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Multicultural Considerations in the Assessment of Addictive Behaviors

COUN 6204A Week 3

Discussion: Multicultural Considerations in the Assessment of Addictive Behaviors

Counselors assess many aspects of an individual, including behavior, cognition, personality, intelligence, and achievement. In addition, counselors must be prepared to assess clients from diverse backgrounds. Culture can influence how and why addictions develop; how addictions are perceived by a client’s colleagues, family, and friends; and how addictions are addressed by counselors. Counselors need to understand and appreciate individual differences among their clients in order to assess them appropriately.


For this Discussion, view the media titled Multicultural and Contextual Considerations Case Study:Marisol and the Learning Resources. Consider the multicultural considerations that might influence the assessment of her addictive behaviors and how you might integrate these considerations into the assessment process. Then, search the Walden Library for a current article to support your response.




A brief description of the multicultural consideration that you think might have the most influence on the assessment of Marisol’s addictive behaviors and explain why. Explain how counselors might integrate the multicultural consideration into the assessment of addictive behaviors. Support your response using the Learning Resources.




“Multicultural and Contextual Considerations Case Study: Marisol”


Program Transcript




NARRATOR: Professional counselors consider all facets of a client’s personal


background and history to provide informed ethical care. As such, individuals


belonging to special or minority populations require additional consideration on


the part of the counselor to ensure appropriate care is given. In the case that


you’re about to view, Marisol, the client, presents with special ethnographic




As the client is introduced, consider possible areas in which the client requires a


treatment approach that incorporates culturally sensitive considerations. Think of


ways to align specific addiction and mental health concerns with cultural


considerations. How should this client be assessed? What alternative


approaches should the counselor employ to address multicultural barriers?


Marisol is a 25-year-old Latina living in a traditional home on the south side of


San Antonio, Texas. Marisol has lived in the United States for most of her life and


has extended family in Mexico and in San Antonio. She is the middle child of six.


Her family and friends are pressuring her to get married. Her grandmother,


mother, and married friends consistently bring up the subject of marriage. Marisol


worries about her ability to be a good wife and mother and sees her siblings


struggle to lead a good life as much as she does.


Marisol is fluent bilingual. However, English is Marisol’s second language.


Although she wanted to succeed in her studies, Marisol struggled as a student


and did not finish high school.


She was always nervous in school. She began working to contribute to the family


income and could never find the time to complete a GED. She worries that she


will never be able to get a good job because of her lack of education.


Marisol is being treated for comorbid cocaine abuse and benzodiazepine


dependence and is having difficulty discussing her mental health issues with her


Caucasian male psychiatrist. Marisol has been seeing her psychiatrist, Dr. Dan,


for treatment of her addictions. Dr. Dan is a Caucasian master’s level counselor


who has received specialized training in addictions counseling.


During the past two counseling sessions, Marisol appeared reluctant to engage


in communicating with her psychiatrist as evidenced by her limited verbalizations.


She responded only to questions that were asked and provided little additional


information beyond yes and no responses. Her responses have sometimes


appeared to be insincere or evasive.


©2012 Laureate Education, Inc. 1


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