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Personal Values and Ethical Standards

By jasmyn76 Aug 28, 2007 1652 Words
Personal values are principles that define a person as an individual. Honesty, reliability, and trust, are personal values that determine how an individual will face the world and relate with people. Our personal values are our convictions' regarding what we believe is important and desirable. A value is a belief, a mission, or a philosophy that is meaningful. Whether we are consciously aware of them or not, every individual has a core set of personal values. Values can range from the commonplace, such as the belief in hard work and punctuality, to the more psychological, such as self-reliance, concern for others, and harmony of purpose.

Mothers and Fathers do their best to raise their children to become upstanding citizens. Honesty, integrity, loyalty, faith, fairness, family, equality, responsibility, accountability and discipline are just of few of the never ending values that my Mother and Grandparents instilled in me. I was always taught that the way you are treated is a reflection of how others will treat you, so it is very important to treat others with respect by being honest and loyal. My mother gave birth to me when she was a junior in high school, the first five years of my rearing were done with a great deal of help from my grandparents so she could still continue her education and provide a decent life for herself and me. Although my mother getting pregnant with me was unplanned, she assumed responsibility for her actions by keeping me and doing all that she could to give me a good life and endless opportunities. Her hard work and dedication to provide a life full of possibilities for me was my first lesson in personal values. Most of my personal values were learned through the actions of my mother and grandparents. The best method of teaching they could have provided for me was not to sit me down and read me a list of values that I should possess. My mother lead by example, and she learned from the example set by her parents. My mom and grandparents took me to church and showed the importance of faith, through their participation, relentless faith and dedication. I believe that the most important value you I learned was the importance of family. After my grandfather retired, he and my grandmother moved to Florida, but each year they made sure that we all had Christmas and Thanksgiving together, the always made me feel special on my birthday. The love given and the examples of the great personal values is one of the two key factors of what has shaped me to be the young lady that I am and the woman that I am becoming. The examples of personal values that my mother and grandparents provided for me did not always sink in at the beginning. With some of the best examples before me, I still made a number of mistakes. The mistakes in my life have been the gateway to the second of the two key factors that have shaped my life. The numerous mistakes I have made and the mistakes that are yet to come help me to gain experience and develop a greater appreciation for the personal values that I have. My experience also allows me to make responsible decisions. Each day I deal with situations that require me to assess my values and whether or not I am living according to them.

It is my goal to become a Family/ Trauma Therapist. As a therapist I will provide my clients with the faith that they can overcome the situations that they have faced. I will also help them to know that healing the wounds of the past and present can be done with hard work and dedication, and that they need to be willing to assume responsibility for his or her actions. As a human service professional I will face my share of ethical dilemmas. Some of those dilemmas that I will face will be difficult to work through because they would possibly go against my personal system of beliefs, which could interfere with my professional judgment. As a human service professional I do know that I will not have a difficult time with reporting if a client has threatened to harm themselves or someone else. In the case where my client has communicated that they have the intent to harm someone, I would take actions such as contacting the individual and the proper authorities to ensure the safety of the individual. In the case of when a client threatens to harm themselves I will inform the client that there are better approaches to dealing with their feelings. If my client threatened to commit suicide I would explain to them that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I would do everything according to my professional authority to protect my client and warn anyone that may be in danger. Statement eight of the Ethical standards of Human service professionals' is one that may find some difficulty with. The standard states that a client has a right to receive or refuse services. As a Family therapist I would have difficulty allowing a client to refuse a service that I know can help them. In such a situation I would have the professional obligation to respect the decision of the client, personally it would disturb me knowing that there is help for the client and he or she refuses to receive that help.

The Ethical standards of human services professionals are a set of guidelines that has been established to aid human service professionals and educators in his or her ethical and professional decision making. The guidelines are intended to provide human service professionals and educators assistance when dealing with the challenges of difficult ethical dilemmas. The ethical codes are not legal documents; they are available to be used to assist in the negotiation of issues related to ethical human service conduct. The standards are separated into two sections; the first section addresses the responsibilities for human service professionals whereas section two addresses the standards for human service educators. The first section identifies the basic responsibilities of a human service professional. According to the standards as a human services professional an individual is holds responsibilities to the client, his or her community and society, to the professionals colleagues, the profession, employers, and to his or her self. The second section of the ethical standards address the standards of professional conduct that is expected from institutions of higher learning, this section provides human service educators with the inherent responsibilities to students.

People tell lies and deceive others for many reasons. Most often, lying is a defense mechanism used to avoid trouble with the law, bosses or authority figures. Sometimes, you can tell when someone's lying, but other times it may not be so easy. Polygraphs, commonly called "lie detectors," are instruments that monitor a person's physiological reactions. These instruments do not, as their nickname suggests, detect lies. They can only detect whether deceptive behavior is being displayed. A polygraph instrument is basically a combination of medical devices that are used to monitor changes occurring in the body. As a person is questioned about a certain event or incident, the examiner looks to see how the person's heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and electro-dermal activity (sweatiness, in this case of the fingers) change in comparison to normal levels. Fluctuations may indicate that person is being deceptive, but exam results are open to interpretation by the examiner. I personally don't agree with the use of a polygraph test for any reason because a honest person can be interpreted as being deceptive because they are nervous and stressed because of the test, whereas a habitually dishonest person can appear to be honest about his or her answers because they have developed a skill for lying.

Psychologists have been relied upon as expert witnesses in the courtroom since the landmark case of Jenkins v. United States. Since that time, psychologists have been asked by the Court to assess individuals for a variety of reasons, an individual's competency to proceed with court, sanity, violence risk, substance abuse, parental fitness, and trauma due to a critical incident, child custody, and psychological effects of workplace discrimination. When psychological tests are inappropriately used in forensic settings, the potential impact can be devastating to both the individual being evaluated as well as to the criminal justice process. The over-interpretation and/or misuse of test data can significantly affect the outcome of a Court proceeding and potentially drastically change the defendant's life. In addition, the provision of misinformation to the Courts can tarnish the reputation of the psychologist as well as the entire psychological community. Psychologists who provide services within the forensic arena must maintain the highest standards of competence given that their suggestions to the Court may alter the lives of others. The psychologists, therefore, should only provide services in areas in which they are qualified and trained. When using psychological testing, psychologists must stay educated on the relevant literature in the field. They must also understand what research has been conducted on a particular test in order to avoid some of the common errors.

The main purpose of a human service professional is to provide essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. The ethical standards for a human service professional and his or her personal values are guides that aid each human service professional to provide adequate services to his or her clients. Identifying, assessing, and developing ones personal values may give a person the opportunity to identify what they stand for in life.

ReferencesAdopting High Personal Values. Retrieved May 7, 2006 Organization for Human Services: Ethical Standards of Human Service Professionals. Retrieved May 9, 2006, from National Academies Press (2002): Report, Committee to Review the Scientific Evaluation on the Polygraph (National Research Council), Washington D.C.. Retrieved May 11, 2006, from

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