How to Become a Multicultural Counselor
In the rapidly developing modern society there are a number of cultures and other societies which co-exist together. When the number of immigrants increases to a country there are increased chances of multicultural societies co-existing. There is a high risk when such societies exist together because of cultural differences.
This is relatively a new type of counseling which focuses on making culturally diverse individuals adapt to differences and get along with one another. The counselor must be able to learn and understand the cultures of each of the individuals he works and then try to help them adapt to each other by taking into account their upbringing, biases, background and more. This may allow people to stop their biasing based on culture and blend together more easily*.
A multicultural counselor is one who possesses a unique set of skills and characters. They are capable of being open to new and different cultures and are also able to embrace their own cultural beliefs. They must possess extensive knowledge to help give proper counseling sessions. Since cultural barriers may also include language barriers, a good multicultural counselor also has excellent verbal and non-verbal communication skills. The counselor must be compassionate to his clients and also be non-judgmental**.
Duties of a multi-cultural counselor
They help immigrants become familiar with a new atmosphere and get accustomed to the transition. If there are any disorders, the counselor tries to alleviate them. The counselors also help bridge gaps between individuals and two or more cultural groups in some areas. They also hold group and individual therapy sessions which can help bridge gaps and create peace. This requires great patience and understanding on the part of both the individuals and the counselors. The counselor makes sure all get a chance to express their views*.
There are no strict requirements for a multicultural counselor. But a good education is necessary. A person with a bachelor’s degree in counseling, social work, or psychology may be a good advantage. A graduate degree is also looked upon favorably. A course related to cultural diversity and immigration is also looked upon willingly. A strong base in foreign languages and cultures helps them while working. A certificate or license which certifies them as qualified workers is necessary.
The work Environment of the Multicultural counselor is in a different setting. Some of them are immigration offices, social and human service offices. School, corporation, community health agencies also sought out their help. Any place which contains a large number of individuals from different cultures may need the help of such counselors.
Average salary and outlook
It is very hard to determine the salary as it is a newly emerging field with difficulties in various areas. The counselors are mostly considered to be social workers. There is always a high demand for social workers as they are needed for smooth working of the society. The median salary for these counselors is around $44,000 and more*.
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*For more information, please visit: http://careersinpsychology.org/start-a-multi-cultural-counseling-career/
**For more information, please visit: http://www.wwu.edu/culture/Pedersen.htm