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Ethical Issues in Counseling

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Ethical Issues in Counseling

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  • July 2008
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Introduction
I remembered that several years ago I have read the news on newspaper about a father who raped her daughter then her daughter become pregnant, and it’s too late to terminate the pregnancy. I feel quite uncomfortable after reading this. If we want to talk about incest with other people, we can expect that very few of them are willing to discuss it in detail or try to avoid this topic, as incest is a taboo subject in our culture; it is invariably associated with child abuse and its horrific, long-lasting, and often irreversible consequences. May be people who have studied this topic in the college are less reluctant to this controversial topic. As a counselor, if we have to deal with the incest victims, what should we pay attention to? What should we consider if the victims become pregnant? We need to identify the ethical problem faced by the therapist working with family in which child sexual abuse is suspected or has occurred. The primary focus is paternal incestuous abuse, with the recognition that siblings, extended family, and stepparents may also be perpetrators. The abuser usually wins the trust of the victim first, and then violates that trust in order to commit the abuse. The abuser may use force, the threat of force, a bribe, the offer of special attention, or a gift to make the victim keep the abuse secret. According to Thompson (1990), ethical dilemmas arise for several reasons. Behavior may be unethical and yet illegal, e.g. choosing not to report suspected sexual child abuse due to the risk of physical reprisal for the child, unethical and illegal e.g. failure to report or pursue suspected child abuse, based on a lack of knowledge regarding reporting procedures, or unethical yet outside legal jurisdiction, e.g. working with families in which abuse has occurred, without specific training in sexual abuse intervention. I’m going to begin by discussing the preliminary countertransference reactions a therapist brings into the relationship...

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