As an increased number of veterans and their families seek counseling due to the reduction of stigma regarding therapy, it is necessary for counselors to move beyond cultural awareness training to true cultural competence. This session will present the proposed competencies for counseling military populations and how these competencies align with the ACA Code of Ethics. The session will aim to identify how the need for developing cultural competence in working with this population is an ethical imperative for counselors.
Attendees will be able to identify how proposed competency 2n, considering community referrals when in the best interest of the client, aligns with A.11.a., maintaining knowledge about culturally and clinically appropriate referral resources. This will be achieved by providing examples of cultural competence and how to apply military culturally competent concepts to military and veteran clients.
Attendees will be able to identify how proposed competency 2a, requirement to complete formal training, aligns with ACA Code of Ethics C.2.a., practicing within boundaries of competence. This objective will be achieved by presenting options for training in cultural competence, including examples of experimental training in some venues across the country.
Attendees will be able to identify how proposed competency 2f, adhering to a self-care routine to prevent burnout, etc., aligns with Section C, a counselor’s professional responsibility to engage in self-care activities. This will be achieved by identifying how challenging it can be for someone who has not worked with veterans to be overwhelmed by their experience; also, the need for counselors who are veterans themselves, and who have experienced their own exposure to trauma to recognize the need for self-care.