Counseling is an interactive process characterized by a unique relationship between counselor and client that leads to change in one or more areas (Trickett, Sept. 9, 2003). Multicultural counseling requires the recognition of: (1) the importance of racial/ethnic group membership on the socialization of the client; (2) the importance of and the uniqueness of the individual; (3) the presence of and place of values in the counseling process; and (4) the uniqueness of learning styles, vocational goals, and life purposes of clients, within the context of principles of democratic social justice (Locke, 1986).
As the theoretical and professional foundations of multicultural counseling have progressed, a natural evolution has been the development of ethical standards to help regulate the practice of multicultural counseling. Ibrahim and Arredondo (1986) authored a proposal to develop specific ethical standards regarding multicultural counseling in the areas of education, research, assessment, and practice. LaFromboise and Foster (1989) also discussed this by bringing attention to other issues related to ethics in multicultural counseling that involved participants in research and right to treatment.
Which in respond to this the 1995 revision of the ethical standards, the American Counseling Association (ACA) included specific excerpts requiring counselors to respect diversity, avoid discrimination, and demonstrate cultural sensitivity when engaging in direct client services, research, education, testing, computer applications, public communications, and relationships with employers and employees (ACA, 1995). Within the section on professional competence, it requires them to show a commitment to gain knowledge, awareness, and skills related to serving all different types of clients. .
Researchers have stated the need to prepare professionals to become more skillful in dealing with ethical dilemmas, particularly those involving multicultural issues in the area of rehabilitation (Falvo & Parker, 2000), mental health services (Remy, 1998), and gender (Steiner, 1997).