Professor First to Publish an Exploration of Counseling and Color

Aretha Faye Marbley interviewed individuals and used their stories to gain insight into issues in counseling services provided to people of color.

Marbley's book is the first book in the topic of counseling services and people of color.

Texas Tech’s Aretha Faye Marbley, professor and director of community counseling in counselor education, published her book “Multicultural Counseling: Perspectives from Counselors as Clients of Color,” a first for the topic.

Marbley conducted a research study in which she interviewed eight individuals representing each of the major groups of color in the United States: African-American, Asian, Asian-American, Hispanic, Latino and American-Indian, to obtain stories of their first-hand experiences. Marbley used the stories to gain insight into the problems and failures of counseling services provided to people of color.

Leonie J. Brooks, associate professor at Townson University, said, “Professor Marbley should be commended for taking on this critical topic and endeavoring to present the unique experiences of individuals of color as both counselors and clients.”

Brooks said the book emphasizes an important aspect of addressing those who go unheard.

“The inclusion of these often absent voices in the discourse of providing culturally competent counseling services is absolutely essential and refreshing,” Brooks said.

Throughout the book, Marbley embeds quotes from the interviews to highlight the shortcomings of the groups in their own words. A chapter is devoted to each of the groups as well as one to counseling issues related to gender. The chapters also provide an overview of the literature on the historical experiences of these groups in mental health and include a discussion of the counselors’ experiences.

The book concludes with implications and recommendations of counseling and psychotherapy with these groups, and also a look at the need for a social justice movement within the mental health field in order to improve the experiences of and outcomes for people of color.


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