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Course Title

Culturally Competent Counseling: Building Skills and Awareness

Course Number

ISCA 405

Course Overview

Counselors who possess a deep sense of self-awareness, engage in continual learning, and are accepting of change have the capacity to be more culturally aware and responsive to the needs of their students and community members. In this course, you will learn about the elements of being a culturally competent counselor, engage in reflective work to compassionately identify and address counseling interfering behaviors, unpack your own cultural lineage to gain a more precise understanding of your own cultural identity formulation, practice the foundational skills needed to provide culturally competent care to your community members, and collaborate with other international counseling professionals. This course offers you requisite knowledge to initiate, sustain, and expand upon your personal and pedagogical knowledge as an international counseling professional.

This course will support you in providing strategies for your students to be able to:

SE:A1:3 Develop self-awareness and self-management skills essential for mental health

SE:A1:6 Develop healthy ways to identify, express, and respond to one’s emotions

SE:A1:7 Identify personal and social identities

SE:A2:2 Develop empathy, respect, compassion, and acceptance of differences which are essential components of healthy relationships

SE:B1:4 Accept responsibility for own decisions and modify behavior accordingly

GP:A1:2 Differentiate between surface culture and deep culture GP:A1:3 Explore how cultural traditions impact one’s identity GP:A1:5 Examine the ways in which cultural values and beliefs may conflict

GP:A1:7 Examine the impact that cultural values may have on the privilege or marginalization of groups

GP:A1:8 Examine prejudices and biases

GP:A1:9 Engage in local cultures and languages where one lives GP:A2:2 Identify shared values between self and others GP:A2:6 Accept feedback as a means to personal growth with regards to understanding other perspectives

GP:B1:3 Analyze the complexity of a person’s identity in relation to the concept of intersectionality

GP:B2:6 Compare and contrast one’s own cultural identity to the cultural identity of others

GP:B2:7 Use awareness of self to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups

GP:D1:3 Demonstrate awareness of cultural adjustment

This course is aligned to the following school counselor standards and competencies:

A.3.a. Provide students with a culturally responsive school counseling program that promotes academic, career and social/emotional development and equitable opportunity and achievement outcomes for all students.

A.9.d. Provide culturally responsive mental health resources to parents/guardians.

A.15.c. Promote equity and inclusion through culturally affirming and sustaining practices honoring the diversity of families. Recognize that all parents/guardians, custodial and noncustodial, are vested with certain rights and responsibilities for their children’s welfare by virtue of their role and according to law. 

B.3.k. Honor the diversity and identities of students and seek training/supervision when prejudice or biases interfere with providing comprehensive school counseling services to all pre-K– 12 students. School counselors will not refuse services to students based solely on personally held beliefs/values rooted in one’s religion, culture, or ethnicity. School counselors work toward a school climate that embraces diverse identities and promotes equitable outcomes in academic, career and social/emotional development for all students.

Intended Audience

Professional School Counselors

Aspiring School Counselors

Educational Psychologists

Licensed Mental Health Clinicians, etc.

Essential Questions

  • How do your cultural background and lived experiences influence your perspective and worldview?
  • How will becoming a more culturally competent counselor impact your current and future work with students and other members of your community?
  • How can investing in your continued professional growth and development provide a framework to help you work through personal biases as you build rapport with members of your community?
  • How can you embody the roles of counselor, advocate/ social justice advocate as you grow through the process of cultural understanding?



Participants will have knowledge about:

Participants will be able to:

  • Why being culturally competent is imperative when supporting a diverse, globally minded student body
  • What being a culturally competent counselor looks like
  • The importance of multi-tiered systems of support when creating a culturally responsive, comprehensive counseling program
  • Interventions, supports, and communities to engage and collaborate with to grow their counseling knowledge and practice
  • The impact one’s own culture and family of origin have on their present perspective and worldview
  • Intersectionality and how adopting an intersectional framework is foundational to being a culturally competent clinician
  • The evolution from cultural competence, to cultural humility, to culturally responsive.
  • Learn how to adapt the genogram to gain more historical insight and learn about different patterns of behavior, etc.
  • Implement more culturally diverse and responsive interventions to help students and families.
  • Better advocate for underrepresented and marginalized students in their schools.
  • Create a plan to increase their level of cultural humility.
  • Identify intrinsic and exterior barriers that impede their growth in being more culturally responsive.
  • Increase their level of cultural competence, understanding, and sensitivity through collaborative learning and ongoing supervision.
  • Use the Cultural Formulation Interview to gain a deeper, more robust understanding of their students’ and the cultural connection to their presenting problems.
  • Create drafts of plans for programs to support marginalized communities in their schools.

About the Facilitator

Kindall Tyson is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, Professional School Counselor, and National Certified Counselor impassioned by supporting students to lead more authentic and fulfilling lives and mature into the person they desire to be.

She has worked in various settings from community mental health facilities, group homes, middle schools in the US, international schools in Beijing, and private practice. Supporting culturally diverse communities in these setting helped her to deepen her understanding of and appreciation for culturally responsive counseling and programming.

Kindall specializes in working with adolescents and their families, and she currently resides Beijing, China and works as the lead social-emotional counselor at a top international school while also operating her private therapy and consulting practice, globally. Not only does Kindall understand the importance of individuals being seen and supported, but she also recognizes that students possess the necessary tools to effect positive change in their lives.

Through her work, she aims to help facilitate the process of illumination, self-discovery, and goal setting with empathy and collaboration. Furthermore, she is passionate about reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and helping others live their lives with power and purpose.

Dates and times of offerings

September 19 and 26, 2024 - 12:00PM UTC

Contact hours

6 hours

Time commitment between sessions

5 hours

Required Resource(s)


Cultural Formulation Interview

Cultural Genogram template


Chapter 1: Setting the Stage for Competency (Multicultural Counseling Workbook, pgs. 3-40)

ASCA Code of Ethics

ISCA Student Standards

ADDRESSING framework


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