Because my group consists of gay men who have recently been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, I will have to discuss a few factors that may have contributed to this client dropping a “last minute bomb” during the end of the session. Firstly, his statement may just be an indication to talk about something deeper; it may not be the he feels cut off; it is that he feels he may not have had a chance to share something else that was on his mind. Newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS clients may have much on their minds so it may just be a time management issue. The client may have wanted to talk about the group topic for the day, or he still may have held resentment toward me from another meeting where I may have not given him the time he thought he deserved.
He may also be more of a passive client or a reluctant client who has been hoping the group would finally talk about an issue he may be dealing without him bringing it up. For example, he has met a new guy but does not know how or when to tell him he is HIV positive. HIV clients may just be afraid to speak up or be noticed because of their diagnosis or because they are gay. They do not want to bring undue attention to themselves in fear of awkward questions. He may just want to avoid the confrontation of dealing with his worry, but the pressure in his mind finally pushed him to speak at the end of the session. If this is the case, he may be testing me or the group to see if we have an alliance with him. “He may be thinking “do I matter to these people?’ “Are they willing to break the rules for me?”
Consequently, I have two choices: end the session as scheduled, adhering to the ...
... middle of paper ...
...entiality statement each group so there is no confusion.
Another ethical consideration, I must address, is when I see members of the group outside of the group where gay men may congregate, how I am to interact with them? I need to allow them to approach me first at all times. Because I am gay, the likelihood of running into one of the group members outside of the group may be high. I must be careful of dual relationships, and people identifying a member as a client because they will presume the association with me as a counselor.
These ethical issues could occur in any group at any time. However, during the transition segment of group, when I need to be modeling honesty and professionalism, I must be very aware how I am perceived as a counselor and as a person. I must be more diligent in my example setting, with, honesty, empathy and unconditional positive regard.
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