Standard Article

Multicultural Counseling

  1. Courtland C. Lee

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy2007

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Lee, C. C. 2010. Multicultural Counseling. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of Maryland at College Park

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Multicultural counseling, sometimes referred to as cross-cultural counseling, is a relatively new discipline within the helping professions. It has been called the fourth theoretical force in counseling after the psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and humanistic approaches to helping (Pedersen, 1991). The discipline of multicultural counseling is the direct result of key historical and social movements in the United States following World War II that continued through the last half of the twentieth century. This can be characterized as a period of great change in American society that was initiated by a fundamental questioning of the nature of social exclusion for many groups of people. Groups that had been historically marginalized and oppressed began to demand, as never before, social, economic, and political inclusion within the mainstream of American life. These demands manifested themselves in large-scale social and political movements that ultimately forced significant changes to the country's landscape. At the vanguard of these movements was the struggle for racial and ethnic equality that served as a major catalyst for the efforts of other traditionally excluded groups to demand access, equity, and social justice (Burnhill, Butler, Hipolito-Delgado, Humphrey, Lee, Muñoz, & Shin, 2009).


  • multicultural competency;
  • diversity;
  • culture;
  • worldview