2.1 Explain how current ethical guidelines for counsellors and supervisor practitioners influence counselling interactions in health & social care. (400 words)
The purpose of this report is to explain how current ethical guidelines for counsellors and supervisor practitioners influence counselling interactions in health and social care.
“Everyone who works within the health and social care sector has to abide by the ethical guidelines. “Ethics can be defined as a set of moral principles or rules of conduct.” (O’Farrell, 1999)” The three main elements of the ethics framework are values, principles and personal moral qualities, counsellors and supervisor practitioners must respect their clients own ethics or beliefs this in turn influences the counselling interactions within health and social care. The British association for counselling and psychotherapy (BACP) has outlined six major ethical principles these include, self respect, Individual anatomy, Beneficence, Non-maleficence, justice and fidelity. Values inform principles and they are important to the counsellor to expressing their commitment to ethics. The values of counsellors should include, respecting human rights and dignity, ensuring the integrity of professional relationships, enhancing the quality of professional knowledge and its application and alleviating personal distress and suffering. The awareness of counsellor limitations is very important, this includes Recognising that clients are likely to possess distinctive world views that differ from those of counsellors and Counsellors attempt to understand and work within the cultural framework of clients. (Steenbarger, B.N 1993) A counsellor’s ethical responsibility is to acknowledge and recognise ethic, racial and cultural factors and that this is in turn significant to the counselling relationship. Counsellors need to respect and be aware of the many ethnic, cultural and racial factors that might contribute to the orientation and values of the client. Counsellors also need to consider the impact, importance and potential support of community and social agencies that the client may possibly be involved with. Skills training in counselling are important as each new skill learned and practiced in the context of your training must be considered in a cultural context for e.g. how is it understood and responded to by your client.
Most counsellors are working hard to become more sensitive to cultural and diversity issues in counselling. Diversity includes, Culture, gender, possible disabilities and spiritual beliefs. Issues that can occur when working with culturally diverse clients are, Overt racist, covert prejudice, culturally ignorant, colour blind and culturally liberated. To deal with diversity issues counsellors need to be aware of their own value systems, potential stereotyping and any type of prejudice, be flexible in applying theories and be open to being challenged and tested.
2.2 Analyse the legal factors that should be considered in counselling interactions in health and social care. The Data protection act 1998 has had a huge impact on counselling practice. Under the Act, individuals have rights of access to computerised & manual files containing personal data & further rights of compensation for damage caused or to have inaccurate records corrected. The main points of the Act have by in large been grasped by most counsellors & their organisations/agencies. These main points are developing more open systems of recording and the client access to their files. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (effective from Jan. 2005) also introduces provisions for access to some manual files held by a wide range of ‘public authorities’. The Data protection act 1998 has effectively raised a wider debate within the counselling...
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