Case Study: Imposing Values on Clients

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Case Study: Imposing Values on Clients

Sharon Morrow

Argosy University

Imposing Values on Clients
When Jill expressed her confusion about her sexuality, Joe’s body language was a dead give- away that he was judging her. This, in itself, can add to Jill’s anxiety and depression. Joe should know, and understand, the ethical guidelines that he is governed by. When he imparted his religious views on Jill’s thoughts and lifestyle, he crossed the boundaries of ethical treatment. According to the ACA (American Counseling Association) Code of Ethics, counselors do not discriminate regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Also, within the APA (American Psychological Association) Ethical Principles, Principle E assures the clients that need treatment will receive the dignity and respect that they deserve regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Above all of this, Joe should discuss with Jill the referral process because of his religious beliefs, and the fact that he shouldn’t continue treating her if his beliefs and convictions are going to impede his ability to counsel and treat Jill fairly without judgment. The ACA Code of Ethics regulates counselors from imposing their personal and/or religious beliefs and values on their clients – which is exactly what Joe has done by telling Jill her thoughts are immoral and she should pray for forgiveness. “Clients might often press a counselor’s limits of comfort when discussing controversial topics. It is the counselor’s duty to keep an objective view while listening to the client’s interpretation of events. They have to put aside their own value systems and understand what the clients are going through” (Argosy, 2012).

Next, when he continues to treat Jill, he offers to try a technique that obviously has not been tried in the United States, or has little research results. As a counselor, Joe is obligated to not harm his client. Jill clearly states she doesn’t wish to try...
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