Essay: ACA Code of Ethics

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ACA Code of Ethics

A Brief Profile of the Client

Deborah is the client. She is a 45 years old housewife who suffers from manic depression. She is highly educated with a law degree and used to practice it until 20-year ago. This is when she decided to stay at home and take care of her two sons. During this time, Deborah had frequent headaches and is taking cortisone shots to control her headaches. Moreover, she is also using anti-depressants which induced from her deteriorating mental condition and inactivity. ("ACA Code of Ethics," 2013)

Recently, Deborah has been seeking out the assistance of a mental health professional named Dr. Franklin. He is a friend of her husband (Steve) who works at the same hospital and plays on the squash team with him. Deborah was sent to Dr. Franklin at Steve's urging. During the sessions, she reveals how out of control her life is and the various disappointments. The two continue to build strong patient -- therapist relationship over the course of many months. ("ACA Code of Ethics," 2013)

The Ethical Issue

The ethical issue is the relationship that has continued to evolve between Deborah and Dr. Franklin. What happened is the two cultivated a connection which has developed into an extra marital affair. Deborah's feelings of anger and Dr. Franklin's, wanting to help; have resulted in them having several different sexual encounters on numerous occasions. ("ACA Code of Ethics," 2013)

No one inside the hospital is aware of what is happening. While Steve continues to believe that everything is normal and commented about how he noticed an improvement in Deborah's attitude. This has led him to support her going to visit Dr. Franklin even more. The situation is becoming complicated, with Deborah wanting to tell her husband about what is happening. Dr. Franklin is reluctant, as he wants to remain in control and is having various sessions where he will push her into following his directions. ("ACA Code of Ethics," 2013)

Site of the Code that is Violated

The actions that were taken by Dr. Franklin are a violation of Sections A4 and A5 of the ACA Code of Ethics. It says, "When counselors learn that their clients are in a professional relationship with another mental health professional, they request release from clients to inform the other professionals and strive to establish positive and collaborative professional relationships. Counselors act to avoid harming their clients, trainees, and research participants and to minimize or to remedy unavoidable or unanticipated harm. They are aware of their own values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors and avoid imposing values that are inconsistent with counseling goals. Mental health professionals will respect the diversity of clients, trainees, and research participants. Sexual or romantic counselor -- client interactions or relationships with current clients, their romantic partners, or their family members are prohibited." This is illustrating how Dr. Franklin has clearly overstepped his authority and placed added amounts of pressure on his client. His primary objectives are to allow this inappropriate relationship to continue, without notifying anyone or considering the harm it is doing to various stakeholders. ("ACA Code of Ethics," 2013)

A Description of Why this is an Ethical Violation

This is an ethical violation, as the ACA Code specifically states that therapists should not have a personal relationship with their patients or families. The fact that he is having an affair with Deborah is an obvious violation. At the same time, the added amounts of pressure he is placing on her are not complying with section A4. To make matters worse, Dr. Franklin has a personal relationship with her husband from their association with the squash team. This is in direct contradiction of A5. If he did not want to be in violation of the code, Dr. Franklin could have recused himself (based upon the conflict of interest he has with Steve). This means… [END OF PREVIEW]

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ACA Code of Ethics.  (2013, December 3).  Retrieved May 27, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/aca-code-ethics/1215073

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