ethical-decision making paper

Topics: Ethics, Informed consent, Ethical dilemma Pages: 8 (2860 words) Published: May 25, 2014

The Dilemmas of Starting a Relationship Skills Group
Liberty University

When providing counseling services to individuals or a group of individuals, one needs to be cautious on his or her approach to everyone’s specific needs. Even though there are a variety of methods to solving a problem, some methods encounter ethical dilemmas. The ethical dilemma is about Jane, a counselor at a community college, who starts a relationship skills group for nine individuals between the ages of 18-25. In her primary course of action, she encounters several ethical dilemmas: she fails to provide sufficient information about the group in an advertisement, encounters ethical problems within the enrollment process, fails to provide an informed consent to the enrollees, and puts the other attendees at risk of harm. By identifying the code of ethics involved and the moral principles within her primary course of action, Jane is able to purpose and evaluate several options that she can properly apply to her final course of action, eliminating the ethical dilemmas.

The Dilemmas of Starting a Relationship Skills Group
Identify the Problem
Jane is a counselor who decides to start an age-restricted “relationship skills” group. In order to promote her new group, she posts an advertisement with minimum information. She orders the counseling center to admit the first nine students who call to enroll, without asking any questions about the enrollees. At the time of the first meeting, the group consists of seven women and two men. Having never met the attendees, Jane tells the students to share the reason why they have decided to join the group. Daryl, one of the men in attendance, describes his situation. He shares that he was just released from jail after serving time for domestic violence. He also expresses that he still contains feelings of anger toward women. Due to Daryl’s confession, five of the seven women in the group do not attend the next group session. In this case, Jane has fails to follow through her duties of ethical decision-making. Failure to provide sufficient information

In Jane’s advertisement for her group, she provides minimal information. She includes information such as the name of the group, date and time of the first meeting, and a contact number. In most states, professionals act unethically if they provide insufficient information about their services. For example, in the State of Georgia Code of Ethics Chapter 135-7-07, Advertising and Professional Representation, “the licensee may provide information that accurately informs the public of the professional services…unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to: intentionally misrepresenting the licensee’s professional competence…intentionally providing information that contains false, inaccurate, misleading, partial, out-of-context, or otherwise deceptive statement” (O.C.G.A., 2000). Jane fails to provide clear information about her active role in the group meetings, her level of competence, and, most importantly, she provides misleading information about her group by not providing a clear name of the group. Enrollment into the group

Jane made an unethical decision by telling the secretary of the counseling center to enlist the first nine students, between the ages of 18-25, who call to enroll into the new group. The receptionist enrolls the nine students without questioning the students about any problems they may have, personal goals, or any previous counseling experience with groups. There are several dilemmas within the enrollment process.

Competence. Before deciding who can enroll into the group, Jane should evaluate each potential enrollee. The evaluation can determine whether Jane is competent to handle the enrollee’s purpose for enrolling. Evaluating a potential enrollee can be a simple, quick task. By allowing an extra few steps to the enrolling process, Jane will not...

References: American Counseling Association (2005). ACA code of ethics. Alexandria, VA: American
counseling association.
Forester-Miller, H., & Davis, T. (2006). A practitioner 's guide to ethical decision making.
Retrieved from
O.C.G.A., A. (2000, March 19). Advertising and professional representation. Retrieved from
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