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Cultural Diversity & Ethical Boundaries: Coping with the Challenges
On the last track we discussed the cultural and historical perspectives in counseling culturally different clients who are Hispanic, as well as the implications of these cultural and historical perspectives.
On this track we will consider the case study of a culturally different client who is Hispanic. We will consider this case in light of the topics discussed on the previous track. As we discuss the case, consider the ethical issues being raised.
Ethics Case Study: Luisa
Luisa’s counselor called Luisa’s parents to set up an interview. Luisa’s mother, Maria, a natural citizen, answered the phone, and the counselor explained that Luisa had been caught peddling drugs on school grounds by a police officer. The counselor went on to explain that because the vice principal was present at the time of the incident, the police officer turned Luisa over to the vice principal instead of arresting her. The counselor then asked that Maria make arrangements for an appointment as soon as possible to discuss Luisa’s difficulties in school and decide what could be done.
Maria was hesitant to choose a time to come in. When Luisa’s counselor pushed the matter, Maria excused herself from the phone. Luisa’s counselor could hear whispering, then heard Luisa’s father, Pablo, a Mexican immigrant, pick up the phone. Pablo asked how Luisa was and expressed that he was upset over the entire situation. The counselor explained that she understood his feelings but that it would be best to set up an appointment for the following day to talk about the matter.
When Maria and Pablo arrived the next day for the appointment, they also brought along Luisa’s godfather, Juan. The counselor became upset at Juan’s presence and explained that a third party would make the sessions more complex and difficult to resolve. The counselor again interpreted Luisa’s parents’ actions as an attempt to avoid responsibility for dealing with Luisa’s delinquency.
What ethical issues regarding culturally different clients who are Hispanic did you notice in this case? How did Maria’s hesitations to come to an appointment alone reflect Hispanic values? Did the counselor understand Luisa’s family’s value system and Pablo’s need to go to work? Was the counselor’s anger at the presence of a godfather at the appointment appropriate?
3 Ethical Issues from Luisa's Case Study
Ethical Issue #1: Lack of Understanding of Family Roles
Pablo’s missing a day of work may have significant financial impact on the entire family. As you can see in this case, Luisa’s counselor neglected acknowledging this point in pushing for him to skip work. The counselor saw the hesitations as negative and possibly as a way of avoiding responsibility for dealing with Luisa’s school troubles. On the contrary as you well know, these hesitations to miss a day of work may be indicative of a strong love for the family.
2 Important Conflicts from Luisa's Case Study
Do you have a culturally different client who is Hispanic? Have you considered the Hispanic cultural values in your counseling techniques? What are the ethical implications of imposing counseling approaches with an American value system on a Hispanic client?
On this track we have discussed Luisa’s case and the effect the Hispanic value system had on her family’s counseling experience.
On the next track we will discuss cultural perspectives in counseling culturally different clients who are Native American. We will also discuss the implications of these cultural perspectives.
Ethics CEU QUESTION 6
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