Ethical Issues Quintell Turner Liberty University Ethical Issues Ethics plays a huge role in the counseling profession. The professionals that practice counseling whether group or individual must be very careful not to violate any of the ethics code because it could cause them to lose their career. Counselor and Therapist that work with groups setting have ethical standards that they must adhere to only a daily basis. There are several ethical issues that may present as barriers to counselors and therapist as well as the people that they serve.Whether it is in a group setting or in an individual setting, professional counselor and therapist must be careful staying within code of ethics. Group counseling can offer several relationships that assist individuals in growth and problem solving.
Within group therapy, the participants are encouraged by the leader to discuss issues that may have brought them into therapy openly and honestly. Group leaders work hard to create an environment that is built from trust and acceptance and encourages participants to support one another.There are several codes of ethics that counselor must adhere to while leading group sessions. According to the ACA Code of Ethics, in a group setting, counselors take reasonable precautions to protect clients from physical, emotional, or psychological trauma. (A. 8. b.
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Protecting Clients) Counselors must lead a group in a professional manner and make sure that all participants understand that being respectful at all times. Counselor must also make sure that all members of the groups informed of confidentiality and that all information remains confidential within the group.According to ACA Code of Ethics (2005), in group work, counselors clearly explain the importance and parameters of confidentiality for the specific group being entered. Those are two of the most important codes of ethics that may present as an issue in a group setting as well as individual setting. Group leaders must also know that it is unethical for them to use techniques unless they are adequately trained to use the technique or they must be supervised by someone that is thoroughly trained to use the technique. Group counselor also needs to avoid from using a group to benefit for themselves ecause that can be unethical. The leader should lead the group and help the participants with whatever situation they are going through instead of benefiting from group by drawing all the attention to themselves.
Therapist may choose group counseling over individual counseling due to it may be beneficial for the client to interact with other individuals that may have some of the same issues that they are having. Group therapy allows clients to have opinions and diversity due to having other people around that may be going through something similar to them.Therapist may choose to do group therapy rather than individual therapy because they have the option to challenge the clients that they serve in a group setting rather than just study the client’s problems. Individual counseling may cause problems with the client and therapist relationships. When attending or conducting individual counseling the client do not have others that may be able to get ideas from like in a group setting. Some counseling may chose group therapy because it may not seem as personal as individual counseling. The counselor in group settings do not have to cater to one client but have several that they have to work with.
Leading a group sessions allows the counselor to participate in discussions that they engage in with the participants. There are opportunities for the groups to do exercises and get involvement from other members that are in the group to assist with dealing with their problems. Therapist that lead groups also lead by allowing the members to communicate and give each member involved the emotional support. Leading individual counseling sessions, the leader can build a trusting relationship which may have allowed the client to open up more.Clients that attend group sessions may take longer to open up and build trusting relationships slower than someone in a individual counseling session. There are several challenges and benefits of ethical small community practice. When a counselor or psychologist is practicing within a small community, they tend to treat clients that may know one another.
In this situation counselor that practice in group and private sessions must make sure that they remain confidential at all times and not mistakenly share another person’s information while in a session with another client that may know that the particular clients is going through.Counselors that practice in small communities must always try to practice ethically and professionally by, also obtaining informed consent and making that the clients that they serve understand confidentiality and how all clients’ records are kept privately. Counselors should also document thoroughly when dealing with clients and that may have relationships outside the therapy sessions and within the community. Counselor should set boundaries and expectations at the beginning of each session and let the client know what is expected as well as let the client tell the counselor what they expect from them. Self-monitoring does not end once an initial decision is made. It is an ongoing process to ensure that actions are in the best interest of clients as situations and factors change during the ongoing course of treatment. ” (Gallardo, Haldeman, Helbok, & Schank, 2010) Getting involved in continuing education may be beneficial for counselors, psychologist and therapist that practice in small community to stay on top of ethical training due to having to apply ethical techniques in small communities.
A counselor that practice in small communities may have relationships that are classified as dual relationships. According to Jacobs (2012), dual relationships are relationships that exist in addition to the therapeutic relationship established between the leader and the members. This type of relationship needs to enter into with caution by both the group leader and the participant. A study was performed using 894 employees and their 222 immediate supervisors to test ethical leadership. The employees and their supervisors worked financial institution located in the United States.The participants were men and women of all ages on average of 27 for the employees and 36 for the supervisors. They were of all races including White, Hispanic, African American and Asian.
All the participants that were selected had at least a high school diploma and worked for the company for at least 6 months in many different departments. The researchers collected data used in the research on two different occasions in a five week span from both the supervisors and employees. The researchers gave each participant a survey packet with a cover letter inviting them to participate in the research.The researchers explained to the participants using the cover letter the purpose of the study and what they hoped to accomplish by using them. The cover letter also ensured each participant that confidentiality would be used throughout the study. The participants were assured that all answers that were provided on the surveys would remain confidential and would not affect their employment. The participants were then informed that they will be receiving another survey in five weeks and stated that it was very important that the participants participated in both surveys.
The surveys that the supervisors and employees received were different surveys and neither group knew what the other groups surveys were about. The supervisors were asked to complete a questionnaire that asked them questions regarding their own personalities that included agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. They were also asked to give some of their personal information such as gender, age, and race. The employees were asked to rate their supervisors ethical leadership behavior as well as to give their personal information. The participants were given three days to complete the surveys.The next survey was given to the employees and the supervisors five weeks after they finished the first survey. The employees were given a survey to measure psychological safety and supervisors were asked to rate voice behavior.
