Ethical Principles in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Ethical Principles in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Discuss Principles

• Autonomy

The principle of autonomy is used to address the idea of independence. The importance of this principle is that it allows an individual to have the freedom of action and choice. It addresses the counselor's responsibility of encouraging patients appropriately to make informed decisions, and act in accordance to their own values. In order for clients to become autonomous, it requires two primary considerations: assisting patients to understand how their decisions and actions may be rejected or accepted in the society and how they might affect the overall society. Second, the client must be able to make informed, rational and sound decisions (Aasheim, 2012).

• Non- maleficence

The concept of non-maleficence focuses on not inflicting harm on other people. It is usually described as 'do no harm'. The principle is held as the most crucial among all the principles, despite the fact that they are all equal. This concept reflects the idea that a person should not engage in actions that are likely to cause harm to other. In addition, it mirrors the idea that no one should inflict intentional harm to others (Callana, Corey & Corey, 2011).

• Beneficence

Beneficence is a principle that reflects the responsibility of counselors to contribute to the client's welfare. In simple terms, it refers to be preventing harm, be proactive, and do well when possible.

• Justice

The principle of just is not used to refer to issuing threats to a client. In mental healthcare provision field, justice means giving equal treatment to people of all levels but with relevance to their different mental health problems. If clients must be given different treatments, then counselors must have the ability to provide rationale explaining the appropriateness and necessity of providing different treatments to individuals (Madden, 2008).

• Fidelity

The principle of fidelity entails the idea of honoring commitments, being faithful and loyal to the client. Counselors must ensure that they win the trust of their clients in their counseling relationship for growth to take place. Thus, counselors must avoid any actions or behavior that threatens the counseling relationship or leaves unfulfilled obligations.

• Veracity

AMHCA provides that all counselors must subscribe to the ethical standards and codes of the counseling practice. According to this code, Veracity requires that counselors give accurate information and protect the identity of their clients. All clients are guaranteed to accurate information and protection of information within the borders of the counselor. Disclosures of any information require the client to be well-informed and written consent for a given period. The only limitation to veracity happens when the counselor has strong feelings of imminent and clear danger to the client. It also occur when legal requirements claim that veracity should not be applied in the case. In nay case, counselors must inform clients where veracity cannot be applied (Safyer & Shulma, 2005).

• Aspirational ethics

The principle of aspirational ethics is used to describe the highest standards of conduct and desires that counselors seek. This principle requires that mental health providers do more than simply meeting the codes of ethics. It provides that counselors must understand the spirit behind the principles and ethical codes that form the principles of code of conduct of the counselors. Counselors must reflect and go further on the impacts of their interventions on the client's welfare, as well as the society.

• Mandatory ethics

Counselors are entrusted to serve special needs in the society and of mental health clients. They have y to serve this unique role based on the predictions that they fulfill the principles of ethics that form the basis of the field. Counselors engage specialized knowledge in delivering service, and they affirm to ethical codes of conduct in self-governance. Counselors must accept responsibility and show strong self-discipline in their actions. They must strive to adhere to the industry's set principles and standards (Aasheim, 2012).

B. Implications…

Sources Used in Document:


Aasheim, L. (2012). Practical clinical supervision for counselors: an experiential guide. New York, NY: Springer Pub

Callana, P., Corey, M. & Corey, G. (2011). Issues and ethics in the helping professions.

Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Laugher, L. & Creek, J. (2008). Occupational therapy and mental health. Edinburgh; NY:

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