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Ethics, No Secrets Policy and Counselor Values

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Ethics, No Secrets Policy and Counselor Values

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  • December 18, 2010
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Bullet Point Responses Julie Sanders
* I believe it is unethical for the counselor to reveal anything said in individual counseling with the husband. She didn’t address a “no secrets” policy in the informed consent. Sharing this information with the wife without his permission is unethical. In marriage counseling the “no secrets” policy needs to be addressed and explained in the informed consent. Since she did not have a policy concerning this, she is bound by confidentiality which should have been in her informed consent. * It is not the job of the counselor to instill his/her values onto a client. The counselor shold try to remain as neutral as possible. Even if the husband feels the extra-marital relationship is enhancing the marriage, his wife still doesn’t know about it, and he seems to be the only one benefitting from the affair. The counselor should remain as neutral as possible when discussing this with the husband and encourage him to bring this up in a conjoint session. It is not the therapist’s decision to make since she did not have a “no “secrets policy in place. * I don’t think the therapist should “persuade” the husband to give up the affair or bring it up in joint counseling. In my opinion that is still imposing her values on the client. With that said, I do think, in a sense, that the therapist is colluding with the husband. However, she is responsible for the situation by not clearly stating confidentiality and “no secrets” in her informed consent. * According to Corey (p. 98) counselors should have a process of self-examination to discover their own biases, beliefs and values. I think it is unethical to refer a client because of a therapist’s personal beliefs. Saying that, if the counselor has strongly held beliefs and values, they should be addressed in the informed consent and explained to client’s before the counseling process begins. This would give the counselor basis for referral. Since the counselor is bound by...