How To Be Biased

Admit it; you’re biased! Maybe you’ve learned that as a counselor you’re not supposed to have biases, but that’s just not possible. If you’re alive, you’re biased. Since you’re going to be biased anyway, you might as well choose how to be biased.

The most important thing to do about your biases is to be aware of them. Awareness makes it possible to make use of your biases in helpful and enriching ways. When a bias arises in the course of your work with someone, there are three particularly worthwhile ways to respond:

  1. Admit your bias
  2. Thwart the bias
  3. Consider alternatives

Each of these responses makes something available that enriches the counseling relationship.

About the Author

Steve Bearman, Ph.D., earned his doctorate in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He founded Interchange Counseling Institute in 2002 and is the lead teacher of Interchange's San Francisco-based year-long counseling and coaching training. When he's not counseling people, leading workshops, and advocating for social justice, Steve climbs mountains, adventures in the urban wilderness, explores the edges and limits of what's possible, deconstructs everything, and finds new ways to put it all back together.