Domain IV: Culturally Responsive and Socially Just Relational Practices

Domain IV positions counselling as primarily a relational practice. In earlier publications, I argued for centralizing the working alliance within multicultural counselling competency models (Collins & Arthur, 2010a, 2010b). The counselling relationship has since been given a position of prominence in other competency frameworks (Ratts, Singh, Nassar-McMillan, Butler, & McCullough, 2015, 2016). Its importance has also been reinforced by the common factors research, which point to the significance of relational factors in counselling outcomes (Duncan, 2014; Feinstein, Heiman, & Yager, 2015). I have placed the client–counselling relationship, once again, as a foundation component of the CRSJ counselling model. It is in this moment-by-moment interface between counsellor and client that their personal cultural identities and social locations play out and that bridges of understanding and empathy are co-constructed as a foundation for collaborative goal-setting and intervention planning. The CRSJ counselling model (Collins, 2018) further positions the process of counselling itself as a relational practice (Paré, 2013), which implies counsellor dispositions and actions that can be taught and learned.

The three chapters in this section of the teaching and learning guide provide learning activities related to the three core competencies (CC) in this domain.


Core Competencies for CRSJ Counselling

Domain IV: Centralize Culturally Responsive and Socially Just Relational Practices

CC10 Transformative Relationship: Optimize the transformative nature of the client–counsellor relationship.

CC11 Salience of Culture and Social LocationAssess the salience and the interplay of clientcounsellor cultural identities and social locations.

CC12 Constructive Collaboration: Nurture collaborative and egalitarian relationships with clients.

Note. Copyright 2018 by S. Collins.


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

Collins, S., & Arthur, N. (2010a). Culture-infused counseling: A framework for multicultural competence. In N. Arthur & S. Collins (Eds.). Culture-infused counselling (2nd ed., pp. 45-65). Calgary, AB: Counselling Concepts.

Collins, S., & Arthur, N. (2010b). Culture-infused counseling: A fresh look at a classic framework of multicultural counseling competencies. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 23, 203-216.

Duncan, B. L. (2014). So you want to be a better therapist. In On becoming a better therapist: Evidence-based practice one client at a time (2nd ed., pp. 3-33). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Feinstein, R., Heiman, N., & Yager, J. (2015). Common factors affecting psychotherapy outcomes: some implications for teaching psychotherapy. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 21(3), 180–189.

Paré, D. (2013). The practice of collaborative counseling & psychotherapy: Developing skills in culturally mindful counselling. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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.

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