Privilege, Power and Social Class

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Three factors that contribute to impacting counseling are privilege, power and social class. These begin to impact us as a counselor through our experiences in life. We may not realize the impact it will have on us until we proceed in our lives. Looking at Anthony’s story we can see how he was raised, changes in his life and decisions that were made according to his experiences. For a counselor. It is important to realize the impact and understand how our views can affect decisions and behaviors; just as seen in Anthony’s story.

Privilege and Power

While I was growing up there were times that my family faced financial problems, some lasted longer than others. This is where I learned the power and privilege will impact everyone’s worldview one way or another. I knew that I preferred our life when we were financially stable because I did not have to worry about anything and I felt secure. I had the privilege of living a secure life for the most part. My family would travel at least 4 times a year. Power is something that is difficult to obtain. It can be important to some, but it is unnecessary to obtain. Looking back at my father’s past, I can see how power is created by gathering knowledge (Grant & Cadell, 2009). I see it necessary to continue my education to obtain both, power and privilege to advance to a better future and become a better counselor.

Social Class and Worldview

An important part of the counseling process is social class as a will have an influence on our worldview. People tend to associate with others who are like them and the way they perceive themselves to be in society. As seen in Anthony’s story, it was noticeable how he was affected by this. As his socioeconomic status shifted he was having a difficult time associating with others, there was a noticeable difference (Thomas, A. J., and Schwarzbaum, S., 2006). He began to behave the way he thought others were expecting him to act; along with isolating himself from others (Thomas, A. J., and Schwarzbaum, S., 2006). Not only was the socioeconomic noticeable in Anthony’s story but expectation for social class.

Social Class and Counseling

Social class is a vital part in our lives. Liu, Ali, Soleck, Hopps, Dunston, and Pickett stated (2004) that it is the utmost cultural dimension in a person’s life. A counselor will influence their client during their sessions, it is important for them to acknowledge the impact that they have on the client with the methods that are used. I can identify with upper middle class. As I grew up, my family and I have moved up and down this spectrum. Therefore, I can comprehend and relate. I feel that I would struggle little in understanding upper class as I am not too familiar in this area. I may come into certain obstacles when it comes to dealing with upper class as views may vary from mine. It will be important to learn more about upper class as I am more familiar with middle and lower class.


To conclude, there are numerous things that required to define our worldview. Power and privilege will have an impact on a person’s worldview. As a counselor, it is important to be aware of things that can influence them such as social class influencing counseling methods. Taking into consideration these influences are important to consider before and during a counseling session with a client. Considering this can help prevent certain behaviors that can cause some bias and gain knowledge at the same time.


  1. Grant, J., & Cadell, S. (2009). Power, pathological worldviews, and the strengths perspective in social work. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 90(4), 425-430.
  2. Liu, W. M., Ali, S. R., Soleck, G., Hopps, J., dunston, K., & Pickett, T. J. (2004). Using Social Class in Counseling Psychology Research. Journal Of Counseling Psychology, 51(1), 3-18. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.51.1.3
  3. Thomas, A. J., & Schwarzbaum, S. (2006). Anthony’s Story. In A. J. Thomas & S. Schwarzbaum, Culture and identity: Life stories for counselors and therapists. (pp. 263-279) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Cite this paper

Privilege, Power and Social Class. (2021, Mar 28). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/privilege-power-and-social-class/

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