Counseling Morals For Practitioners Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Psychology Type: Essay Paper: #99385239 Related Topics: Career Counseling, Group Counseling, Counseling Psychology, Ethical Considerations
Excerpt from Essay :

Ethical Considerations for Counselors

There are definite ethical implications of a counselor expressing his or her own personal values to a client. In general, the summation of these issues makes the expression of such values to a client the sort of action in which counselors should not engage. From a purely ethical stance, however, it is clear that counselors and most other professionals who work in areas of social and salutary concerns wield an exceedingly amount of power. Quite simply, these individuals are frequently perceived as authority figures due to the fact that they have experience in their fields, possibly have advanced degrees as well, and are deemed experts in their profession. Thus, the principle ethical consideration of a counselor expressing his or her own values to a client is that he or she can substantially impact that person's own values. In most instances, the point of people seeking counseling is not to influence their opinions or their value. The point, rather, is to help them with a certain situation or problem that might have lingering psychological, mental, and even social ramifications. In almost all instances, it is possible for a counselor to help solve those problems without conveying his or her own values. Doing so forces counselors to remain objective about the situation and not ascribe their own values to it, which may produce the unwanted effect of 'brainwashing' clients and molding their own thinking and valuation into that of their counselors. Such a result is not the point of counseling and effectively represents an unfair manifestation of the sort of power ascribed to a counselor. Furthermore, additional ethical implications of such a practice on the part of counselors are akin to socializing or interacting with their patients outside of clinical hours. Such interactions are avoided because of the undue power in such a relationship attributed to the counselor's job -- the same concept applies to the counselor's values.

Of the numerous actions a counselor might take when confronted with clients they find difficult to treat due to differences in values and beliefs regarding serious issues such as

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Listed in such codes, in some form or another, is the wisdom that counselors are tasked with helping a wide diversification of individuals, and that they should ideally not limited their assistance to merely ones who look like them, or have similar backgrounds, or who act and think like them. In this respect, counselor's should get a reminder of the reason that they are practicing and see how it relates to the person who might be involved in the aforementioned undesirable behavior or circumstances. Licensure boards might also provide resources for such a situation (Henderson, 2013, p. 297). Alternatively, counselors may try to foster a sense of hope in their clients, which could enable "people to make changes to their lives and come closer to living the life they want to live" (Koehn and Cutcliffe, 2010, p. 78).

Additionally, counselors can seek assistance from either their peer group (meaning other counselors in similar positions or with a similar range of experience) or from their superiors. Oftentimes, the latter might have experienced something similar to what the counselor is experiencing with this conflict of values in the counselor's beliefs and the actions or circumstances of the patient. These individuals might issue recommendations that can help the counselor to contextualize the situation and make the best of it. Similarly, counselors can also seek authority from their source of values. For instance, if the counselor is a Catholic and his or her patient is dealing with an abortion or already had an abortion, the counselor could seek assistance from his or her local church about the counselor's professional and personal responsibilities in such a…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Henderson, K.L. (2013). Mandated reporting of child abuse: considerations and guidelines for mental health counselors. Journal of Mental Health Counseling. 35(4), 296-309.

Koehn, C., Cutcliffe, J.R. (2010). The inspiration of hope in substance abuse counseling. Journal of Humanistic Counseling. 51, 78-98.

Rogers, J.R., Gueulette, C.M., Abbey-Hines, J., Carney, J.V., Werth, J.L. (2001). Rational suicides: An empirical investigation of counselor attitudes. Journal of Counseling and Development. 79, 365-372.


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