Ethics In Counseling

Ethics In Counseling

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People deal with different life situation’s every day and counseling is a great way to cope with situations that are hard to cope by oneself. Counselors are faced with these situations and it is extremely important to be prepared and have the proper training to be able to handle a client’s situation to the best of their ability. There are rules and regulations to help keep counselors on a professional level to help guide with situations such as confidentiality, supervisor and trainee relationships, and diversity and clinical experience.
In the case study presented the first ethical issue is diversity and clinical experience. James wants to use his father to help boost up his clients because he works for a newspaper. He was anxious to have his first client that he didn’t prepare for that he just took on his first client Lisa whom he was running late and he didn’t even go over the intake documents with her. He just had her sign them without reading them so she really had no idea what it was. James noticed that Lisa was experiencing signs of depression such as loss of appetite, decreased motivation, and overall dissatisfaction. James was supposed to report this to his supervisor but forgot to mention it. In the first place James should have been supervised because he does not have the proper training to handle Lisa’s case because of his lack of diversity. Through training this would have been noted one of his weakness to work on expanding his diversity. Training is just that training and is supposed to be supervised so the trainee knows what their strengths and weaknesses are to help them be successful in counseling. (APA, 2012, standard 2.01) states that psychologists should only provide their service only within the boundaries of their competence (American psychological Association, (2012). ACA 2005 states by working with the diverse than knowledge will be gained (American Counselor’s Association 2005). To avoid the situation James needs to be supervised so he can learn what he needs to work on from the feedback. James needs to be on a case that he is familiar with at first to give him some practice and then later on move to a case like Lisa’s. James needs to make sure that he goes over every document that needs to be signed so the client can understand what they are signing.

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An increasing concern of most ethics codes and for the professions in general has to do with multicultural and diversity issues. An appreciation for these issues is woven throughout most current codes. The CAPS Statement's section on competence encourages members to make sure they are sensitive to and have the proper training when working with special (diverse) populations. The latest ACA code urges counselors to "actively attempt to understand the diverse cultural backgrounds of the clients they serve" and how their own "cultural identities" affect them in the counseling process (ACA, 2005: Introduction). Principle E of the APA code continues to emphasize respect for people's rights and dignity regardless of cultural or individual differences (APA, 2002), and the APA has also adopted a set of guidelines separate from the ethics code that focuses on multicultural issues (APA, 2003).
The second ethical issues is Confidentiality because here is James’ with no experience and no supervision trying to deal with a case that a crime has been committed because Lisa slipped her step father medication while he was drinking and he had dies that same night due to mixing them. Lisa was on going taking abuse from her step farther and she was only seven when she committed the crime. James is in a tough situation because he has to decide to report the crime or withhold information due to confidentiality. According to the American counselor Association gives expectations when a client can lose confidentiality due to keeping the client safe and out of danger. The American Psychology Association states that there must be consent before entering a third party (American Psychology Association 2012). There are limits when it comes to confidentiality but when upholding it builds trust between counselor and client. If the information is harmful to themselves or others and if the information is upholding information from the authorities could become violation to the law. If I was James I would not report anything to the authorities because the incident happened when Lisa was only seven years old and she went through years of abuse. Now it doesn’t make it right for what Lisa did but I would keep it confidential and try to help Lisa cope. James needs to study the ACA and APA code of ethics to see if anyone is in harm around Lisa if not then the information should remain confidential.
The third ethical issue is supervisory and responsibility. James’s girlfriend is his clinical supervisor which should never happen because there past will be a distraction for them both. He is hoping they can catch up since they have not seen each other in a while. James puts his ex-girlfriends credentials by his name which clearly states Licensed Professional counselor which is false information because he is in training. She is easy on James because she assumes that since she knows him that he is already a great counselor and puts him with a Lisa a client with many issues unsupervised. APA, 2012, standard 7 on education and training provides for limitations on relations between students and supervisors to ensure that students get adequate knowledge and experience. According to the American Psychology Association the relationship between supervisor and trainee should be limited to ensure the proper trainee receives the proper training (American Psychology Association 2012.) ACA, 2005 section F1. A. requires supervisors to regularly monitor the services offers by the counselors. The supervisor and supervisee should regularly meet to discuss the progress of the client as well as himself. This was not the case in James as he attended the sessions by alone (American Counseling Association, 2005). First of all his ex-girlfriend should have referred him to someone else.
According to Foster and Miller and Davis the first step would be to identify the problem. Step two would be to apply the APA and ACA code of ethics. The third step involved determination of the nature and dimension of the dilemma. The forth step is determine the force of action. The fifth step knows the limitations of each action. The sixth step is the evaluation of the action. The seventh step is was the suggestion of the course of action.
The rules of APA and ACA code of ethics are put in place to protect the counselor and the client. It is important that everything that should be signed that the client should know what it is before signing and not just saying that it really doesn’t matter because it does. A code of ethics for most professional organizations or associations is designed to articulate the standards of practice for a group of people. It is a way to express the collective values of a profession. A code of ethics “is a living document that can assist with individual ethical quandaries and be broad enough to encompass many divergent ethical situations” (Kocet, 2006, p. 7).
The Code is revised approximately every 7 to 10 years and provides an opportunity for the counseling profession to examine current practices and issues faced by professionals in the roles and settings in which counselors most frequently work (such as mental health agencies, schools, research, clinical practice, supervision, and counselor education). A central focus of the professional code of ethics is to help guide professional practice with clients, students, supervisees, colleagues, and research participants. A code of ethics is designed to protect the well-being of those served by counselors, as well as to advance the work of the profession (Eriksen & Kress, 2005; Kocet, 2005). Current American Counseling Association (ACA) code also takes a more permissive approach toward NSMR's, but with a different twist. The ACA Code clearly indicates that some NSMR's are "potentially beneficial," but that counselors must carefully document (ahead of time if possible) their rationale for the multiple relationships. If "unintentional harm" occurs as a result of entering into the multiple relationships, the counselor must also show how he/she attempted to remedy the situation (ACA, 2005: A.5.d). The code also deals with situations where the professional changes roles in the midst of counseling, as say, when the counselor suggests a change from individual counseling to family counseling. In these situations, the counselor is to obtain informed consent from the counselee for the change, explaining possible consequences, and allowing the counselee to refuse the services (ACA, 2005: A.5.e).
The code of ethics is separating the counselor and the client to keep their relationship on a personal level. A counselor has to go by the ethic codes because depends on the clients situation it might be hard not take things personally.

American Counseling Association (2005) Code of Ethics
American Psychology Association (2012) Solving Real World Problems
Argosy University (2014) Argosy University Online Classroom
Kocet M. (2005) Highlights of 2005 Code of Ethics Spring2006, Vol. 84 Issue 2, p228-234. 7p.Sanders, K (2010) Psychology Monitoring Major Changes
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