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Queering Multicultural Competence in Counseling

Part of the International and Cultural Psychology book series (ICUP)

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to help readers recognize how they reproduce heteronormative colonization, even if they identify as multiculturally competent. Drawing from the narrative of a beneficent heterosexual counselor, Nichole, I critically examine normative assumptions within the field of counseling, challenge the heteronormative status quo of multicultural competence, deconstruct hegemonic practices, and promote critical consciousness. I then examine and unpack the constructs of the discourse of heteronormativity, heterosexism, homophobia, modern heterosexism, microaggressions, heterosexual privilege, and the problematic relationship between each of these constructs and the fields of counseling and counseling psychology. I also present recommendations for decolonizing the field of counseling at the individual and systemic levels. Finally, I call for the fields to move beyond a multicultural counseling competence (MCC) model and to take up a social justice (SJ) model of counseling.

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Correspondence to Lance C. Smith PhD .

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Discussion and Reflection Questions

Discussion and Reflection Questions

  • Did you feel yourself become activated or defensive while reading this chapter? If so, what was that like?

  • How are you like Nichole? How are you different? Please elaborate.

  • For those of you who identify as heterosexual, how do you feel if someone mistakenly identifies you as lesbian, gay, or bisexual?

  • What are manifestations of the discourse of heteronormativity in your daily experience?

  • Discuss a time when you have participated (knowingly or unknowingly) in modern heterosexism or microaggressions?

  • What are three things that you can do to interrupt heteronormativity—to practice anti-heternormative counseling—in your work as a counselor or psychologist?

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Smith, L. (2015). Queering Multicultural Competence in Counseling. In: Goodman, R., Gorski, P. (eds) Decolonizing “Multicultural” Counseling through Social Justice. International and Cultural Psychology. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-1283-4_3

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