Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies (MSJCC)

Reply to at least 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200–300 words. Also, note that “I like what you said,” “That’s a good point,” and “I disagree with your point” do not count as a complete reply. Rather, stating why you liked or disliked the comment, adding additional thoughts or ideas to the original point, and/or providing alternative ideas or thoughts when you disagree will count as a reply. You are required to be courteous in any disagreement with a classmate.

Caroline

It is vital for counselors to become culturally competent in their work and this can be accomplished by counselors following and incorporating the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies (MSJCC) into their professional practice (Hays & Erford, 2018). The MSJCC outlines four different competencies, including counselor self-awareness, client worldview, counseling relationship, and counseling and advocacy interventions (Hays & Erford, 2018). I believe that the most challenging or uncomfortable competency to develop as a counselor in training is the first competency, counselor self-awareness, but I believe that it is one of the most important competencies that an effective and competent counselor should possess. This competency means that counselors need to be aware of how their personal beliefs, values, and biases impact the counseling relationship and how we view or interact with different cultures or people from various backgrounds (Hays & Erford, 2018). Many people may not be used to or comfortable using introspection to become self-aware about how their social identity, social status, privilege, and oppression affect their worldview. I believe that this can be especially hard for people of privilege, those who are not marginalized, and those who experience very little disadvantages due to their social status or cultural identity. As a white individual who has experienced no discrimination due to my outward appearance or cultural background, I have never really thought much about my unique cultural identity or how my biases or values could be impacting my worldview and interactions with people. It may be uncomfortable to be completely self-aware and to explore personal values and biases, but it is a necessary step for counselors and counselors in training to take to ensure that they can effectively counsel clients from diverse backgrounds (Pieterse, Ritmeester, & Collins, 2013). This is something that I need to work on during my training so that I will be able to be culturally competent and able to work effectively with any group of people no matter their race, ethnicity, or background. The ACA Code of Ethics (2014) §A.4.b., states that counselors need to be “aware of—and avoid imposing—their own values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors” (p. 5). If counselors take the effort to become fully self-aware, it makes it possible for them to avoid imposing their values or beliefs onto a client, which is congruent with various ethical standards presented in the ACA Code of Ethics.

Dr. Moitinho’s (2018) presentation on cultural counseling competencies and the Christian perspective was informative and provided a great foundation for understanding how biblical principles can be incorporated into the counseling profession and working with clients from diverse backgrounds. He touched on the importance of counselors practicing God’s greatest commandments, viewing every client from a distinctive biblical anthropology, being incarnational, overcoming ethnocentrism, and contextualizing your approach (Moitinho, 2018). I believe that there is one important Christian principle, working for social justice and equality, that could be added to his presentation and would be important for counselors to consider when working with diverse clients. According to Hook and Davis (2012), throughout the Bible, “there is a consistent theme that displays God’s heart for equality, the oppressed, and social justice” (p. 104). This shows that Christian counselors should strive to fight for equality and social justice, which could be accomplished through participating in justice and advocacy efforts for clients and people who are underprivileged or from different cultural backgrounds. A bible verse that backs up the need for Christians to be involved in social justice and advocacy efforts for those who are oppressed or marginalized is Isaiah 1:17 which states, “Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause” (Christian Standard Bible, 2020).

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