Values and the Helping Relationship
Multicultural Perspectives and Diversity Issues
The difference between values and morals are not always clear. Certain values are universal, but this does not mean that they are absolute. For example, killing may be permitted in certain circumstances to execute a criminal, in war, or to preserve one’s life. But in each case, it is recognized as an exception to be justified in terms of value taking precedence. The ethical dilemma raises the question whether or not the therapist can keep their values out of their counseling session. This chapter suggests there are reasons why it might be inappropriate for a counselor to impose a system of values or philosophy on the client. In my opinion, counselors must be confident within themselves. Counselors must know themselves and be able to recognize what they can and can’t deal with. Counselors must be able to say, “No” and refer clients to someone who can be objective in helping them come to a resolve of their issue without imposing their beliefs on them. I believe counselors should never make the counseling session about them. I feel counselors need to be able to departmentalize their issues from that of their client’s. For some this may be a difficult task. There will be some issues that arise that may get to you as a counselor such as the killing of a child along with many others, so counselors must be able to learn the art of desensitizing. I feel I can desensitize myself from the client’s issues to a certain degree without imposing my values on them. As an educator it is already apparent I must demonstrate this skill when working in the best interest of my students. I feel the same is for counseling. I view it as my “profession.” On the other hand, there may be things that will get to me and cause me to impart my belief system on the client. Such issues as sexual attitudes and behavior and spirituality are a bit of a challenge for me. It would be...
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