Cultural Consideration in Counseling


Cultural consideration during counseling requires a therapist to understand the belief system, ethnicity and the background of the client.  This enables the therapist to attain cultural competence by respecting ad accommodating differences of attitudes, values, and opinions of people from different cultures and backgrounds (Lee, 2008). This assignment ill explore on cultural consideration of minority groups like the immigrants and the refugees. The dynamism and the diversity of the 21st-century call for culturally competent counseling that embraces the elements of multicultural.

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Cultural Consideration of Documented Immigrants

The arrival of documented immigrants in the US attracts psychosocial confusion in attempts to adapt to the new culture, financial reality, social structure, and new language. Rasmussen (2011) explains that the transition process is highly affected by their economic situations where a person from a high-class background adjusts easily than their counterparts from low-income families. The ease of transits is also affected by the inability to accesses desired items like traditional food also affects the transitioning process.  While choosing the best strategy for counseling, the therapist requires understanding when to apply individual counseling and when to apply family counseling. For example, while dealing with one documented immigrants with knowledge of English, the best tool is individual counseling but if dealing with the family, there is a need to consider an interpreter as not all individuals understand English. 

Cultural Consideration of Undocumented Immigrants

While dealing with undocumented immigrants, a therapist may consider a highly individualized and collaborative approach. According to Murphy (2008), it boosts ownership and strengthens the relationship between the counselor and the client. This is because undocumented immigrants would tend to enter counseling with fear and powerless. However, following an individualized and collaborative approach increases a sense of ownership and empowerment of the counseling session as the client plays a role in setting objectives for the process.  

Another strategy to consider while dealing with undocumented immigrants is emphasizing strengths and resources in solution-focused counseling. According to Murphy (2008), the majority of minorities are more aware of their issues than they are towards their strengths. As a counselor relating to undocumented immigrants, it is advisable to assist the client to identify his/her strengths rather than relying on their negatives. This strategy will empower the undocumented immigrants and help them work towards the objectives they participated to set. 

Cultural Consideration of Refugees

The majority of refugees leave their motherland due to extreme hardships which may be traumatizing. There are many cultural considerations while counseling refugees. Individualized counseling with refugees with limited English proficiency is influential in terms of enhancing cognitive behavior, but it is better to consider an interpreter to journal with the individual’s native language. Considering a family counseling approach requires an interpreter as the family is more proficient in the English language as the child.  

Bi cultural stress is another likely aspect to influence the population. To manage this, a counselor should avoid stereotyping and over generalization by understanding that every refugee is unique. One strategy is the use of solution-focused counseling where the counselor encourages the refugees to use self-corrective strategies and internal resources to solve their issues (Murphy, 2008). The need to employ solution-focused Counseling where they are treated without discrimination, are part of decision making, and opens room for feedback. 


Cultural Issues and Trends of Hmong in California

The population of Hmong Americans increased from 260,000 in 2010 to 286,211 by 2013. California has the highest population of 100,000 followed by Minnesota with 80,000. The median age population continues to increase and was 21.2 which is lower than the median age in the US of 22.1 in 2013. However, the population of Hmong remains lowers than the general median in the US which is at 37.5.

The household size of Hmong in California is 5.52 which is the highest and is double that of the US general population at 2.97. This is an indication that although the household size of Hmong is decreasing, giving birth to many children among the Hmong is a norm. In terms of a Bachelor’s Degree, the Hmong in California has a lower percent of 10.1% in comparison to the general US population at 18.4%. Surprisingly, female Hmong are highly likely to take a Bachelor’s Degree than females a trend that changed from males furthering their education (Pfeifer, 2014). 

Cultural Issues and Trends of Cuban Americans in Florida

There were approximately 2.0 million Hispanics of Cuban origin in the US in 2011 and among whom 70% reside in Florida. Among the Hispanic community, Cuban ranks as the fourth largest Hispanic group living in the US and they contribute to approximately 3.6% of the total Hispanic population as illustrated in the table below.

The table illustrates the Total Hispanic Population in the US (Motel and Patten, 2013)

Total Hispanic Population: 50,730
GroupPopulation % of Hispanics
Puerto Ricans46839.2

The majority of Cubans in Florida are foreign-born and the majority have attained US citizenship. The majority of Cubans approximately 60% are proficient in spoken and written English and the remaining 40% are the elderly and children under 5 years. Motel and Patten (2013) explain that Cubans have an older population of averagely 40 years in comparison to the US with37 years and other Hispanics at 27 years.  The poverty status of Cubans in Florida is 19% slightly more than the general US population. Cubans have a higher rate in terms of health insurance and homeownership of 25% and 56% in comparison to other Hispanics with 30% and 46% and less than the US population with 15% and 65%.

Cultural Issues and Trends of Hispanic Americans in the Southwest

The majority of Hispanics in America are foreign-born and many Hispanics in Southwest have attained their US citizenship. Besides, between 2010 and 2000 the number of foreign-born Hispanics decreased from 40% in 2000 to 37% in 2010. Nonetheless, the number of Hispanics with US citizenship in the same during increased from 71% in 2000 to 74% in 2010. The Hispanic Americans in the Southwest have increased their educational attainment tremendously where the individuals with a college degree increased from 10% in 2000 to 13% in 2013. Nonetheless, the median household income of Hispanic and led to an increase of Hispanics living in poverty from 23% in 2000 to 25% in 2010. The group is the largest minority group in the region (Motel & Patten, 2012). 

Cultural Issues and Trends of Irish

The ancestry of the Irish in the US is tremendously declining whereas per 2015, the Americans with Irish origin were 32.7 million. This is less in comparison to the Irish population in 1990 where approximately 38.7 million Americans identified an Irish origin. The Irish ancestry has an older population than the general population with a median age of 40.5 in comparison to 37.8 that of the general population. The number of foreign-born Irish in the US has reduced were in 2015, only 1,607 persons born in Irish obtained their legal permanent document. In terms of distribution, the Irish group is dispersed according to their reasons for migration. For example, the Irish ancestry in the Northeastern port cities migrated to the US following a famine in their country (DeSilver, 2017). 


The United States is a diverse country inhabiting many minority groups. The diversity has led to multiculturalism and aspect that is of significance in psychology counselors taking care of the diverse groups requires skills in cultural consideration. Cultural consideration is vital while choosing the most appropriate counseling strategies. Some of the most applicable counseling approaches for minorities (both documented and undocumented immigrants and refugees) include the individualized and collaborative approach to develop goals and interventions, family counseling, and solution-focused counseling. Cultural competence is a vital skill for all counselors. 


BROWN, A., & PATTEN, E. (2013). Hispanics of Cuban Origin in the United States, 2011. Pew Research Center.

DESILVER, D. (2017). The fading of the green: Fewer Americans identify as Irish. Pew Research Center.

Lee, C. (2008). Elements of Culturally Competent Counseling. American Counselling Association.

MOTEL, S., & PATTEN, E. (2012). The 10 Largest Hispanic Origin Groups: Characteristics, Rankings, Top Counties. Pew Research Center.

Murphy, J.J. (2008). Solution-focused counseling in schools (2nd ed.). Alexandria,    VA: American Counseling Association.  

Pfeifer, M. (2014). Hmong Americans in the 2013 American Community Survey. Hmong Studies Internet Resource Center.Rasmussen, C. (2011). Cross-cultural counseling of recent immigrants. Counselling Today. Retrieved from

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