A Counselor’s Cultural Identity: Implications from A Multicultural Counseling Perspective in Malaysia

  •  Ng Jia Ying    
  •  Siti Aishah Hassan    
  •  Dzilal Abdul Aziz    


Malaysia is a country with a diversified cultural background, ethnicities, and religions. Islam is the most widely practiced religion, followed by Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, other traditional Chinese religions, as well as other indigenous religions. Despite the richness of the cultural landscape, the counseling services in Malaysia seem to be very limited in terms of diversification of multiculturalism. Cultural relevance of counselling theories, adaptation of Western-trained counseling services to suit a Malaysian culture, and multicultural counseling competencies, are among the concerns in the profession. This paper focuses on factors that shape a counselor’s identity based on their cultural background, and its implications on multicultural counseling in Malaysia. Among the important factors highlighted in this paper are religious beliefs and values, locus of control, gender, and personality. This paper encapsulates the importance of understanding a counselor’s cultural identity for the effectiveness of multicultural counseling in Malaysia.

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