Aside from the study of theories of counseling and psychotherapy, there is probably no other area of study that is more related to the everyday practice of counseling that than the area of professional ethics. This book is a major revision of the prior edition, providing continuity to faculty who has used the book in teaching courses on ethics in counseling, but with notable changes and additions. The new edition has a distinct and timely focus on counseling as a profession. A new section provides material that not only applies to mental health practice generally, but it applies specifically to specialty practice with chapters specifically titled and focused on counseling specialties. Many of the early chapters are updated versions of those that appeared in the earlier edition. The book has been organized to provide the developing mental health professional with a clear and concise overview of ethical issues in counseling and psychotherapy. It intends to provide a thorough and scholarly foundation, defining ethical concepts and practice, legal issues, methods for clarifying values, decision-making models, and contemporaneous and emerging issues. The book is broad in its coverage of the most practiced specialties in mental health practice, and provides an efficient and effective overview of the broad scope of particular areas addressed in counseling. The specialities addressed are: mental health counseling; school counseling; couple, marital, and family counseling; rehabilitation counseling; addictions counseling; career counseling; and group counseling. It is hoped that this book will inspire ethically sensitive counselors and psychotherapists who will reflect before acting and who will consult with educated colleagues at those moments when ethical dilemmas arise. Ethical counselors and psychotherapists are those who have the best interests of their clients at heart, and who also respect the rights that derive from being professionals.
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The use of counseling technology and electronic communication between clients and counselors has received increasing attention. While there is great potential in using the internet to deliver counseling services, it is critical that counselors are aware of the ethical implications whenever they use technology to interact with clients. The chapter focuses on the ethical use of counseling technology and provision of distance counseling services. It identifies common ethical tensions underlying the decision to use technology when providing counseling services. The chapter promotes the critical-evaluative thinking underlying e-professionalism and technology ethics as necessary habits in the digital age. A focus on accessibility is critical because we are all dependent on digital technology as a necessary form of assistive technology to function in a digital society. Social media has become the way people communicate, and thus counselors need to inform clients about the inherent threats to privacy and confidentiality.