Financial counselors’ experiences working with clients of color: Lessons of cultural awareness

Blendine Perreire Hawkins, Virginia S. Zuiker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Financial counseling work with clients of color is unique and can be complex. There is a need for a better understanding of culturally aware and competent counseling approaches with clients of color to provide effective services. Nine financial professionals who work with clients of color were interviewed in this qualitative phenomenological study resulting in three emergent themes: beyond the numbers, building a bridge, and switching gears. The lessons learned from their experiences were endorsements to expand the focus of counseling beyond the problem and the individual client to the larger cultural context and familial situation, to devote efforts to the counselor’s relationship with clients of color, and to be adaptive and flexible in the counseling process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-17
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Financial Counseling and Planning
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch project MIN-52?07.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education®.


  • Clients of color
  • Cultural competence
  • Financial counselors
  • Qualitative design


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