Differences between people can be hidden or visible. Examples of areas of difference and diversity include gender, faith position, ethnic origin, sexuality and disability.
In counselling, the key thing is not to make assumptions about the client either based on just parts of their lives or because you are applying your own frame of reference. We need to see people as their whole selves – i.e. as fellow human beings – not as either stereotypes or as constructions based on our own views.
Our frame of reference is inevitably influenced by many factors, e.g. our culture, upbringing, family set-up, political stance, personal values and educational background. Counselling training helps us become more self-aware so that we don’t unknowingly project our views onto clients.