This paper shall discuss the different ethical dilemmas in counseling focusing on working with diverse clients. Various scholarly studies and researchers on the topic shall be evaluated for this study in the hope of coming up with an academic evaluation of this subject matter.
In a paper by Sadeghi, Fischer, and House (2003), the authors discussed how the lack of culturally sensitive materials taught in counseling programs can make multicultural counseling ineffective. Many counseling programs which are taught to counselors still do not consider the issues which refer specifically to ethnic minorities (Sadeghi, Fischer, & House, 2003). In instances when the counselors are not properly trained and equipped with the expertise to handle multicultural or multiethnic clients, they cannot also deal with or interpret the client’s situation with racial and ethnic sensitivity. One dilemma is when the counselor fosters independence in the client in order to deal with problems and conflicts. Setting forth this solution is not a welcome solution for some clients when the latter’s culture relies on a collective approach to solving problems (Sadeghi, Fischer, & House, 2003). Western culture, admittedly, focuses on a person’s independence, individualism, empowerment, and on taking responsibility for one’s own life. However, in some Asian cultures, this is often not sound advice because they are family-centric and they are collective in their decision-making and in handling their problems and issues. An American counselor advising an Asian client must not allow his personal preferences and what he has been taught in counseling programs to dominate his session with his client (Sadeghi, Fischer, & House, 2003).
Another dilemma which is faced by counselors in a multicultural setting is the fact that more often than not, the personal preferences or opinions of the counselor comes into conflict with the values and practices of the client.