Culture-infused counselling: A fresh look at a classic framework of multicultural counselling competencies

Sandra Collins, Nancy Arthur

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


This paper provides an historical overview of discussions of competency for counselling practice across cultures and critiques the current frameworks of multicultural counselling competencies. A rationale is provided for a more inclusive definition of culture, a means of integrating additional domains of practice, and a shift away from the narrow focus on strategies and techniques. A new model of culture-infused counselling is proposed that is centered on the working alliance between counsellors and clients. It is argued that the concept of the working alliance is a pantheoretical and superordinate construct that provides a more sound organizational structure for the competency frameworks. Intervention strategies and techniques may then be assessed in terms of their contribution to the purposeful and collaborative work that characterizes a culturally sensitive working alliance. This conceptual shift has implications for the articulation of specific attitudes and beliefs, knowledge, and skills that contribute to multicultural counselling competence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-216
Number of pages14
JournalCounselling Psychology Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun. 2010


  • Competency frameworks
  • Cultural counselling
  • Multicultural competence
  • Working alliance


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