Multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors can combine to create additive barriers that prevent an individual from receiving counseling services (e.g., barriers such as race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and political climate). Applying the syndemic theory of disease to these barriers allows not only for a different perspective to current barriers but also for implementing holistic and synergistic approaches that include multicultural competencies and advocacy efforts as laid out by the ACA Code of Ethics.
Identify the unique factors of inequality that prevent marginalized individuals from receiving counseling services.By the end of the session, counselors should be able to identify the common barriers clients face (e.g. race and ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religion, language, political climate, geographic location, and the individual's perceived disability status) and apply that knowledge to current client situations.
Understand and apply syndemic theory to presented ideas. By accomplishing this objective, counselors will be able to identify how syndemic theory intertwines the unique factors of inequality, but also creates a foundation for success when barriers are taken away. In this manner, participants will be able to identify the compound barriers affecting a client (for example, race, gender, and sexual orientation) and how syndemic approaches (for example parent and family focused programs, early childhood intervention, and bystander strategies) can effectively lessen or eliminate those barriers for that client.
Critically evaluate the ACA Code of Ethics to identify codes that can act as vehicles to client success. In the session, participants will be exposed to various ethical codes that explore personal values, competencies, nondiscrimination, multiculturalism considerations, and disability considerations. As the ACA Code of Ethics contains many more codes than can be covered within one session, counselors will gain more insight into how codes can be applied to bridging the gap between inequity and equity within their own practice.