Essay: Ethical Perspectives for a Counselor

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¶ … Personal Ethical Values

How will my personal ethical values shape and impact on my professional ethical positions when I enter my profession as a counselor?

Impact of personal ethical values on professional ethical positions

Value of being non-judgmental and respect

Being non-judgmental is critical to counselors. This is because counselors need to encourage their clients to open up to them. If they are judgmental, the clients will feel judged, and they will not open up to the counselor (Johnston, 1999). The nun-judgmental stance only applies in regards to judging the client in what they have done, or they are suffering from. There are judgments that the counselor should make in the course of their treatment and interaction with the client or patient. The judgments will enable the counselor to determine what is morally correct depending on the situation. Non-judgmental should only occur when assessing the client's attitudes, beliefs, and behavior. As a counselor, one cannot leave their ethical values out of the counseling room since they need these values to ensure they are working and observing the necessary ethical requirements (Gibson, 2005). Holding moral values does not mean that the counselor is judging the client, but rather it indicates that the counselor is mature enough to maintain their values while still assisting the client. The counselor should avoid applying their moral values to the client's situation.

When counseling a criminal, it is difficult for the counselor not to judge the criminal, but they should try and avoid passing any judgment. This will ensure that the criminal is comfortable with the counselor, and they will discuss their issues openly. It is difficult to remain non-judgmental when dealing with criminals. This is mainly because as a person one would wonder why the client had to commit the crime. The crime the client committed might be contradictory to the counselor's values and they might find it difficult not to judge. Remaining non-judgmental will allow the counselor to overlook the client's criminal activity and focus only on counseling. Failure to respect the client and being non-judgmental will result in biased counseling sessions where the counselor does not offer the client the necessary assistance, but rather they focus solely on the criminal act committed. This would be unethical since the counselor would be using their power based upon their moral values and not the ethical values of their profession. A person who commits a crime did not obey the law, and to respect such a person is difficult for many people. The counselor also faces the same difficulty since they are also human. The difference is that the counselor should learn how to maintain their moral values and conduct the counseling session by following the code of ethics (Perez-De-Albeniz & Holmes, 2000). The counselor should offer their services and respect the client's individuality. The crimes committed have no bearing on the counseling session and should not be the basis for judging the client.

Ethical dilemmas

If a counselor does not have non-judgmental and respect values, they will encounter ethical dilemmas that will affect their careers. The ethical dilemmas that could occur are personal values, confidentiality, and responsibility (Barnes & Murdin, 2001). All counselors have personal values that they carry to the counseling room or session. According to (Cottone, 2001) a counselor should ensure that they remain professional at all times and not allow their personal values to interfere with their counseling session. A counselor should remain neutral at all times. Their personal values might not allow them to remain neutral since they have strong ideas in regards to the issue the client is discussing. If the counselor is unable to remain neutral, they would violate their ethical requirements, and this would be harmful to the client. The counselor needs to remain neutral in order to avoid influencing the client on the decisions they will make. The counselor should strive to guide the client in order for them to make their own decisions.

Confidentiality is an ethical dilemma that many counselors face on a daily basis. Counselors should maintain confidentiality in order to encourage their clients to discuss and speak to them. Any consultations that occur between a counselor and a client are confidential, but if the counselor is not respectful of their client, they will likely discuss the session with their friends or colleagues. This would breach the confidentiality agreement the counselor has with the client. If the client discovers the counselor does discuss their sessions with others, they might opt to switch or sue the counselor. The best way to avoid breaching confidentiality is by avoiding discussing clients with others. This would ensure that the counselor remain ethical in their dealings. Learning to respect and avoid judging clients would assist in overcoming this ethical dilemma.

The primary responsibility of a counselor is their client (Forester-Miller, Davis, Association, & Alexandria, 1995). Deciding on an appropriate intervention method is dependent on the client. Determining the best treatment or intervention method is based on the counselor's analysis of the client. Responsibility ensures that the counselor remains focused and understand what the client needs. The lack of responsibility and using the same intervention for all the clients would lead to ethical issues. A counselor needs to develop individualized treatment for each client. This will ensure that the client receives treatment based on what would assist them overcome their issue. A counselor should ensure that they have enough time dedicated towards the development of a treatment method. This will ensure that they have analyzed the client and determined the best treatment for the client.

Ethical code of integrity

The Ethical code of integrity requires the counselor to be honest, accurate, and truthful (Weber & Green, 1991). The counselor has to ensure they are honest in their interactions with the client at all times. The counselor has to capture information regarding the counseling session without any bias. The counselor has to maintain honesty regardless of the rules. This will ensure that they will do the right thing and maintain integrity. Following the ethical requirements does not mean that the counselor has integrity. Integrity will allow the counselor to build better relationships with their clients. The counselor will perform his or her duties in a honest and truthful manner. This will assist the clients to trust him or her. The ethical code of integrity would affect a counselor's professional position, as the counselor will have to maintain ethics and integrity all at the same time. To ensure that a counselor maintains integrity during the counseling session, the counselor would have to ensure that they only do that which they believe and feel is right. Failure to do this will most likely result in an ethical dilemma as the counselor would be doing something they know for sure is wrong.

The counselors beliefs of what is right are based on sound logical postulates. Integrity is demonstrated in the counselor's actions, beliefs, principles, and methods (Daniels, 2001). To ensure they maintain their integrity, the counselor should be prepared to adjust their values when these values are challenged. This will ensure they maintain consistency and flexibility. A counselor who maintains their integrity will not exploit his or her clients in any way. The counselor will avoid any communication that would result in them exploiting the client. Ensuring that they do not overcharge, sexually exploit their client or establish emotional connections will allow the counselor to remain impartial and conduct the sessions with integrity.

Ethical code of confidentiality

Confidentiality is vital in counseling. The counselor has to guard the client's autonomy and ensure that all the counseling sessions are conducted in privacy. Confidentiality also means that the counselor has to provide the client with a safe environment for conducting the sessions. If the session is conducted without privacy, the client might not be comfortable, and this would reduce the effectiveness of counseling. Privacy is vital to ensure that the client is able to open up the counselor. Confidentiality requires the counselor not to discuss specific details of the client's session with others. This rule is only overridden due to legal requirements or in cases where the client poses a danger to themselves or others. The counselor has to inform the client on their confidentiality right before the counseling session begins. This will give the client a guarantee that the information shared remains between them and the counselor.

Personal values can affect confidentiality if the counselor perceives the client to have behaviors that go against their values. The counselor might opt to discuss the client's behavior with his/her friends or colleagues. This would be unethical, as the counselor should always ensure they maintain the client's confidentiality at all times. Personal values determine how a counselor handles or deals with their client's after the sessions. A counselor might have problems, and they need to discuss or open up to someone for them to deal effectively with the situation. Any discussion that involves a client should not disclose any confidential information, but it is difficult to… [END OF PREVIEW]

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