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Case Study

Satisfactory Essays
Summary and Identification of Ethical Problem Sandra, a new client, came to me seeking counseling for “personal growth” and attaining inner peace. She elaborated on what she hoped to get out of therapy. Then she inquired if I was a Christian counselor, because she was a born again Christian and Christ was an important aspect of her everyday life. The ethical dilemmas presented are counseling relationships and professional responsibility. Although I am a spiritual person, I am not religious, and Sandra is seeking a Christian counselor. If I chose to counsel Sandra, I would no longer be practicing in my area of competence. Ethical Principles Involved in the Case Out of the five ethical principles, I have found four to be involved in Sandra’s case. If I were to take Sandra as a client, I would be going against the ethical principle nonmalificence. Without much knowledge about Christianity, I might unintentionally say or do something that is offensive to Sandra. This is why it is important for counselors stay within their field of competence. Beneficence is the second principle that is involved. The only way for me to do good for Sandra is to refer her to a Christian counselor so she can receive care from a competent provider. Taking Sandra as a client would not do her justice because I would be making an exception to the rule of treating everyone fairly. I would not accept a client looking for acceptance commitment therapy without proper training, so it would be wrong to accept a client looking for a Christian counselor without being a Christian. The last ethical principle involved in this case study was fidelity, which would be lost if I chose to counsel Sandra. I believe it would be difficult to form a trusting relati... ... middle of paper ... ... she is happy I told her the truth about not being a Christian counselor and that she accepts that I cannot continue to see her. Despite the immediate consequences, this course of action allows for long-term benefits for both Sandra and me. Sandra will have referrals to a Christian counselor to help her work on personal growth and inner peace in ways that I could not and she would be working with someone who holds values closer to hers. I will have the peace of knowing that I have stuck with my ethical principles, which are in place to benefit the client. In addition, I will feel confident that I did the right thing by referring Sandra to a counselor with more knowledge of her religious background. Ultimately, Sandra will have resources to receive the treatment she wants from the type of provider she wants and I will have maintained my sense of professionalism.
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