Clinical mental health counseling is a specialization within the broader profession of counseling focused on psychological wellness, and the diagnosis and treatment of emotional and psychological disorders. Ethical issues encountered by mental health counselors are similar to other counseling specialty areas, yet there are unique issues related to topics such as diagnosis and third-party reimbursement. Counselors who specialize in mental health counseling are introduced to information that will assist them in managing an array of legal, ethical, and professional issues. The chapter helps the reader identify trends in professional credentialing and licensure. It compares and contrasts the roles and functions of practitioners of mental health counseling from those of practitioners of other counseling specialties. The chapter discusses the ethical issues specific to the practice of mental health counseling and reviews the ethical issues related to diagnosis and assessment.
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The focus of career counseling has been on helping individuals successfully enter the world of work. This chapter provides a description of the career counseling specialty, defining the roles and functions, employment settings, and clients of career counselors. It provides a brief history of the professional specialty, with information on historic and current credentialing. The chapter outlines professional credentialing and licensure matters for career counselors. It describes ethical and legal issues specific to the practice of career counseling and explains diversity issues and ethical decision making. It differentiates the roles and functions of practitioners of career counseling from those of practitioners of other counseling specialties. The chapter reviews the assessment issues of career counseling. Career counselors practice in a variety of settings and render services to diverse individuals, corporations, and organizations. They must have sufficient knowledge and training to assess clients and administer tests.
Counseling practice is both an art and a science, which requires practitioners to make both value-laden and rational decisions. The ethical decision-making process considers both facts and values. Within ethical deliberation, the practitioner blends such elements as personal moral sensitivities and philosophies of practice with clinical behavioral objectivity and the quest for efficient care of clients. Rehabilitation counselors must be able to demonstrate high levels of competency in the ethical aspects of their practices. Ethical practice requires rehabilitation counselors to understand ethical principles, professional standards, ethics governance, and to understand and apply an ethical decision-making model when faced with an ethical dilemma. Counselors also must be aware of the potential impact of any contextual factors that may influence both counselor, client and stakeholder worldviews and the impact of contextual factors on the ethical decision-making process. This chapter uses a case scenario to assist rehabilitation counselors in developing the knowledge, skills, and awareness needed to address ethical dilemmas in rehabilitation counseling practice.
Rehabilitation counseling as a specialty area of counseling has been at the forefront of advocating for disability rights and the employment, inclusion, and integration of individuals with disabilities. The ethical and professional practice of rehabilitation counseling is similar to other counselors, yet with additional ethical responsibilities and considerations related to disability rights. The ethics of rehabilitation counseling have a more explicit emphasis on client autonomy, advocacy, and accessibility. The chapter describes the specialty of rehabilitation counseling, the historic trends in its evolution, and the sociopolitical issues of importance to the field. It helps the readers differentiate the roles and functions of rehabilitation counselors from those of other counseling specialties. The chapter discusses multiculturalism and diversity in rehabilitation counseling. Rehabilitation counseling has had a complex evolution. With such a diverse scope of practice, it is imperative that rehabilitation counselors only practice within their individual training, education, and supervised experience.
This chapter overviews the evolving nature of rehabilitation counseling as a specialty of the counseling profession. Emphasizing the diverse practice of rehabilitation counseling, psychiatric rehabilitation is introduced as a critical lens to understand clinical mental health counseling as practiced by rehabilitation counselors. Rehabilitation counseling has been most frequently identified with serving persons with physical, cognitive, developmental or sensory disabilities. Although rehabilitation counselors have always worked with individuals who have mental health or psychiatric conditions, recently there has been an increased focus on the diagnosis and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders with other disabilities. The chapter concludes by discussing emerging trends affecting rehabilitation counselors.
This chapter discusses the ethical issues related to assessment in rehabilitation counseling, describes the ethical standards in the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (
CRCC, 2017) Code of Ethics, and explains the connection between the CRCC(2017) Code and related assessment standards. Assessment is an essential knowledge domain underlying rehabilitation counseling practice. Since assessment and diagnosis can have a profound effect on clients’ lives, it is critical for rehabilitation counselors to adhere to best ethical practices. Whether or not assessment is their predominant job function, all rehabilitation counselors are responsible for integrating assessment and diagnostic information in their work with clients. The chapter overviews the basic tenets of ethical practice related to assessment and evaluation with specific consideration for disability and diversity. In reviewing processes for competence and informed consent as well as the selection, administration, and interpretation of instruments and tests, the chapter offers behavioral guidance for rehabilitation counselors.
This chapter focuses on the ethical implications of trauma work. The chapter begins with a discussion of the five ethical principles and connects ethics to practice in trauma work. Next, the chapter defines and describes several key terms and concepts related to ethical practice, including wounded healers, compassion fatigue, ethical and moral behaviors, moral suffering, and self-care. The ethical implications of supervising counselors engaged in trauma work are described next, including the importance of addressing multicultural issues and intersectionality in practice. The crucial process of transforming from victim to survivor is described, as well as counselors’ ethical obligations in that process. Finally, a number of resources, related to ethical practice in trauma work, is provided online.
Codes of ethics must undergo periodic revision to ensure that the contents of the code reflect current trends and issues in counseling practice. This chapter provides a brief overview of some of the more common ethical and legal terms counselors may encounter in ethical complaints. Often one of the most confusing concepts for counselors is credentialing. A credential simply indicates that a counselor’s education and experience have been reviewed by a professional or legal body, and he or she can legitimately hold himself or herself out as a professional possessing specific knowledge and skills that meet the minimum standards of the profession. The chapter discusses professional ethics committees and state licensure boards. It also explains the court system briefly as it applies to ethical complaints in counseling. There are four legal entities that regulate the practice of counseling: professional ethics committees; state licensure boards; criminal courts; and civil courts.
This chapter addresses what counselors need to know about professional credentialing, including trends and considerations that counselors may need to monitor. It concludes with basic tips for counselors interested in licensure and certification. Professional credentialing is critical to defining and regulating the practice of counseling. Licensure, certification, and accreditation are distinct forms of professional credentialing. Although each serves the common purpose of protecting public safety by establishing the minimum standards of knowledge and skill for professional counselors. Credentialing is likely to evolve rapidly as the U.S. health care system becomes more politicized. With such progress in professional credentialing, professional counselors need to look ahead for opportunities and challenges in licensure laws and national certification standards. The variety of counselor licensure laws nationally presents a serious problem for professional counselors in their ability to move from state to state without disruption and the ability to practice counseling.