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Becoming a Multiculturally Competent Counselor

Becoming a Multiculturally Competent Counselor

  • Changming Duan - University of Kansas, Lawrence, USA, University of Missouri - Kansas City
  • Chris Brown - University of Missouri - Kansas City

August 2015 | 456 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Organized around the latest CACREP Standards, this timely book covers the core concepts, theories, and skills of multicultural and social justice counseling. With a focus on helping readers develop their multicultural professional identities, the authors conceptualize multicultural identity development as the foundation for comprehending the pervasive impact of social privilege and oppression and developing competencies to effectively work with the culturally diverse. Case illustrations, exercises, and an emphasis on reflective practice foster a true understanding and application of concepts.

 Becoming a Multiculturally Competent Counselor is part of the SAGE Counseling and Professional Identity Series, which targets specific competencies identified by CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs). To learn more about each text in the series, please visit

Section 1: Professional Counseling: A Cultural Occurrence
Chapter 1: Monocultural Context of Counseling as a Helping Profession
The Cultural and Value Foundations of Counseling in the United States

The Cultural and Value Foundations of Counseling in the United States

A Call for Multicultural Professional Identity Development in Transforming the Field of Counseling

Chapter 2: Demands for Multicultural Professional Counseling
The Presence and History of Cultural and Social Oppression

The Demographic changes in the United States

Immigration and Globalization

Necessary Multicultural Ethics

Chapter 3: Multicultural Movement – the Fourth Force
The Context and History of the Multicultural Movement

The Focus and Scope of Multicultural Counseling

A Necessary Multicultural Competency – Social Advocacy

Section 2: Counseling in the 21st Century: A multicultural Phenomenon
Chapter 4: Multicultural Contexts of Professional Counseling in the 21st Century
Cultural Context at the Individual Level

Cultural Context at the Societal Level

Cultural Context at the International Level

Chapter 5: Redefining and Renewing the Counseling Profession in the 21st Century
Redefining and Renewing: Now is the Time

Barriers to Multicultural Counseling

Effective Service to the Culturally Diverse: Redefining Counseling Practice

Effectively Serving the Culturally Diverse: A process of Renewing the Profession

Working with Cultural Diversity: A Basic Ethical Responsibility

Section 3: Becoming Multiculturally Competent
Chapter 6: Developing a Multicultural Identity
A model of multicultural Competence development

Challenges of multicultural identity development: dominant vs. subordinate group identities

Self-Assessment of multicultural self

Chapter 7: Understanding Social Oppression and Cultural Pluralism
Social Oppression: Results of Unearned Privileges by Dominant Groups

Social Oppression: Unjust, Unfair, and Damaging

Understanding the Culturally Diverse

Counselors’ Social and Professional Responsibility in Eliminating Oppression

Section 4: Exercising Multicultural Competencies: Working with the Culturally Diverse
Chapter 8 Working with Diversity in Racial, Ethnic, and Nationality Contexts
Understanding the cultural contexts of racially and ethnically diverse

Effect of racism, discrimination, and microaggression

Implication of cultural values difference

Cultural identity development of the racially and ethnically diverse

Assessment, Prevention and Intervention

Chapter 9 Working with Diversity in Gender and Sexual Orientation Contexts
Understanding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Working Ethically and Effectively with Sexual Minorities

Chapter 10: Working with Diversity in Social Class Contexts
Social Class and Classism

Understanding the Social Context of the Poor

Social Class Identity, Values and Worldviews

Assessment, Prevention and Intervention

Chapter 11: Working With Diversity in Physical Ability
Including Disability Diversity: Developing Multicultural Competence

Chapter 12: Working with Diversity in Religion and Spirituality
Religion and Spirituality Defined

My Client is Religious or Spiritually Oriented, Shouldn’t I Refer My Client to the Clergy?

What Do We Know about the Religious/Spiritual Orientation of Counseling Professionals?

Religion and Spirituality in Counseling

Religion, Spirituality and Ethical Considerations

Assessing Religion and Spirituality: The Clinical Interview

When does Religion and Spirituality become Harmful or Pathological?

Section 5: Social Justice and Multicultural Counseling
Chapter 13: Role of Social justice in Counseling
Social Inequality

Victimizing effects of social inequality

Social Justice

Promoting a Socially-Responsive Approach of Counseling

Chapter 14: Developing Social Justice Counseling and Advocacy skills
Social justice competence development

Taking professional Responsibility of integrating social justice into service

Taking social responsibility – community advocacy for social justice

Good Ethical Practice in a Multicultural World

Section 6: Applying Multicultural Competencies: Case Examples
Chapter 15: Helping Jermaine feel “normal”
Chapter 16: Assisting Darryl and Samar to “fight fairly”


Instructor Teaching Site

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • A Microsoft® Word® test bank is available containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • A Respondus electronic test bank is available and can be used on PCs. The test bank contains multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter and provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding. Respondus is also compatible with many popular learning management systems so you can easily get your test questions into your online course.
  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter. This feature also provides questions to focus and guide student interpretation. Combine cutting-edge academic journal scholarship with the topics in your course for a robust classroom experience.
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help with preparation for lectures and class discussions.
  • Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for use when creating the syllabi for your courses.
  • Lively and stimulating ideas for class assignments that can be used in class to reinforce active learning. The assignments apply to individual or group projects.
  • Classroom exercises, also included in the book, are included to make them easily accessible and assignable.
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch classroom interaction by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content. 
  • Case illustration discussion questions are designed to promote students’ in-depth engagement with the case illustrations provided in the book.
  • Recommended readings, also included in the book, provide a jumping-off point for course assignments, papers, research, group work, and class discussion.
Student Study Site

The open-access Student Study Site includes the following:

    • Mobile-friendly web quizzes allow for independent assessment of progress made in learning course material.
    • Each chapter includes audio links, covering important topics and designed to supplement key points within the text.
    • Carefully selected video links feature relevant interviews, lectures, personal stories, inquiries, and other content for use in independent or classroom-based explorations of key topics.
    • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter. This feature also provides questions to focus and guide your interpretation.
    • Web resources allow for further research on important chapter topics. 

“This text provides a modern perspective on the most pressing issues for counseling clients with diverse cultural backgrounds and ethnicities, while simultaneously including the impact of long-standing patterns of discrimination and oppression in American society.”

Jon Reid, Southern Oklahoma State University

Becoming a Multiculturally Competent Counselor is a very well written and timely book on a hard subject. Old habits die hard, so a book that attempts to steer professional counseling away from the traditional, ethnocentric approach to a more global approach requires a very palatable way of fostering or facilitating the movement. I believe that this book has accomplished that.”

Enobong Inyang, Marshall University

A comprehensive text that prepares the clinician for the 21st-century practice of becoming culturally competent and an advocate for the oppressed.”

Fred Hall, Mississippi College

It is well researched, detailed and clear in its style, with chapters organised around the standards identified by CARCREP, the US accreditation body for counselling courses. Counselling students are facilitated to develop their own multi-cultural identity through reflective exercises, developmental models and case studies...The main message that has stayed with me from this book is that ‘we the counsellors will either be part of the solution to social injustice or part of the problem’ (p348)– food for thought for all of us in the counselling profession.

Frances Lampert, Counselor and Supervisor
Therapy Today

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 6

Chapter 14

For instructors

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