Multicultural Counseling Social Justice and Advocacy Reaction Paper

  • Length: 3 pages
  • Sources: 1
  • Subject: Counseling
  • Type: Reaction Paper
  • Paper: #55131277

Excerpt from Reaction Paper :

Counseling for Multiculturalism and Social Justice

One interesting theme which emerges in the book Counseling for Multiculturalism and Social Justice: Integration, Theory, and Application is the idea that the multicultural and social justice perspectives counselors may adopt are not necessarily synonymous. Although multiculturalism may stress the need to take into consideration a counseling subject's unique needs, including the fact that the client comes from a more collectivist culture, the social justice perspective emphasizes the need for change and dynamism in society and ensuring fairness for the client in frequently unfair situations. The social justice may challenges some of the client's deeply-held social assumptions and force the client out of his or her comfort zone. The counselor must weigh the need to be sensitive and not impose a particular worldview on the client with an accurate view of the client's situation.

It is true that multiculturalism and the social justice perspective do share some common traits, such as the notion that the ahistorical and individualist perspective of many counseling perspectives must be questioned (Ratts & Pederson, 2014, p.6). Both also stress the fact that "counseling is not a process in which counselors act as experts imparting knowledge to passive and unware clients" but rather are approaches which stress the need for the counselor to learn from the client as a student of humanity (Ratts & Pederson, 2014, p.12). A good counselor will understand the different worldviews of the counselor and the client and not assume that the two are the same, or view the client as inferior because the client seeks help.

Thus multiculturalist and social justice perspectives may be distinct, but they are often complementary. For example, a counselor may need to discuss the rejection of a client by the client's family because of his sexuality. A social justice perspective emphasizes the need for the client to recognize the homophobia exhibited by his family and connecting it to larger social problems. A multicultural perspective emphasizes simply understanding how the client may experience anxiety at defying the cultural norms with which he has been brought up. A counselor does not necessarily have to reject one perspective versus another but at least be aware of when to use one versus the other. Finally, the counselor should always strive to see the client as an individual, without a predetermined plan to approach the problem. The client dictates the approach, not the counselor, and the client in his or her particular environment must be seen holistically.

The emphasis on what has been called the "fifth force" or the social justice aspect of counseling underlines the fact that without addressing the client's needs in a social context, there often can be no meaningful change (Ratts & Pederson, 2014, p.28). The client may appreciate the individual kindness bestowed by the social worker but that will not be enough to engage in fundamental changes…

Sources Used in Document:


Ratts, M. & Pederson, P. (2014). Counseling for multiculturalism and social justice: Integration, theory, and application. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

Cite This Reaction Paper:

"Multicultural Counseling Social Justice And Advocacy" (2017, June 14) Retrieved July 2, 2020, from

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"Multicultural Counseling Social Justice And Advocacy", 14 June 2017, Accessed.2 July. 2020,