Ethical Issues in Counseling Essay

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Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity An ethical issue arises when the counselor failed to form a counseling plan with the client. Clients receive the most benefit from therapy when the client and counselor share common goals and an understanding of what their work together will entail (ACA, 2005). A similar principle, respect autonomy, is reflected in the APA ethics code, it states that “individuals have a right to decide how to live their lives” (APA, 2010). For example, if the client’s goal was to focus on developing skills to become a more responsible manager, then the sessions should have reflected this goal. Furthermore, the counselors’ failure to understand her own values and her attempt to impose her values on the …show more content…
The counselor should have assessed the appropriateness of accepting the father, the degree of confidential information to be shared, and her own ability to ethically manage both of these relationships (Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, 2008). If the counselor felt certain that she could ethically take on the father as a new client a counseling plan should have been agreed upon during the first session. Accepting a client with the intention of integrating him or accusing him of abuse is unethical and violates the principle of nonmaleficence (APA, 2002). The ACA (2005) principle on extended responsibility states that counselors should encourage their clients to ‘expect respect for their own dignity”. Following this guideline the counselor should have encouraged the client to confront her father and provided a safe environment for the client to do so. The counselor was ethically obligated to receive the consent of the client before divulging confidential information to the client’s father (APA, 2002; ACA, 2005). It is unclear in this case if the counselor obtained consent to share information with the father or the extent to which information was allowed to be shared. The client has the right to place limits of the amount of confidential information she wants shared with her father (Koocher &

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