Multicultural issues are an indisputable part of counselling, and the counselors need to prepare well to meet the needs of different populations and serve them optimally. Every individual exists in social, historical, political and economic contexts and this calls for an increased understanding of these contexts on the behavior of the individuals. The Guidelines on Multicultural Education offer Psychologists a guidance on the changing needs of society and continuing evolution of psychology.
The specific objectives of these guidelines are to provide the psychologists the need to address multiculturalism and diversity in education, esearch, training and practice (APA Guidelines on Multicultural Education 2016). They should have access to relevant terminology and related disciplines along with appropriate terminology that supports the proposed guidelines that stress on the needs of continuing education and training. Terms like multiculturalism and diversity are broad and cover gender, socioeconomic status, age, sexual orientation and disability.
It recognizes the broad dimensions of race, language, ethnicity, class status, education, and other cultural dimensions. All of these are essential aspects that define an individual’s personal dentity and behavior, plus how he interacts with other. Psychologists should be well familiar with those multicultural diversities within and between These Guidelines address ethnic and racial minority groups in the U. S. , where the European- American culture has bene dominant.
Ethnic and racial minority groups include minorities such as Sub-Saharan Black African, Asian and Pacific Islander, Native American/American Indian descent and Latino/Hispanic (APA Guidelines on Multicultural Education 2016). Other groups include students and immigrants from other country and the temporary workers in this country. The guidelines suggest professional behavior and the right conduct for psychologists. Strengths of APA multicultural guidelines (2002) The ethnic and racial minority groups in the U. S. represent a significant proportion and population.
Researchers expect them to be a majority of the population by 2050 as asserted by Nicolas et al. (2006) and the steady shift in U. S. demographics requires immediate and greater awareness on the assessment and treatment of ethnically diverse individuals. APA Multicultural Guidelines a (2002) should be incorporated when treating clients of diverse cultural and racial backgrounds. The Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Psychological practice and interventions can get impacted by dynamic forces, race and ethnicity and identity constructs at all levels.
These Guidelines articulate respect and comprehensiveness for all cultural groups and create a philosophical grounding to influence education, research and practice in the larger society. The Guidelines for Multicultural Education are made of certain principles, and these include encoruaging an ethical conduct of Psychological practice supported by their knowledge of differences in ractices of racial and ethnic groups.
By recognizing the individuals’ socialization experiences, the quality of education, training, practice, and services can be improved. The intersection of racial and ethnic groups enhances the treatment of all people. Psychologists are able to understand the under- representation of ethnic minorities because of approaches towards cultural differences as deficits. Psychologists can promote racial equity and social justice because of their personal and professional roles (APA Guidelines on Multicultural Education 2016).
Weaknesses of APA multicultural guidelines 2002) The Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists stress on the multiple identity factors such as heritage, gender, language, sexual orientation, socioeconomic situation, age and life experience, that can have an impact on the socialization process. Multicultural Guidelines address the different needs of different individuals and especially the marginalized minority groups (American Psychological Association, 2008).
Multiculturalism and cultural competency have bene essential subjects in mental health care and the Psychologists are xpected to be cultural responsiveness and competent. Multicultural Guidelines are supported and advocated in mental health professional Organizations. Yet, the concept has met with controversies because of some key issues surrounding cultural competency (Sue et al. , 2009). The growing diversity of the U. S. population appeals for cultural culturally competent health care.
One of the important arguments in the literature related to cultural competency can be found in establishing multicultural guidelines for the American Mental Health Counseling Association. There are some limitations in cultural competency elated to inadequate descriptors, lack of measurements and various meanings. There is still no compelling evidence if those adaptations promote better clinical outcomes for the ethnic minority. Untested cultural modifications may lead to inadequacies in the treatment of ethnic minorities.
Moreover, there is a major disconnect between cultural competency guidelines and psychotherapy research that examine cultural issues in treatment (Sue et al. , 2009). The guidelines focus on attitudes and skills of the therapist so as to minimize the gap between the client and the care provider. The former has ended to focus on characteristics, values, attitudes, and skills in the care. There is a need to focus on changes in treatment procedures and this may account for the slow progress made in developing culturally competent mental health care (Sue et al. , 2009).
It is feared that by encouraging for multicultural competencies for ethnic minority groups, the other diversity characteristics such as gender, social class, and sexual orientation may get ignored. The culturally adapted interventions cover a wide range of activities and are meant to provide benefit to intervention outcomes. Still, individual ifferences should be considered for the application of those interventions. It is seen that there is little agreement as to when to use cultural interventions as many agree that the guidelines should be introduced under certain conditions.
It is essential to identify cultural gaps under particular treatments, there is still a major divide that exists between cultural competency guidelines and when examining cultural issues in treatment (Sue et al. , 2009). There is a difference between therapist adaptation and treatment adaptation when developing culturally competent mental health care. Those theoretical and practical nadequacies in psychotherapy can spread imprecise models of change. The meanings associated with the terms diversity and multicultural often overlap.
There are areas of identity that need distinct guidelines and recommendations, and encourage the psychologists to play nontraditional roles to meet the particular needs of diverse communities. Despite using the Guidelines and all that hard work, the scope of the Guidelines is felt to be limited. Psychological skills should get more emphasis. The domains of sociocultural awareness personal development, and career planning are still underdeveloped and need more ssistance and practical implementation strategies.
It is felt that many psychology programs may not accept the magnitude of changes suggested in the Guidelines 2. 0 enthusiastically. Still, there is a need to embrace those changes that will help all programs archive the best outcomes. Conclusion Multiculturalism is an integral and driving force in Psychology and the Multicultural Guidelines in the field of psychology play a critical role in education, research, practice, training and organizational change. Still, there is a scope for improvements and advance cultural competence.
There are some suggestions nd recommendations that are being implemented while others are a challenge to implement. Nevertheless, cultural competency is essential to meet the needs of a growing and diverse U. S. society. The given guidelines expire within a certain period. Based on the past research and empirical evidence, the guidelines will continue to expand. Psychologists are starting to realize the importance of racial and ethnic identity into theory, research and practice. There is continuous need for developing a deeper knowledge of race and ethnicity in psychological constructs and respond accordingly.