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Lynch School of Education

Commitment to Social Justice

At the core of the counseling and counseling psychology programs is an emphasis on social justice as a critical foundation for training, research, and professional practice, reflecting one of the foundational missions of Boston College. The Counseling programs at Boston College have been national leaders in infusing social justice into education, practice, and scholarship, with initial efforts beginning more than 15 years ago to infuse culture, community, and context into the training model. These standards and guidelines apply to all aspects of professional behavior, including (but not limited to) counseling and psychotherapy, supervision, teaching, classroom behavior, research, consultation, and collegial relations.

Members of the Boston College community are committed to educating each other about the existence and effects of racism, sexism, ageism, heterosexism, classism, religious intolerance, and other forms of insidious prejudice and discrimination. We are also committed to creating and maintaining a positive educational climate that allows for open inquiry, free expression, and effective conflict resolution while promoting understanding and respect for human diversity. Faculty members and students engage each other in a manner that includes and respects each party’s background and socio-demographic identity and group memberships.

Students should be aware that self-exploration and self-knowledge are prerequisites for effective counseling, teaching, and research. Consequently, many courses and training experiences require students to engage in self-reflection. This might include introspection and self-disclosure about attitudes, beliefs, opinions, feelings, and personal histories that could have injurious effects on members of the counseling community and/or clients if left unexamined.

The social justice emphasis is congruent with the Multicultural Counseling Competencies of the American Counseling Association (ACA) as well as the American Psychological Association (APA) Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists; the APA Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients; the APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Girls and Women; and the APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Older Adults.