Ethics in Counseling

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Ethics In Counseling

Ivan C. Brooks Jr.

Capella University

Suicidal thoughts typical stem from some trauma that one might be subjected to sometime in their lives. Suicide is not the answer but sometimes its what people seek for to obtain closure. I will discuss a situation where a sexual relations what used to rationalize an inappropriate and ethically wrong situation by a counselor.

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Dorothy, age 23, seeks counseling from Gerald, an LPC in private practice. Her goal is to work through issues related to the sexual abuse by her stepfather that she had endured when she was a child. After 2 months of counseling, Gerald initiates a sexual relationship with Dorothy. He rationalizes his behavior by telling himself that she can benefit from having a “healthy” sexual relationship. Dorothy feels guilty, confused, and isolated by this betrayal of her trust. She wants to end the sexual relationship but has become so dependent on Gerald that she feels trapped. She begins to have thoughts of suicide (Remley & Herlihy pg 196, 2009). According to the ACA Code of Ethics sexual relations with a client should not happen or be allowed. The codes also goes a step further where it says that not only is a sexual relationship with clients ethically wrong, but their family members are also included. Standard A.5.a. Prohibits counselors from having sexual or romantic relationships with current clients, their romantic partners, or their family members (Remley & Herlihy pg 214, 2009). Gerald was ethically wrong in the situation stated above. Gerald took advantage of Dorothy mental health state. Gerald not only is ethically wrong but he could face legal action in this situation. Dorothy could potential sue Gerald in civil court which would/could hurt him financially. Since Gerald felt that Dorothy’s “healthy” sexual relationship was the proper treatment for her issues, he documented what he felt was proper....
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