Culture is intrinsic to every individual’s core meaning making processes. Both psychotherapist and client are immersed within their culturally shaped meaning systems.Cultural competency is important in any one to one therapy setting. However, in couple therapy culture issues are particularly significant and sensitive. Couples and families live within societies where their gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, among other diverse factors, influence their world view. Ignoring this can amount to ineffective interventions and unethical therapeutic practices (Thomlison, 2010). Psychotherapists must be mindful of power differences between the sexes and cultures as well as in spirituality and religion. They must remain focused about their ethical duty to remain non-judgmental towards non-traditional couples and families that include sexual and gender minorities. It helps greatly for psychotherapists to cultivate an awareness of how engulfed they are in their own cultural assumptions.
Issues to observe:
• Gender Identity and Gender Expression
• Sexual Orientation within the culture or origin
• Ethical Counselling Practice