Week 4: Ethical Foundations
As a student in the clinical mental health counseling program, and as a future clinical mental health counselor, you are required to know the ethical codes and legal responsibilities of your profession. Both the ACA and AMHCA have codes of ethics that provide counseling professionals with a foundation for how to work and interact with clients, other counseling professionals, and the general public. The work you do this week helps you in developing a strong ethical foundation for your ongoing development as a counseling professional.
This week, you will examine the ethical foundations of mental health counseling. You will evaluate a set of counseling scenarios involving ethical issues, and you will discuss whether the actions taken in the scenarios were ethical and why.
Â· Evaluate ethical considerations in counseling situations
Erford, B. T. (Ed.). (2018).Â Orientation to the counseling profession: Advocacy, ethics, and essential professional foundationsÂ (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Â· Chapter 3, â€œEthical and Legal Issues in Counselingâ€ (pp. 70â€“112)
Ponton, R. F., & Duba, J. D. (2009). The ACA Code of Ethics: Articulating counselingâ€™s professional covenant.Â Â Journal of Counseling & Development, 87(1), 117â€“121.
American Counseling Association. (2014).Â ACA Code of Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.counseling.org/Resources/aca-code-of-ethics.pdf
American Counseling Association. (2016).Â Navigating the Ethical Decision-Making Process. Retrieved from https://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/ethics/ethical-decision-making
American Mental Health Counselors Association. (2015).Â AMHCA Code of Ethics. Retrieved from https://www.amhca.org/publications/ethics
Document:Â School of Counseling Key Professional Dispositions (PDF)
Discussion: Take a Stand! Ethical Dilemmas
Clinical mental health counselors often encounter situations that require ethical decision making. How would you handle a family member who asks you for therapy? What would you do if a client pursued a romantic relationship with you? The ACA and AMHCA have codes of ethics that help clinical mental health counselors make these decisions. The codes are revised regularly based on changes in the counseling field or current trends in the world. An example of this would be new technologies that may blur the line between personal and professional identity or bring confidentiality into question.
Clinical mental health counselors must be aware of, and be up to date on, the professional codes of ethics and apply them to their practice. For this Discussion, you will review a set of ethical scenarios, and you will evaluate the ethical behavior exhibited based on the ACA Code of Ethics. Ethical scenarios arenâ€™t always easy to resolve. Counselors may interpret situations and ethical codes differently. This Discussion offers you an opportunity to engage in well-informed, open-minded discourse with your colleagues, just as you will do as a counseling professional.
Â· Review examples of how to provide appropriate citations for theÂ Â ACA Code of EthicsÂ from this weekâ€™s Learning Resources.
Â· Review the scenarios in Case Study 3.2 (pp. 86â€“89) from Chapter 3 of the Erford course text. Select three scenarios to respond to for this Discussion.
Note:Â Â You are required to post your response to the Discussion thread before you are able to view othersâ€™ responses.
By Day 3
PostÂ your evaluation of the three ethical scenarios you selected.
Â· Explain whether the behavior exhibited in the scenario was ethical or unethical, and why.
Â· Make sure to provide theÂ Â ACA Code of EthicsÂ standard that applies to the case.
ReadÂ your colleaguesâ€™ postings.
By Day 6
RespondÂ to at least two posts of colleagues with whom you disagree and why.
Make sure to cite theÂ Â ACA Code of EthicsÂ and your course text to support your decision.
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