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Culturally competent counselors are accurately aware of culturally learned assumptions by themselves and their clients, comprehend the culturally relevant facts and information about a client' culture and are able to intervene skillfully to bring about positive change through counseling. A three-stage developmental framework proceeds from awareness to knowledge to skill in defining necessary competencies through a needs assessment. Examples of cultural bias are discussed and resistance to multicultural competence by counselors is described. Examples of facts and information needed to comprehend each cultural context meaningfully are identified and the possibility of multiculturalism as a "fourth force" in counseling is examined. Skills for finding common ground are illustrated through an Interpersonal Cultural Grid and a Triad Training Model is described for learning to hear the positive and negative unspoken messages of culturally different clients.

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