Group Therapy Ethics

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Ethical Issues and Group Therapy 2

Ethics in group counseling is a topic that needs to be looked at by today’s practicing counselors. There are many different agencies and organizations that are promoting ethics in counseling. Each organization has different views on what is needed. This report will highlight some points by a few different organizations and give their takes on what they feel is important. The report will also talk about the need for education on the reasons people need therapy. People who need therapy may not be getting the help they need because of lack of education. It is important to remember that the members of the group need to be able to look up to the people that are leading them. Without ethics, this will not happen.

Ethical Issues and Group Therapy 3 There are many issues associated with group therapy that can provide troubles for a counselor and group. The American Counseling Association (ACA) is a group that has put out ethic guidelines for counseling in hopes of helping to eliminate some of these issues. The ACA come out with the ACA Code of Ethics (2005). This code goes into detail on many aspects of counseling from confidentiality to training and research to resolving ethical issues that come up. Section B.4 of the ACA Code of Ethics (2005) talks about specific areas that need to be taken into consideration in group and family therapy. Section B.4.a goes further into group work. It states that counselors need to be able to clearly explain parameters and the importance of confidentiality in a group setting. Sense group therapy differs from individual therapy; assuring confidentiality is needed in order to have trust with the group members. In group therapy, members are encouraged to discuss their problems openly and honestly with the other group members (Bates, ND). Because there are more people involved in a group session, special consideration needs to be taken in order to protect the individuals in the group. Getting the members to trust each other is something that the leader needs to be aware of. Since there can be different people from different circumstances and walks of life, the leader of the group needs to recognize differences of the individuals. A leader needs to find common bonds with the group members in order for them to feel accepted and be able to effectively work as a team and achieve their goals. Confidentiality is something that can be more difficult in a group therapy session than in an individual session. Because there are more people involved in the session than just the

Ethical Issues and Group Therapy 4
Counselor, gaining trust is harder. Not only do the members need to trust the leader with confidential information, they also need to trust the other members as well. In a group counseling session there is a greater risk run of breaches in confidentiality because the group members are not bound by a professional obligation to keep what is said during the session private (Simmerman, 2007) . According to the ACA Code of Ethics (2005), a leader needs to pick members for the group who have similar goals, will not impede the group process. In screening the members, the leader can have a bit of control over who is in the group. The leader can use the screening process in order to determine the fit of the members with each other and their goals. When the group meets, there could be a better chance the group will mess well with each other. This will build the confidence of the group from the start. It is not always feasible for the group leader to screen members before a group begins. This can lead to problems in forming trust within a group. There are many different types of group sessions that deal with different...
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