Golden Gate University Law Review


In this article, I explore the way in which race neutral training of interviewing and counseling skills may actually lead to continued marginalization of clients of color. Part I of this article examines the racially neutral client-centered counseling models to highlight the difficulties the models engender by failing to incorporate the concept of race particularly as it relates to the models' treatment of the "difficult" client. In Part II, I look at the work of a fellow clinician and ethnographist by revisiting his case analysis to point out the ways in which a race neutral application of client-centered counseling worked to the disadvantage of a black client. Part III explores the empirical data gathered by social scientists operating in a counseling capacity, which demonstrate that race plays a significant role in counselor-client interaction. The data reveal that the race and behavior of the counselor can have an equally serious impact on the relationship as can the race and behavior of the client. Part IV identifies areas of counselor behavior which can be impacted by remedial measures. Finally, in Part V, I suggest combining client-centered counseling skills with a module I call Cross-Cultural Lawyer and Student Self-Awareness Training to enable us to take advantage of interdisciplinary work to broaden our ability to teach effective interviewing and counseling skills.

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