VISTAS Multicultural Issues in Counseling

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Potential Conflicts Between Cultural Values and the Role of Confidentiality When Counseling South Asian Clients: Implications for Ethical Practice

Savita Abrahams and Carmen Salazar


A review of the counseling literature reflects numerous articles (e.g., Chandras, Eddy, & Spaulding, 1999; Das & Kemp, 1997; Ramisetty-Mikler, 1993; Sandhu, 1997) devoted to discussion of South Asian culture and its related values. Although beneficial in understanding the world of the South Asian client, these sources make no reference to potential conflicts between South Asian cultural values and the role of confidentiality in the Western model of counseling. To be both ethical and culturally competent practitioners, counselors and trainees working with South Asian individuals and families need to understand how South Asian values directly complicate confidentiality for both client(s) and counselor. It benefits the counseling profession to explore and outline ways to reconcile the legal and ethical standard of confidentiality with the values deeply held by the South Asian client and his or her family

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