The Importance of Ethics in Counselling

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Ethics can be an extremely difficult subject to define and discuss as it closely related to one’s own unique moral, cultural, and spiritual values. Within the counselling profession however there is a strict ethical framework which must be adhered to. This framework has been developed over the years to insure integrity, confidentiality, and responsibility on the part of the counsellor. In this essay I will discuss briefly the importance of ethics within the counselling profession, I will also outline a few of the major ethical dilemmas that might possibly arise while working in the field of counselling.

“The primary role of the counsellor is not one of merely using techniques. It is essentially an ethical task. Simply stated, it is to serve the clients best interests.” {Pg 126 of Ursula o farrells first steps in counselling}

It is widely acknowledged that when working in the field of counselling and psychotherapy morals and ethical duties may be challenged on a daily basis. In order for effective therapy to take place it is of utmost importance that the therapist has a good awareness of self and how his or her own morals and values might affect the professional relationship with the client. The counsellor must constantly monitor his motifs and continue to reflect on and re-evaluate his own moral, cultural, and spiritual values. This level of self awareness and ongoing personal development is mandatory in joining any of the accrediting bodies of counselling in this country such as the IACP and the IAAAC. These mandatory requirements ensure a level of competence in those whom are accredited members of their association. I will back this statement up with a quotation from the IACP summary of code of ethics and practice [2005].{pg133 of Ursula o farrells book} Principal 2: Competence, states “Practitioners are required to monitor and develop their professional skills and ethical awareness on an ongoing basis. They recognise that their expertise and capacity for...
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