Domain VI: Implement and Evaluate Culturally Responsive and Socially Just Change Processes

CC17 Mesolevel Change

Engage in culturally responsive and socially just change processes at the mesolevel (i.e., schools, organizations, and communities) in collaboration with, or on behalf of, clients

Sandra Collins

From a CRSJ counselling perspective, many client problems require systems level change processes. Core competency 17 of the CRSJ counselling model (Collins, 2018) positions change at the mesolevel as targeting intervention in schools, organizations, communities, and other relatively small systems in which clients participate. The feminist and multicultural movements encouraged an expansion of the boundaries of change processes to the contexts of clients’ lives (Singh & Moss, 2016). Learners often struggle to move beyond recognition of the social determinants of health and the impact of systemic oppression to engage in mesolevel change processes. The table below provides examples of mesolevel interventions designed to support change within the immediate contexts of clients’ lives; some of these change processes are mirrored in other competency models (Lewis, Arnold, House, & Toporek, 2003; Ratts, Singh, Nassar-McMillan, Butler, & McCullough, 2015, 2016). At the mesolevel, learners require new skills to both collaborate with, and to act on behalf of, clients to identify, advocate for, and implement change.


CRSJ Counselling Key Concepts

  • Advocacy
  • Allyship/solidarity
  • Outreach
  • Consultation
  • Networking
  • Interprofessional collaboration
  • Interorganization collaboration
  • Community development and capacity building
  • Community engagement
  • Organizational development
  • Organizational policy change
  • Prevention
  • Health promotion
  • Program development and evaluation
  • Counsellor education
  • Service-based learning
  • CRSJ counselling supervision


Acting on behalf of clients (Self-study)

Review the Advocacy Competencies of the American Counselling Association (Lewis, Arnold, House, & Toropek, 2002), paying particular attention to the model at the beginning of the article. Focusing on the bottom half of the cube (acting on behalf), consider the following client scenario:

Claude is a first nations man with early onset Alzheimer’s. He has been living with extended family on a reserve near a large urban centre. His primary caregiver is his mother. However, she has become ill herself, and Claude’s needs for supervised care have increased substantively. There are insufficient resources on the reserve to support his continued care, and other members of the extended family don’t have the time, space, or energy to take his care on full-time. There are no facilities in the urban centre that have specific Aboriginal health foci or resources. The family, 4‒5 members at a time, have visited three of facilities and experienced a very cool reception from the staff, particularly in response to questions about space for the family to meet and opportunities for them to practice their own cultural healing rituals with Claude. They have noticed that these rituals seem to ground him and bring him peace.

Identify two specific example of advocacy for Claude and/or his family that would fit in each of the three cells: (a) client advocacy, (b) systems advocacy, and (c) social/political advocacy. Review the relevant sections of the article for ideas.

[Permanent link:]

Becoming an Ally








Interprofessional Collaboration


Interorganization Collaboration


Community Development and Capacity Building


Community Engagement


Organizational Development


Organizational Policy Change




Health Promotion


Program Development and Evaluation


Counsellor Education


Service-Based Learning


CRSJ Counselling Supervision



Collins, S. (2018). Embracing cultural responsivity and social justice: Re-shaping professional identity in counselling psychology [Epub version]. Victoria, BC: Counselling Concepts. Retrieved from

Lewis, J., Arnold, M. S., House, R., & Toropek, R. L. (2002). American Counseling Association advocacy competencies. Alexandria, VA: Advocacy Task Force, American Counseling Association. Retrieved from

Ratts, M. J., Singh, A. A., Nassar-McMillan, S., Butler, S. K., & McCullough, J. R. (2015). Multicultural and social justice competencies. Retrieved from Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, Division of American Counselling Association website:

Ratts, M. J., Singh, A. A., Nassar-McMillan, S., Butler, S. K., & McCullough, J. R. (2016). Multicultural and social justice counseling competencies: Guidelines for the counseling profession. Journal of Multicultural Counseling & Development, 44, 28-48.

Singh, A. A., & Moss, L. (2016). Using relational-cultural theory in LGBTQQ counseling: Addressing heterosexism and enhancing relational competencies. Journal of Counseling and Development, 94, 398-404.


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