Australia is a land of enormous cultural diversity. Almost one-quarter of our population were born in another country, yet most mainstream services mirror only broad White Australian values and attitudes. Many multicultural clients may prefer to talk with a counsellor from their own cultural background, but often this may not be possible. It is therefore important that as counsellors we are able to offer a consistent and competent service to all our clients regardless of their language and cultural diversity.
Culture is a complex system of beliefs, habits, behaviours, attitudes and values that structures and preserves politics, religion, ideology, and education. Often people are not aware of how much their culture influences their lifestyle and behaviour. It is therefore vital for counsellors to understand that a behaviour considered as dysfunctional or inappropriate by western standards may be completely acceptable in other cultures, similarly, behaviours that are acceptable by our standards may be seen as unhealthy, sinful or unusual by others. Just as behaviour is influenced by culture, maladaptive behaviour can also be culturally specific.
Multicultural counselling involves therapists demonstrating an understanding of their patients and their struggles with cultural issues, racism, and other related experiences. For clients from different cultural backgrounds, they may not be aware of the services available to them or are unsure of how to access them. Language may also be a barrier to some client’s attempts to get help.
Our team of counsellors at Live Your Story Counselling Services are highly experienced in working with individuals from different cultures and backgrounds. Depending on the client's needs, we also offering in-language counselling services. For more information about our counsellors and the languages they speak, please click here.
"At Live Your Story Counselling Services, we acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present".
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