Diversity in a Counselling Environment Essay
In today's society the concept of both identity and human diversity have become both an integral and important aspect of people's daily lives. In the case of a counsellor's role, where a mutually trusting therapeutic environment is conducive to the success of any outcomes of therapy, it has become paramount for today's professional counsellor to acknowledge and address these issues when entering into any therapeutic relationship with clients.
With global migration easily available to many individuals, the World has become a profoundly multicultural, multi-ethnic and multinational place, with many millions of people moving to live within new cultures. As a result, it is estimated that one in every 35 people is such an international immigrant. (Lago, 2011) Such a change in the demographics of potential clients for any counsellor/psychotherapist today has resulted in a high probability that they will come in to contact with individuals of differing race, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs or other ideologies.
The issues regarding identity is invariably complex and can be continually changing (Kettle, 2004) and needs to be successfully navigated by the counsellor to ensure a mutually respectful relationship is created between them and the client in order for any therapeutically beneficial outcome to be achieved. If these identity issues are not addressed the effect could be very harmful and detrimental to any potential relationship due to the dynamics of power and control between the client and counsellor (McKenzie, 1986; Lago, 2011). This essay will describe the key issues of what it is that gives us our identity and what it means to be diverse.
A simple definition for diversity can be given as being 'very different' (Oxforddictionaries.com, 2012). It can however, be argued that it is much more than that. It is having an...