When considering family assessment, one must consider that all individuals come from unique and diverse backgrounds, including families. A counselor must attain a familiarity with these differences in order to strengthen the counseling relationship between him/her and the client. The assessment part of a counseling session is a critical one; the counselor and client become more aware of each other, build rapport and become respectful of each others beliefs and values (Nietzel, 1998). In addition, counselors must become familiar with and be sensitive when assessing African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic American families. .
First of all, counselors must be sensitive when assessing African-American families. Overemphasis on the differences that separate this cultural group from others may promote stereotyping. It is important to keep this in mind, so as to avoid it. .
Secondly, counselors must be sensitive when assessing Asian-American families, as well. Many Asian Americans emphasize the collective good and make plans with the family in mind. Family roles tend to be highly structured. For example, obligations to parents are respected throughout one's life, especially male children (Corey, 1995). .
Lastly, counselors must be sensitive when assessing Hispanic American families. The values of Latinos emphasize the cultural content. Parents are afforded a great deal of respect. Hispanics also usually place a high value on spiritual matters and religion (Corey, 1995).
In conclusion, when considering family assessment, counselors must be aware and sensitive to diverse backgrounds. Counselors must gain an awareness of different ethnic backgrounds, as well. Every type of background will have different needs and expectations when it comes to counseling. In addition, there are many different culture norms and traditions to be sensitive to, depending on the needs of the client.