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Title: Enhancing multicultural counselling competencies and services

Authors: Yih-Jiun Shen; Siu-Man Ting; Hwei-Jiun Shen

Addresses: Department of Counseling, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, 1201 West University Dr., Edinburg, TX 78539, USA ' Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development, North Carolina State University, 520 Poe Hall, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA ' Department of Applied English, National Taichung University of Science and Technology, 129 Sec. 3, San-min Rd., Taichung 40401, Taiwan, Republic of China

Abstract: An increasingly diverse USA society challenges mental health professionals to provide culturally sensitive counselling to clients whose backgrounds are different from those of the service providers. Based on reviews of the current multicultural counselling competency standard, the purpose of this article is twofold: (a) to propose a strengthened standard - Enhanced Multicultural Counselling Competencies and (b) to infuse Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory into cross-cultural counselling services. The recommended counsellor competencies and the contextually based services aim to empower practitioners who serve various types of cross-cultural clients. Particularly, Chinese international students in the USA higher education are used as sample clientele because they account for the largest group among the rapidly growing number of international students. International students have greater vulnerability and counselling needs than domestic students and cultural groups. The article also provides a case example to illustrate the application of the recommended practices and implications for future research.

Keywords: Bronfenbrenner; Chinese international students; contextually based practice; cross-cultural; diverse; ecological systems theory; Enhanced Multicultural Counselling Competencies; multicultural counseling competence; services and standards.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSS.2017.088167

International Journal of Services and Standards, 2017 Vol.12 No.1, pp.1 - 30

Received: 18 Aug 2016
Accepted: 29 Dec 2016

Published online: 22 Nov 2017 *

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