DEVELOPING COUNSELOR ETHICAL AND LEGAL CONSIDERATION
Department of affiliation
Ethical and Legal Viewpoint
As a counselor, there are numerous professional standards I need to uphold even when volunteering my services to help individuals dealing with mental health issues or disorders. Volunteerism is a very important role when practicing counseling because it provides counselors the opportunity to interact with individuals professionally, and assist with their psychological needs. According to the American Counseling Association, (2014) these standards should include honoring diversity among individuals, embracing a “multicultural approach” in support of dignity, and one’s potential and worth regardless of their social or cultural background (ACA, P3). When volunteering services among people, individuals should not expect any payment or exchange in return. The lack of people’s finances should not hinder us as counselors from ensuring they have the assistance they need despite their circumstances.
Above all, I must protect all clients’ privacy and uphold the dignity of the client. The Code of ethics of the American Counseling Association clearly expresses the personal development of the patient throughout the restorative process (American Counseling Association,2014). Furthermore, I will always maintain client confidentiality to preserve their privacy. During counseling sessions, individual information will never be disclosed to anyone else except to the client. Even when clients’ finances are low their privacy will remain confidential. Based on the code of ethics provided by the ACA, future counselors must maintain a sociable relationship among colleagues (American Counseling Association,2014). Building relationships with clients is an important part of counseling in case a referral is needed in the absence of the counselor.
The ACA Code of ethics has a very clear stipulation when it comes to the sharing of the information which a client has shared with a counselor. Therefore guided by this it would be the most respectable thing that I should not share any information clients share with me unless it is necessary to do so. An example of a situation where I can share the clients’ information is whereby the client is likely to hurt himself or herself or someone close to them. Therefore in this case the sharing of the information is justifiable. However, it is still advised to ask for permission from the client or to share with them that their information is being shared with someone else and what type of information since in some instances only a certain type or form of information can be shared with another person (American Counseling Association,2014).
Self-disclosure is indeed a very difficult part of the counseling process and is highly discouraged unless it is under unavoidable circumstances. Therefore the counseling process calls for a counselor well trained how to handle every case that comes to their desk and how to keep themselves sober and from the anxiety of telling the exciting parts of their clients’ stories to those they are close to. This also requires that a person has a way to deal with all the negative happenings and events they listen to without having to disclose to someone else but just dealing with them so that they as individuals who are prone to emotions and other effects do not find themselves negatively affected by what is shared with them by their clients.
Objectivity is another very important part of the nursing profession. It is not an easy part since to some point the counselor may be swayed by the stories and the experiences of the client to go out of the way and start behaving in an unprofessional manner. For example, if a counselor is a male and they have a teenage client of around 19 years who needs help with finding love because she says every time she tries to love it becomes difficult, the counselor might take advantage of that situation and thus going away from the objectives of counseling. However, if the counselor listens closely and tries to assess the situation to help the client then the counselor is said to be objective and that makes the counseling process fruitful. It, therefore, means that counselors need to stick to the objectives and not sway even if they experience issues that may lead them to sway.
Self-care is one of the best ways to make sure that counseling does not affect the personal life of the counselor. This, therefore, means that the counselor has to take breaks, recreation, and personal time with family and friends. During this time I can try to forget about the clients and focus on my personal life thus making sure that I get a good life. Self-care makes a client get away from the counseling office and therefore the issues of the client do not affect their personal lives. It is a very important part of the counseling process since allowing the client’s issues to get into a person’s life makes life difficult for the counselor and his/her surroundings (American Counseling Association,2014).
In as much as it is not every person who is religious, it is often a very important aspect of realizing that there is a God who can take care of what we as human beings are unable to. And not only that but it enables the counselor to really and fully experience the life of the clients and therefore with the full perspective of their lives be able to provide the correct counseling for them to transform. The other thing is that being spiritual can act as one of the ways to let of counseling issues and making sure that they do not affect personal life. This is possible through sharing the issues with the invisible and as known all-knowing God. It, therefore, means releasing the most difficult concerns and issues about eth clients to God can help at times. It can also be a way of asking God to intervene and solve some of the issues counseling tries to solve. This is not to mean that counseling does not help but to mean that placing God to be part of the counseling can help a lot at times. This is especially used when the psycho-spiritual approach is used.
It is an important part of counseling because most of the time the group a counselor belongs to is what performs their initial understanding by the people around them, I will keep myself affiliated with the American counseling association. Through this, I expect to help more people and be professionally recognized since the American counseling association is a renowned body of counselors. Even though I will struggle with the changing ethical expectations I hope to be able to help as many people as possible and keep myself updated on everything (American Counseling Association,2014).
Professional organizational review
Membership benefits of joining American counseling association
It is one of the bodies which can provide me with the experience, connections, and the right or proper code of ethics. Therefore joining the American counseling association will most definitely help me understand what it means to be in this field as well as give me the much-needed experience. Above all, I will get the right connections to help me grow in this field. The proper code of ethics will enable me to be the best type of counselor which I have always wished for (American Counseling Association,2014).
In the fight for opioids, the counselors are fighting to be included as a body that is actively involved in the decision-making about Medicare. Apart from this, the association wants those with mental health issues to be treated at normal rates and counselors to receive reimbursement through Medicare.
Kaplan, D. M., Francis, P. C., Hermann, M. A., Baca, J. V., Goodnough, G. E., Hodges, S., … & Wade, M. E. (2017). New concepts in the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics. Journal of Counseling & Development, 95(1), 110-120.
Ginicola, M. M., Smith, C., & Filmore, J. M. (2017). Developing competence in working with LGBTQI+ communities: Awareness, knowledge, skills, and action. Affirmative counseling with LGBTQI+ people, 1-20.