Cases in this chapter pertain to both counselor education and supervision throughout practice. At its core, counseling requires adherence to the basics of the scientist practitioner model both during training and after. The world of academia can be complex in its efforts to meet the needs of students, faculty, and the public, but practicing clinicians are also expected to stay informed of the science that drives their profession. The chapter includes seven cases related to a section of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics examined carefully using the Hill, Glaser, and Harden’s (1998) Feminist model. The chapter highlights the ethics of supervision, training, and teaching, including, but not limited to, relationships with superiors, values in education and training, the use of case examples, and confidentiality in supervision.
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Surprisingly, a section devoted to technology was not added to the American Counseling Association (
ACA) Code of Ethics until its most recent revision in 2014. The benefits and detriments of increased utility of technology are unavoidable in all professions, and counseling is no exception. The chapter includes seven cases related to a section of the ACACode of Ethics examined carefully using the Kocet and Herlihy’s counselor’s value-based conflict model. This chapter is a new addition to the Code of Ethics during its most recent revision in 2014. It highlights the ways in which technological advancements have made counseling both easier and more complicated, including, but not limited to, the use of video conferencing, public and private social media presence, and the importance of safeguarding confidentiality.
Counselors’ relationships with other professionals are almost as important as their relationships with their clients. Though these associations can at times be complex, managing them is critical to the profession’s continued existence. Relationships with peers can be surprisingly complicated, but the survival of the profession is predicated on our ability to work collaboratively. The chapter includes seven cases related to a section of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics examined carefully using the Corey, Corey, Corey, and Callanan (2015) model. This chapter highlights the complexities of these relationships, including, but not limited to, differences of opinion in client management, staffing concerns, behavior in public, and resolving ethical concerns collaboratively.
Though the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics for professional counselors provides subsections for each area of practice related to clinical work and research, Section I engages in the more meta task of exploring how ethical dilemmas are actually resolved. In determining actions related to ethical dilemmas in their work with clients, the public, or other clinicians, counselors work to resolve these dilemmas with direct and open communication with all involved stakeholders. The chapter includes cases, assessed using the Corey, Corey, Corey, and Callanan (2015), Cottone (2001), and Forester-Miller and Davis (2016) models. This chapter highlights the resolving ethical issues including, protecting clients from harm, unacceptable business practices, deceased clients, interdisciplinary teamwork, and policies that are potentially harmful to clients.
Confidentiality is critical in counseling. The public’s trust in the profession to keep what is discussed with their counselor private is in many ways the cornerstone of the profession. This chapter includes seven cases related to a section of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics examined carefully using a Cottone’s (2001) Social Constructivist model. While other models emphasize a linear, intrapsychic, counselor-focused approach to ethical decision-making (e.g., Forester-Miller & Davis, 2016), Cottone’s social constructivism model posits a more interpersonal approach. The chapter deals with cases more specifically with maintaining the confidence and trust of the general public. It highlights some of the unique presenting problems related to confidentiality and privacy, including, but not limited to, seeing clients in public, accidental lapses in confidentiality, requests for information from third parties, and state law pertaining to age and consent.
At its most basic, counseling is a relationship, as it involves a connection between two or more people. This chapter includes cases that are relevant to a section of the American Counseling Association (
ACA) Code of Ethics examined carefully using the Forester-Miller and Davis model. The cases outline the ways in which this relationship requires careful thought and planning to ensure the safety of all clients and the integrity of the profession. The scenarios focus on the personal and professional interactions between counselors and their clients. The chapter highlights all the ways in which that connection can become confusing and/or complicated, including, but not limited to, counselors separating personal and professional lives, the tricky business of personal values and the complexity of boundaries within the counseling relationship.
Counselors are required to present both the profession and themselves to the public in a manner that engenders confidence and trust. At times, a counselor’s professional responsibility can create both personal and professional challenges. This is particularly true when peers or supervisors demonstrate evidence of impairment or incompetence. This chapter includes seven cases related to a section of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics examined carefully using the Ling and Hauck’s (2017)
ETHICSmodel. It highlights the ways in which counselors’ professional responsibility can present both personal and professional challenges, including, but not limited to, responding to peers and supervisors who are impaired in their ability to practice, responding to evidence of malpractice in colleagues, and maintaining professionalism throughout interactions with the public.
Testing and evaluation are typically one of the last areas of mental health practice claimed by psychology alone, but assessment is a critical part of work as a counselor. The wellness-focused approach of the profession is in some ways at odds with the labeling required of evaluation, assessment, and interpretation, but these are an undeniable reality of clinical practice in the era of managed care. The chapter includes seven cases related to a section of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics examined carefully using the Garcia, Cartwright, Winston, and Borzuchowska’s (2003) Transcultural Integrative model. This chapter highlights the ways in which assessment in general can become a complex area of practice, including, but not limited to, using diagnosis as a tool for billing, validity of assessment instruments administered to clients, diagnosis and wellness principles, and scope of competence.
Research is not required as part of counseling practice. However, many counselors work exclusively in academic settings, and all counselors are obligated to stay informed of research relevant to the profession as well as understand the basics of ethics pertaining to research. At the very least, all practicing clinicians should be aware of the ethical responsibilities inherent in the science that governs their work. The chapter includes seven cases related to a section of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics examined carefully using the Jacob, Roth, Cilento, and Stoler’s (2015) model. This chapter highlights the specific components of ethical counseling research and related complications, including, but not limited to, relationships with participants, credit for work and authorship, and submissions to peer-reviewed outlets.
A Practical Ethics Worktext for Professional Counselors:Applying Decision-Making Models to Case Examples
This book is intended to be used as an addendum to a more comprehensive text associated with the Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice training required by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs. It provides practical examples of managing ethical concerns for practicing counselors and counselors in training. Much has been made of the science-to-service problem in counseling, with the consensus being that there is a gap between the academics writing the books and papers and the clinicians actually doing the work. This text is an effort to meet the needs of both by providing an overview of case examples that are relatable and accessible and by providing responses to these cases that meet the careful scrutiny required by the American Counseling Association (
ACA). The book includes 63 real-life case examples demonstrating step-by-step application of decision-making models. It teaches counselors how to think and act quickly when facing ethical dilemmas. It helps professionals to reconcile personal and professional values.