Ethics concerns in Couple and Family therapy.
Carolina Cuestas Gutierrez- S00059899
Master of Clinical Counselling - Australian Catholic University.
Working with couples and families has a significant role to play in clinical Counselling. This population, allow the therapist to encourage the challenging practice that involves different principles, risk and threats in order to provide a good service. Couple and Family therapy involves many members whose needs are in conflict, which implicates the importance to find the balance between the needs of each member. These multiple –relationships could bring different concerns, complex judgments and decisions in order to protect the welfare of the client. This circumstance can place the therapist in front of an ethical concern, which involves taking the right course in the decision. For this, counsellors, needs to follow a different set of standards. These are stipulated as codes of ethics in order to guideline the practice of counselling. However, that cannot be generalized for all the cases because like this, different violations of client rights can arise against to the welfare of the clients. The Codes of Ethics from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) the American Psychology Association (APA), the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Counselling Association, contain similar information and guidelines in regards to ethical considerations in the effective practice of couple and family therapy. (Welfare, 2013) Therefore, the ethical dilemmas surrounding couple and family therapy will be discussed in this essay, in particular the importance of competence, ethical decision-making, confidentiality and informed consent. Many of the decisions that couple and family counsellors needs to take, are involved between of the balancing interest of more than one client. The AAMFT code of ethical principles, mention therapists have the responsibility to promote the welfare of families and individuals. However, in some scenarios harmful consequences for some family members can be expected. (Dekkers, 2009). For example, in marital therapy, one of the clients interest will be to keep the relationship, but the other person could be expecting professional assistance regarding how to communicate to his or her partner that he or she, is determined to finish the relationship. This situation is a clear example of how the interest may diverge. The balancing interest of more than one client involves different concerns, which take the therapist to make decisions that will have an impact on the clients life. Ethical dilemmas will take the therapist to identify some ethical principles or values that influence the expected decision according to the framework of ethical practice.(Carr, 2012) Simple intuition cannot be used as the base of making ethical decisions instead, must be made after careful consideration and ethical justification of various potential actions, where the therapist must consider the possible ramifications of each decision (Margolin, 1982).Following this argument, it is important to recognize that in some cases, therapist could not have extended periods of time to make the ethical decision.(Welfare,2013) For this reason, it is important to have the sufficient knowledge about the ethical guidelines and performance that will permit, in all situations to make decisions based in ethical standards. (Dekkers,2009). The American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics advise that cousellors has the responsibility to engage in a carefully considered model of ethical decision making. Generally a model used for making ethical decisions involves a process that shows how ethical considerations can be complex. For this reason, it is important firstly, to identify the ethical principles or values that influence the thinking of decision making (Wetchler & Hecker, 2003). Kitchener's model of ethical decision...
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