1. Ethics are probably the most important part of counseling. Ethics provides counselors with guidelines to follow in and out of therapy. Ethics also teaches counselors/therapist about paper work and limitations. As a counselor/therapist it is important that you are aware of your ethics and your governing body. For example, the ACA code of ethics provides guidelines for how long documents should be kept and how they should be kept. Consider the following: what are some consequences of being unaware of counseling ethics?
2. Some of the consequences of violating ethical standards in counseling can include: harm to the client, loss of credibility among colleagues, loss of trust from client, the counselor could be sued, one could lose their job or licensing, and financial damage. Some ways that one could get their self into an ethical dilemma by incompetence include: multicultural awareness, multiple relationships, confidentiality, record keeping, racism, ageism, informed consent, and treatment approaches, etc. Not unlike other occupations, a counselor must maintain standards while not in the therapeutic setting. This would include boundaries when running into a client while in the community. Also, as a counselor, one should maintain their own mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. As an analogy, one who is obese may not be a credible fitness expert. The same goes for a mental health counselor; if one lacks mental wellness, how can he counsel a client on being a whole individual?
3. If the counselor and client personalities clash too much the client could shut down. For example, I had a client who was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. None of the therapist where I worked wanted to work with her but I volunteered thinking I could learn from the challenges that a client with borderline personality presents. However after three sessions I realized our personalities did not mesh well, The client would toggle between loving, hating and blaming me for everything and I was just about exhausted and frustrated. Once I realized the client wasn’t getting anything from our sessions I referred her to someone else. What would have happened if I continued to see the client?
4. Your post immediately brought to mind the old cartoons like Tom & Jerry or Bugs Bunny where the character had to either go with the devil on one shoulder or the angel on the other. It’s interesting how the cartoon progressed to show the consequence for choosing the devil over the angel. No doubt this was embedded into cartoons to teach children the difference between right and wrong. I think children are susceptible to the id pull because early on we see a self-seeking ‘me’ attitude. As time goes on and children have the knowledge from experiencing different things, then they can see the benefit from following the super ego. It is also important for a child who has parents who can lead with the adjusted function of the super ego as opposed to one who is maladjusted with the id ruling. Freud believed pathology was determined by those maladaptive relations from the unconscious. In other words… ignorance. If one does not know their behavior is maladaptive how can they become aware of their negative behaviors? It’s like a learned behavior. The key is helping them become aware.
5. Thank you Dena for your post. As a professional we are to build rapport and trust with our clients. This professional relationship is built on being able to trust and keep confidentiality so that our clients will open up to us and allow us to explore solutions to their obstacles in life. I would also agree with my fellow classmates that the risks are really high when boundaries are crossed and professionals ethics are in question. The professional could lose their credentials and reputation diminish. The client may be put off to the idea of seeking help after feeling exploited by the professional. How about when a client makes a simple gesture of giving the professional a gift? Any thoughts on dual relationships and what to do if the professional feels like the relationship is compromised?
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