The supervisors were given the names of the employees in the groups. After all the data was collected and studied. The researchers found that, “the leader personality traits of agreeableness and conscientiousness were positively related to direct reports’ ratings of the leader’s ethical leadership, whereas neuroticism was unrelated to these ratings. (Schaubroeck,& Walumbwa 2009) Ethical issues arise when researchers conduct research on economically disadvantaged and ethnic minority populations. There have been so many economically disadvantaged populations that have been exploited during researchers that have not followed any type of ethical guidelines. There are moral codes that should be put into place to protect research with humans that chose to participate in any type of research. There have been several studies performed using human participants that failed due to ethical issues and concerns.
The participants were treated poorly by the researchers and not protected as they should under the code of ethics standards. Studies like the Tuskegee study in which the participants were treated poorly and not allowed to leave the study and get medical attention. Another study that failed due to ethical issues was the lead based paint study that did not advise the low income families the purpose of the study as well as the risk that their children may face with the lead based paint. These studies were all performed using disadvantaged individuals that were not advised of any ethical rights that they had as a participant.The participants that were selected in these researches were also uneducated and not know or understand their ethical rights if they were explained to them. When doing research on the economically disadvantaged and ethnic minority populations, researchers should follow the three basic ethical principles that The Belmont Report (National Commission, 1979) have set in place to protect human participants in research. The researchers should have respect for the people that they have chosen to participate in the research.
They should give each participant the adequate amount of information and allow them to be able to make the decision on their own as to whether or not they want to participant in the research. The researchers should also follow the guide line of beneficence and make sure that the research that is being conducted will not harm the participant but act as a benefit to the participant. If there is any harm that can be done to a participant during a research they should be notified of the risk before the research is conducted.The researchers should also follow justice and ensure that each participant is treated fairly while participating in the research as well as be protected from any harm during the research. There should not be one group that is protected from harm while another is not protected during research. According to Knight, Roosa, and Umana-Taylor (2009), cultural competence is the biggest barrier to a researcher’s ability to conduct studies in an ethical manner with diverse populations. The researchers display a lack of understanding of the values, beliefs, and lifestyles of the ethnic minority or economically disadvantaged groups.
Researchers need to understand the values and beliefs of all populations who they wish to study so that they can develop effective ways of recruiting participants to do research studies on. There are ethical issues that present as barriers in screening clergy or candidates for religious professions for denominations that exclude homosexual clergy. Due to the high number of problems with appointing people to positions within the church many denominations like Christian and Jewish have selected psychologist to come in and screen potential candidates for professions within the church.These denominations are relying on the psychologist to weed out candidates that have a history of pedophilia, alcoholism and substance abuse, and psychological traits or disorders and they may not be able to function as a member of clergy. Psychologists have ethical obligations that they must adhere to when screening applicants for these positions. The must be treat the applicant with dignity and respect. Psychologist must also be careful when conducting screening for denominations not to ban anyone from the position due to their sexual orientation.
If a psychologist bar some due to their sexual orientation they would be violated the code of ethics as stated in Ethic Codes. According to Standard 3. 01 of the Ethics Code (APA, 2002) that prohibits psychologists from engaging in “unfair discrimination based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or any basis proscribed by law (p. 1064)” This may present as a issue when conducting screening for churches that may prohibit same sex orientation and can cause a the psychologist have a conflict within ethical code.Churches that bar professionals from clergy positions within the church may do so but are required to treat people with dignity and respect due to their ethical responsibility. When I led the discussion group session at my job it was the first time that I ever led a group. I feel that with the little experience that I had as a leader that I did well.
I was well prepared and had a lot of knowledge about the information that we discussed in each session.I went over confidentiality with all the members of the group session and stressed the importance of not sharing information. After I started researching information on ethics, I felt that they with the lack of experience that I had as a leader that I did a great job with following the code of ethics. I still have a long ways to go to become an effective leader. Learning all the techniques that leaders should know when leading a group. Learning how to handle situations where there is conflict within the group would be a challenge for me because I do not like conflict.I also feel that learning and adhering to all the ethical codes would be challenging in some situations and as a counselor I would need to know how to avoid violating and ethical codes.
I would also need to know how to handle situations that my ethics may be challenged by clients that I serve. I feel that I most of the ethics down but there are several that my happen that I may be unethical and not even aware of it. I would continue to be trained on ethics to make sure that any changes that are made I will be updated on.As a counselor I will educate the clients that I serve about their ethical responsibilities as well as my responsibilities as their counselor. All clients’ needs to be informed of confidentiality during the initial meeting with counselor and some may need to be educated a little more than others on this topic. I will always make an effort to build a trusting relationship with the clients that I serve. I feel that building a trusting relationship will allow the client to open up and began the process of healing process.
I know that some clients may not want to open up in the beginning but as they see others open up and share their stories they will begin to open up as well. As a group counselor I will use group exercises to participate with the clients in the group. According to Jacobs (2012) exercises can be used for the following reasons: to increase the comfort level, provide leader with useful information, generate discussions and focus the group, to shift the focus, deepen the focus, to provide opportunity for experiential learning, to provide fun and relaxation.Ethical issues present as barriers in counseling both individual and group sessions. Counselors have to be very careful while practicing and must remember to treat all the clients that they serve with dignity and respect. The counselors that practice in small communities must be careful and not break any forms of confidentiality and continue to be educated on ethical policies and confidentiality policies. Counselor that practice in small communities must also be willing to educate the people that they serve on confidentiality.