Cultural Considerations in Building a Counseling Relationship
Counseling is a process in which a counselor and client must build a good rapport and relationship in order to be successful in reaching the goal at hand. There are several stages of counseling which must be considered when counselors intend to build a relationship with their client, each stage being equally important in leading to the next stage. The stages of counseling include: establishing the working relationship, assessing or defining the presenting problem, identifying and setting goals, choosing and initiating interventions and planning and introducing termination and follow-up (Hackney & Comier, 2013). I will discuss each of the stages of counseling and cultural considerations that must be taken in building a counseling relationship.
Stages of Counseling
Establishing a relationship with clients refer the counselor building a rapport with their clients. This involves factors such as respect, trust, psychological comfort, and shared purpose. This rapport is the psychological climate that emerges from the interpersonal contact between a counselor and their client (Hackney & Comier, 2013). In order for the counseling process to be successful a positive rapport must be established. Building a rapport is an ongoing process that must be worked on continuously. This process requires a high level of tact and adequate socialization skills. In addition, special consideration should be taken into factors and preexisting conditions, such as the clients comfort level in seeking professional assistance, their personal background and experiences and the client’s perceptions of their counselor, which may affect building a positive rapport with a client. With these anticipations the counselor will know how to work around these impediments and continue in their effort to build a positive relationship.
The stage of assessment occurs concurrently with the process of building a relationship with a client and involves gaining insight into the client’s life and their understanding of motive for seeking the assistance of a counselor. As cited in Hackney & Cornier (2013) the assessment process should be a way of saying to the person, “You are special and I want to get to know you and understand why you are the way you are.” Assessment depends on and can be effected by the counselor’s theoretical and philosophical view, their interpretation and understanding of the client’s condition and the cultural frame of reference of the client and how it imposes on their worldview (Hackney & Comier, 2013). Assessment requires a great deal of patience, attentiveness, skillful observations and appropriate inquiries by the counselor in order to formulate a proper evaluation of the client’s condition.
A major component of the counseling process is that of setting goals in which the client makes a commitment to a set of conditions, a course of action, or an outcome (Hackney & Comier, 2013). This process...