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Posted on August 30th, 2012, by

Traditionally, counseling aimed at the professional assistance to clients who suffered serious psychological problems. Different methods were applied to make counseling efficient, but till the present moment, it is hardly possible to speak about a method that could be truly universal and applied efficient in different environments. At the same time, today, counseling faces a serious problem since the patient population becomes more and more culturally diverse that naturally forces practitioners to develop new approaches to empower their clients. In this respect, it is to lay emphasis on the fact that, in a culturally diverse environment, the efficient counseling can be grounded only on the individual approach to each client that makes the use of client-centered counseling particularly prospective in the contemporary counseling.

On analyzing the current situation in counseling, it is important to lay emphasis on the fact that practitioners have to work in a culturally diverse environment. To put it more precisely, clients, who need counseling, have a different cultural background, including African Americans, clients of Asian origin and others. Naturally, in such a situation, methods and approaches practitioners get used to do not always work efficiently (Hodge, 2005). In stark contrast, methods, which can be applied successfully to white American clients, cannot be efficient in relation to Asian clients, who have absolutely different mentality and set of values. As a result, practitioners need to develop more diverse approaches which meet and needs of each customer.

In this respect, the use of traditional cognitive-behavioral approach to empower clients can be still effective, although this method is apparently imperfect and needs consistent improved to be applied efficiently in a culturally diverse environment. Traditionally, cognitive-behavioral approach focuses on unusual thoughts, behavior, and feelings of clients, which cause anxiety and troubles in clients (Tursi and Cochran, 2006). Obviously the focus on the internal world and problems that disturb patients is very important because it help a practitioner to clearly define the problem or the cause of anxiety or trouble. On identifying the cause of the trouble, it is possible to look for optimal solution of the problem through the elimination of the trouble or its negative effects. However, this approach cannot always be effective. For instance, when a patient suffers a profound psychological trauma he or she has experienced in his or her childhood, it is obvious that the use of psychoanalytical approach would be more efficient than the use of cognitive-behavioral approach (Patten, 1998). On the other hand, the cognitive behavioral approach can help a client to cope with his or current problems through modeling and changing his or her behavior.

At the same time, it is important to remember cultural peculiarities which may influence the counseling. In such a context, the use of client-centered approach seems to be more efficient because it helps to elaborate individual approach to each client (Wickman and Campbell, 2003). This approach includes the analysis of problems and their causes of the client and practitioners develop solution or treatment respectively to problems and needs of each client (Moon, 2007). Obviously, this approach is very prospective today, especially in the multicultural environment, because it allows eliminating cultural barriers through individual approach to each client.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned it is possible to conclude that the empowerment of clients may be a serious challenge to practitioners in the contemporary multicultural environment. Nevertheless, this problem can be solved through the use of cognitive-behavioral approach and client-centered approach.

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