Multicultural Counseling and Social Justice Competencies
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Foundation in the Competencies
  • Multicultural Counseling Competencies (Sue, Arredondo & McDavis, 1992; Arredondo et al., 1996) were developed within the context of research indicating that there were groups of clients who had been receiving substandard mental health services due to the lack of acknowledgment of the cultural factors related to counseling issues as well as due to discrimination on the part of the counseling providers.
  • Advocacy Competencies (Lewis, Arnold, House, & Toporek, 2003) adopted by the American Counseling Association, form the framework for social justice competencies.

The self-guided process in this web tool is organized around four primary multicultural counseling competency components.

Follow each link and read the summary provided for each of the three competency areas before continuing.

Multicultural Competencies: Counselor Beliefs
Multicultural Competencies: Client’s Worldview
Multicultural Competencies: Interventions
Social Justice Advocacy
MCC Specialization

Contributions to the Cultural Competencies
Each of these documents contributed to the enhancement of cultural competence.

Position paper provided the initial framework for cultural competencies in counseling: Sue et al. (1982)

“A Call to the Profession” for the need and framework for cultural competencies in counseling: Sue, Arredondo, and McDavis (1992)

Elaboration and Operationalization of the Competencies by providing specific examples, examples of measurable demonstrations, and strategies for enhancing competence: Arredondo et al. (1996)

Expansion of the competencies to include personal, professional, and institutional levels of cultural competence as well as recommendations to include cognitive, affective and behavioral modes of learning in competency development: Toporek and Reza (2001)

Clients’ perspectives highlighted in a qualitative examination of the relevance of cultural competence: Pope-Davis et al. (2001)

Multicultural guidelines for psychologists developed and adopted by American Psychological Association: APA (2003)

In addition to the general cultural and social justice competence documents, there are some resources regarding multicultural competence in career counseling.

Career Counseling and Multicultural Competence

Social Justice Advocacy Competence

These competencies were developed by a task force of the American Counseling Association to facilitate ethical and effective advocacy in working with clients. The advocacy competencies have six domains arranged along a continuum from individual level advocacy to community or school level advocacy to public or societal level advocacy. Advocacy may take place with the client or on behalf of the client. Be sure to read the “ACA Advocacy Competencies

I have read the Competencies and am ready to continue to Develop My Plan


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©Rebecca L. Toporek (2008)