Counselling essay

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Business ethics Pages: 7 (881 words) Published: May 3, 2015
What are the ethical responsibilities for counsellors? Discuss ways these responsibilities may be violated.

The responsibilities counsellors have with helping relationships are to maintain the general trusts of their clients and patients. This is not only through care, but through adhering to a set of codes of practice to preserve the client’s rights. This is referred to as the ethical codes (King & Wheeler, 2001). They act as a guide that lays the foundation to maintain the general principles within the affiliation of client and counsellor (King & Wheeler, 2001). Any mistrust or doubt created by these professionals could result in the betrayal of the clients trust. It is therefore critical that these codes are applied so that quality practice is upheld. Therefore, the purpose of this essay will outline the ethical responsibilities or the ethical codes within the counselling relationship and identify how ethical conflicts or issues can arise and violate these codes. Firstly, what are ethical issues? Ethical issues are the science of morals. It simply is a system of morals or rules of behaviour . This refers to an expected set of moral obligations a person has. However, it is also based on choice, rather than an obligation. This idea has been suggested by Jeremy Bentham, who created a theory called utilitarianism (King & Wheeler, 2001). This theory claims that the moral value of actions consists in their 'utility' or 'usefulness' in bringing about valuable results. It also mentions that human actions are not fundamentally good or bad. The actions are either one or the other, especially when they act as a means to an end (Tschudin, 1993). This can be evident in issues such as being truthful and honest. They cannot be considered valuable, unless they lead to states of affairs that one might consider to be valuable. This certainly is applicable to the codes of ethics and therefore can be unsuccessful when viewed independently, without the reinforcement of moral principles. Counselling is guided by similar codes of ethical principles and moral of practice. They have a responsibility to ensure that counsellors abide by and practice the code of ethics. These codes of ethics are: responsibility, confidentiality, competence, contracts, anti-discriminatory practice and boundaries (King & Wheeler, 2001). However, each can be faced with moral dilemmas. Responsibilitity is....

confiedentilality is.....

competence is....

contracts are....
anti displ...
boundaries

Confidentiality - respect and protect the client's or patients details to preserve trust. ¨ Boundaries - the awareness of any overlapping of pre-existing relationships ¨ Competence - the need for continuous development of skills through training and to recognise the limits of professional competence. ¨ Anti discriminatory practice - personal beliefs should not pose a threat to the quality of care administered to the patient or client ¨ Contracts - This mainly applies to counselling were the counsellor or therapist needs to set terms and conditions on which counselling is offered, and this should be made clear to clients before the counselling sessions commences.

Caring and helping professions such as social work, medicine, counselling, and psychotherapy, are all involved in catering for and assisting the wellbeing of individuals with needs ranging from social, physical and psychological issues. Likewise, these individuals are from different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, which according to Hugman and Smith 1995, are each in different ways, moral concerns, embedded in the mores of society, and so are laden with social values (Timms 1983; Horne 1987). Although the professions i.e. (medicine, social work and counselling) around which this study will be based are different in some aspects of their professional practices, they are however guided by similar codes of ethical principles and morals of practice....
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