Counseling Psychology Model Training Values Statement Addressing Diversity
Respect for diversity and for values different from one's own is a central value of counseling psychology training programs. The valuing of diversity is also consistent with the profession of psychology as mandated by the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct (2002) and as discussed in the Guidelines and Principles of Programs in Professional Psychology (APA, 2005). More recently there has been a call for counseling psychologists to actively work and advocate for social justice and prevent further oppression in society. Counseling psychologists provide services, teach, and/or engage in research with or pertaining to members of social groups that have often been devalued, viewed as deficient, or otherwise marginalized in the larger society.
Academic training programs, internships that employ counseling psychologists and espouse counseling values, and post-doc training programs (herein "training programs") in counseling psychology exist within multicultural communities that contain people of diverse racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds; national origins; religious, spiritual and political beliefs; physical abilities; ages; genders; gender identities, sexual orientations, and physical appearance. Counseling psychologists believe that training communities are enriched by members' openness to learning about others who are different than them as well as acceptance of others. Internship trainers, professors, practicum supervisors (herein "trainers") and students and interns (herein "trainees") agree to work together to create training environments that are characterized by respect, safety, and trust. Further, trainers and trainees are expected to be respectful and supportive of all individuals, including, but not limited to clients, staff, peers, and research participants.
Trainers recognize that no individual is completely free from all forms of bias and prejudice. Furthermore, it is expected that each training community will evidence a range of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Nonetheless, trainees and trainers in counseling psychology training programs are expected to be committed to the social values of respect for diversity, inclusion, and equity. Further, trainees and trainers are expected to be committed to critical thinking and the process of self-examination so that such prejudices or biases (and the assumptions on which they are based) may be evaluated in the light of available scientific data, standards of the profession, and traditions of cooperation and mutual respect. Thus, trainees and trainers are asked to demonstrate a genuine desire to examine their own attitudes, assumptions, behaviors, and values and to learn to work effectively with "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" (APA Ethics Code, 2002, Principle E, p. 1063). Stated simply, both trainers and trainees are expected to demonstrate a willingness to examine their personal values, and to acquire and utilize professionally relevant knowledge and skills regardless of their beliefs, attitudes, and values.