelings of emotional turmoil after losing a relative of a close friend, or a life experience that gives individuals horrible memories and feelings. Left on their own, stressed individuals develops severe dysfunctions, which temper with the daily activities and functioning of individuals. Most importantly, counseling intervention is vital to the life individuals because people who are stressed can easily find their way to depression. Unless such dysfunctions are treated, they can kill clients within days (Murphy-Berman, 2003). This explanation spells out the significance of the counseling profession, which is crucial for the structure of this paper (Chin, 2004). This brief overview will analyze the impact of prejudice and bias on counseling relationships. Further, the paper will explore responsibilities of a professional counselor to advocate for parity and diversity of service.
Prejudice and Bias and Counseling
Prejudice describes the negative assumption or prejudgment made concerning an individual, without significant information to judge such an individual. Prejudice makes people reach conclusions about other people without certainty or accuracy. Prejudice is preconceived judgment on an individual due to gender, race, disability, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation among others (Neukrug, 2001). In most cases, prejudice leads to other severe social evils as discrimination, which exposes people to mistreatment because of their appearance, but not their character or potential. On the same note, Bias describes an inclination of holding a partial perspective at the cost other valid alternatives (Kottler & Shepard, 2011). A biased aspect lacks a neutral view point; as they are always one-sided. It is imperative to note that prejudice and bias are used interchangeably, and they may mean more or else the same thing (Murphy-Berman, 2003).
The two terms discussed above, prejudice and bias, are extremely significant in counseling relationships. Prejudice and bias affect the establishment of a productive relationship between the counselor and the client. There are times when counselors are tempted to judge their clients with their appearance and form an attitude about these people (Neukrug, 2001). It is essential that a counselor maintains an enabling environment and regard every client with respect and dignity. A counseling intervention cannot be effective, unless the client feels that he is being appreciated. It is imperative for a counselor to comprehend the fact that the counseling profession is placed at the centre of human life. This position means people will seek counseling service from different walks of life, and they come with different issues of life.
Essentially, if a counselor is guided by prejudice or bias in their judgments, then the counseling relationship that will be developed will be entirely unproductive; as this will affect the intervention and case building (Neukrug, 2001). A counselor should avoid judging people with their ethnicity of color. Counselors should listen to every client’s story, as well as handle the case objectively as a counselor one cannot chose the clients or the race of the clients that come for help (Murphy-Berman, 2003). Therefore, one should be prepared to deal with people of all races and religious beliefs using a single concept that they are all clients seeking professional help. It has been proved beyond doubt that human beings are all unique and different, and they cannot behave the same. These differences are the ones that make people who they are, and nobody should assume that people are supposed to this way or that way (Neukrug, 2001). The best thing that a counselor should do is accept cultural relativism and individual differences as people cannot behave in the same way as other people (Murphy-Berman, 2003).
Notably, a person can be inclined or biased over another person, without any intention to do s, or unconsciously (Murphy-Berman, 2003). This possibility is a serious issue to my work because I am strategically positioned to receive clients from different racial groups, as well as cultural beliefs. The greatest problem is that I can unconsciously express prejudice and bias to a client, and this would automatically affect my relationship with the client (Murphy-Berman, 2003). These possibilities would easily cripple my intervention approach and eventually temper with the outcome.
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