The month of July is officially known as the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Month. The purpose for the dedication of July to support multicultural counseling issues is two-fold. The National Alliance of Mental Health sought to improve access to mental health treatment and services, while also increasing awareness of mental health illness among minority groups.

Multicultural Counseling

To provide appropriate services, a therapist should understand the impact of culture and ethnicity on the patient-therapist relationship. A therapist that is culturally competent will strive to approach therapy from the content of the culture of the  patient. The term multicultural counseling encompasses this method. At HPA/LiveWell, which serves the greater Albany, NY area therapists are trained in multicultural therapy to meet the needs of patients’clients from diverse backgrounds.

In our society, there are constant changes in culture and diversity. The National Board of Certified Counselors website discusses the importance of multicultural counseling and establishing a working relationship with a therapist that engages in multicultural counseling.

Multicultural Counseling Techniques

Research points out that the therapeutic relationship forms the foundation for treatment and largely determines a successful outcome. As a patient, it is important to build a relationship with your therapist. It is through a strong and trusting relationship that change can emerge.  Because the patient-therapist relationship is so essential, it is important to seek a therapist that you feel comfortable with and practices from a multicultural counseling framework. Selecting a therapist does not necessarily mean that the therapist has similar values and beliefs as you. Instead, it means that they have a great sense of self-awareness, show respect for your world view and have an appreciation for diversity. Multicultural counselors have a deep insight into their values, beliefs and biases and how these can impact their ability to form effective relationships.

Multicultural therapists will have cultural knowledge and a willingness to learn about cultural variations. According to the Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology a multicultural counselor might be described as credible, appearing worthy of belief, capable, confident, reliable and trustworthy.

The need for multicultural competent counselors is increasing as the population of ethnic minority groups in therapy continues to expand. Click here to further view HPA/LiveWell’s program of multicultural counseling. To connect with a therapist in the greater Albany, NY area please give us a call at 518-218-1188 to learn more.

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