Personal Relection Paper

Submitted By bgotti
Words: 1223
Pages: 5

Personal Reflection Paper

As a clinician, one should take a neutral stance, a non-judgmental approach to treating any client. Multi-cultural counseling is part of the training that is required in order to serve the mental health and/or substance abuse population(s). Individuals from all races, ethnicities, culture, sexual orientations are included in this category. When it comes to discussing sex in general, there is usually uncomfortable feelings that one of the other couples whether heterosexual or homosexual tends to gravitate towards the opposite. This feeling may or may not be justified; however the uneasiness could affect the relationship negatively if not addressed accordingly. Some couples are fortunate enough to overcome this on their own without professional help and others would be best accommodated by a counselor, but in this case example a marriage and family or sex therapist would be most appropriate. Often times, intimacy is mistaken for sex and it is much more than just physical attraction. Sex is still essential for the marriage or relationship, but holding hands, complimenting one another and hugging are some other important aspects as well; unconditional love. This significant value is inherent and is usually felt simultaneously with immediate family members. When discussing sex, it was brought up during sexual education for most of the generation x and even some of the baby boomers. Typically, the conversation about sex in most families was that one should wait until they got married. Those individuals that could not postpone having sexual intercourse were instructed to use protection such as prophylactics and/or other forms of birth control. Unfortunately, those individuals who were raised in lower socioeconomic households seemed to be overlooked when sexual education existed and presently more secondary schools are educating on abstinence rather than prevention. As practitioner’s, we may be confronted with client whose sexual values, beliefs and behaviors are different from our own. Being trained professionals, we are taught how to work with various populations and some of which may be more uncomfortable to work with than others. As therapist’s we need to understand more about ourselves to better serve our clients and how our

sexual and cultural values may affect the counseling relationship (Ridley,Liddle, Hill & Li, 2001). For example, where does one stand when it pertains to areas such as premarital, casual and extramarital sex, open marriage, sexual orientation and sex in adolescence and later adulthood? Courses such as this Human Sexuality course and other trainings regarding sexual issues are helpful in clinical work. Even though this learner is in a traditional heterosexual marriage I am skilled to work with “abnormal” clients. Again, the question arises as what are normal sexual behaviors? Working in the co-occurring field for over 15 years, a therapist may encounter clients with various genders, sexual orientations, cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds. From what this writer has personally experienced, there seems to be biases from the clients themselves. For example, this learner attempted to counsel a homosexual male with an Axis I co-occurring disorder and Axis II Personality disorder. The client informed me that he preferred a counselor that was the same sexual orientation. Being that I worked for a community agency at the time, there were limited therapists available and none of which were identified as being homosexual. Eventually, the client chose to work with a female therapist that ended up being a better fit and there were no mutual ill feelings. The same scenario could be said about working with addicts that prefer being assigned to a counselor who is a recovering addict because they “identify” more with them or in a domestic violence situation where the female is the victim, she may choose to work with a female therapist. These…