Commitment to Diversity Awareness & Social Justice Training


Our training site is strongly aligned with and steeped in a commitment to diversity awareness, multicultural competence, and social justice that has grown out of the fields of counseling and psychology programs. We believe that this training is vital to all parts of counselor development and competence. It is incorporated into all areas of supervision, training seminars, evaluations, and professional activities.

A trainee’s willingness to explore biases and engage in growth while serving a diverse public is an important step in the successful completion of training for any student here. National organizations in the mental health field have made ethical statements (often reflected in their ethics code) regarding the importance of working with a diverse public.


The competencies developed by members of the American Psychological Association are used in our evaluation of trainee progress.  The following address competencies with regard to individual and cultural differences.

  • Independently articulates, understands, and monitors multiple cultural identities in interactions with others
  • Regularly uses knowledge of the role of culture in interactions to monitor and improve effectiveness as a professional
  • Critically evaluates feedback and initiates consultation or supervision when uncertain about diversity issues with others
  • Articulates an integrative conceptualization of diversity as it impacts clients, self and others (e.g., organizations, colleagues, systems of care)
  • Habitually adapts one’s professional behavior in a culturally sensitive manner, as appropriate to the needs of the client, that improves client outcomes and avoids harm
  • Articulates and uses alternative and culturally appropriate repertoire of skills and techniques and behaviors
  • Seeks consultation regarding addressing individual and cultural diversity as needed
  • Uses culturally relevant best practices
  • Demonstrates integration of diversity and multiple identity aspects in conceptualization of supervision process with all participants (client(s), supervisee, supervisor)
  • Demonstrates adaptation of own professional behavior in a culturally sensitive manner as appropriate to the needs of the supervision context and all parties in it
  • Articulates and uses diversity appropriate repertoire of skills and techniques in supervisory process
  • Identifies impact of aspects of self in therapy and supervision

Ethics Codes

The American Counseling Association (ACA) make the following statements, in addition to others, in their ethics code.

Counselors refrain from referring prospective and current clients based solely on the counselor’s personally held values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Counselors respect the diversity of clients and seek training in areas in which they are at risk of imposing their values onto clients, especially when the counselor’s values are inconsistent with the client’s goals or are discriminatory in nature.
Counselors practice only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, state and national professional credentials, and appropriate professional experience. Whereas multicultural counseling competency is required across all counseling specialties, counselors gain knowledge, personal awareness, sensitivity, dispositions, and skills pertinent to being a culturally competent counselor in working with a diverse client population.
Counselors do not condone or engage in discrimination against prospective or current clients, students, employees, supervisees, or research participants based on age, culture, disability, ethnicity, race, religion/spirituality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/ partnership status, language preference, socioeconomic status, immigration status, or any basis proscribed by law.

The National Association of Social Works (NASW) make the following statements, in addition to others, in their ethics code:

(a) Social workers should understand culture and its function in human behavior and society, recognizing the strengths that exist in all cultures.

(b) Social workers should have a knowledge base of their clients’ cultures and be able to demonstrate competence in the provision of services that are sensitive to clients’ cultures and to differences among people and cultural groups.

(c) Social workers should obtain education about and seek to understand the nature of social diversity and oppression with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, and mental or physical disability.

The American Psychological Association (APA) makes the following statement in their ethics code.

Psychologists respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination. Psychologists are aware that special safeguards may be necessary to protect the rights and welfare of persons or communities whose vulnerabilities impair autonomous decision making. Psychologists are aware of and respect cultural, individual and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language and socioeconomic status and consider these factors when working with members of such groups. Psychologists try to eliminate the effect on their work of biases based on those factors, and they do not knowingly participate in or condone activities of others based upon such prejudices.

The APA also makes the following statement on its website:

Preparing Professional Psychologists to Serve a Diverse Public

Training Values Diversity Statement

Several training agencies – the Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies (ACCTA), the Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs (CCPTP), and the Society for Counseling Psychology (SCP) created a statement to address diversity training.

Counseling Psychology Model Training Values Statement Addressing Diversity