This is a 2 part assignment! Combine these into a single submission with one title page and one reference page.
Assignments must be double spaced APA format.
Part I: Now that you are thoroughly familiar with the ACA 2014 Code of Ethics, read and submit a 2 page paper on the case example attached. This has to do with your becoming aware of a colleague whose behavior has become of concern to you.
Case Example – A Colleague of Concern
Imagine you are a counselor, and that you have just seen a new client for the first time. She is 28, single, and a graduate student in social work. Her name is Kristy and she has been experiencing some signs and symptoms of stress that she wants to explore in counseling.
Kristy tells you that she recently saw a former colleague of yours for an initial counseling session. She didn’t feel he was the right professional for her, and she even questioned his professionalism.
You find out that Kristy was able to share in her session with your former colleague, that she was experiencing what she felt were considerable signs of stress in her life. She reportedly shared that she was not sleeping well, that she had lost some weight, and that she was avoiding her friends many times in favor of staying home and “vegging” on the couch.
Kristy goes on to tell you that your former colleague shared with her during her session, that he had lost “the love of his life” 2 years prior, to a car accident. He disclosed that the anniversary of her death was fast approaching. In the last few minutes of the session, he asked Kristy if she would like to meet him for coffee sometime later that week.
Kristy told you that she came away from the session with your colleague confused, and feeling more stressed than when she went in to see him. She told you that she just wants to feel better and that she is happy to have a new counselor who seems like she will be able to help her – you!
Following Kristy’s session, you continue to think about what she reported about your former colleague. Using the ACA 2014 Code of Ethics, and Corey’s ethical decision-making model in the textbook(see textbook information below), analyze this case. Go through all the steps of the ethical-decision making model, and apply each one to this case. Come up with some courses of action, and make a case for each one using the Code of Ethics.
Try to keep this to 2 narrative pages, double spaced, APA format. In addition, include a title page and a References Page. If you need to go over 2 pages, 3 is the absolute limit. Learning to write concisely is an important part of professional writing. Work to edit down your writing so you say more in fewer words.
Ethical decision making model located in the textbook:
Corey, G., Corey, M.S., & Callanan, P. (2018). Issues and ethics in the helping professions (10th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing. Print ISBN # 978-1337406291 (Available through Cengage)
When making ethical decisions, ask yourself these questions: “Which values do I rely on and why?” “How do my values affect my work with clients?” “Do my personal values have a place in my professional work?” When making ethical decisions, the National Association of Social Workers (2008) cautions you to be aware of your clients’ as well as your own personal values, cultural and religious beliefs, and practices. Acting responsibly implies recognizing any conflicts between personal and professional values and dealing with them effectively. The American Counseling Association’s (2014) Code of Ethics states that when counselors encounter an ethical dilemma, they are expected to carefully consider an ethical decision-making process. To make sound ethical decisions, it is necessary to slow down the decision-making process and engage in an intentional course of ethical deliberation, consultation, and action (Barnett & Johnson, 2015). Furthermore, when engaging in an ethical decision-making process, documentation of this process is important in case you are questioned about your choices, actions, and behaviors. Although no one ethical decision-making model is most effective, mental health professionals need to be familiar with at least one of the models or an amalgam that best fits for them.
Ethical decision making is not a purely cognitive and linear process that follows clearly defined and predictable steps. Indeed, it is crucial to acknowledge that emotions play a part in how you make ethical decisions. As a practitioner, your feelings will likely influence how you interpret both your client’s behavior and your own behavior. Furthermore, if you are uncomfortable with an ethical decision and do not adequately deal with this discomfort, it will certainly influence your future behavior with your client. An integral part of recognizing and working through an ethical concern is discussing your beliefs and values, motivations, feelings, and actions with a supervisor or a colleague.
In the process of making the best ethical decisions, it is also important to involve your clients whenever possible. Because you are making decisions about what is best for their welfare, it is appropriate to discuss the nature of the ethical dilemma that pertains to them. For instance, ethical decision making from a feminist therapy perspective calls for involving the client at every stage of the therapeutic process, which is based on the feminist principle that power should be equalized in the therapeutic relationship (Brown, 2010).
Consulting with the client fully and appropriately is a fundamental step in ethical decision making, for doing so increases the chances of making the best possible decision. Walden (2015) suggests that important therapeutic benefits can result from inclusion of the client in the ethical decision-making process, and she offers some strategies for accomplishing this goal at both the organizational and individual levels. When we make decisions about a client for the client rather than with the client, Walden maintains that we rob the client of power in the relationship. When we collaborate with clients, they are empowered. By soliciting the client’s perspective, we stand a good chance of achieving better counseling results and the best resolution for any ethical questions that arise. Potential therapeutic benefits can be gained by including clients in dealing with ethical concerns, and this practice represents functioning at the aspirational level. In fact, Walden questions whether it is truly possible to attain the aspirational level of ethical functioning without including the client’s voice in ethical concerns. By adding the voice and the unique perspective of the consumers of professional services, we indicate to the public that we as a profession are genuinely interested in protecting the rights and welfare of those who make use of our services. Bringing the client into ethical matters entails few risks, and both the client and the professional may benefit from this collaboration.
The social constructionist model of ethical decision making shares some aspects with the feminist model but focuses primarily on the social aspects of decision making in counseling (Cottone, 2001). This model redefines the ethical decision-making process as an interactive rather than an individual or intrapsychic process and places the decision in the social context itself, not in the mind of the person making the decision. This approach involves negotiating, consensualizing, and when necessary, arbitrating.
Garcia, Cartwright, Winston, and Borzuchowska (2003) describe a transcultural integrative model of ethical decision making that addresses the need for including cultural factors in the process of resolving ethical dilemmas. They present their model in a step-by-step format that counselors can use in dealing with ethical dilemmas in a variety of settings and with different client populations. Frame and Williams (2005) have developed a model of ethical decision making from a multicultural perspective based on universalist philosophy. In this model cultural differences are recognized, but common principles such as altruism, responsibility, justice, and caring that link cultures are emphasized.
Many of the ethical dilemmas we will encounter are not likely to have a readily apparent answer. Birrell and Bruns (2016) assert that answers to ethical matters are not contained in the code of ethics, no matter how detailed. The ethical encounter and ethical moments cannot be codified or reified or legalized. Relational ethics is about learning how to tolerate ambiguity and uncertainty. “Counselors can only struggle toward answers in the shared search toward mutuality and interdependence, which has the capacity to bring healing to the individuals they serve” (p. 396). Keeping in mind the feminist model of ethical decision making, Walden’s (2015) views on including the client’s voice in ethical concerns, a social constructionist approach to ethics, and a transcultural integrative model of ethical decision making, we present our approach to thinking through ethical dilemmas. Following these steps may help you think through ethical problems.
The goal of any ethical decision-making process is to help you take into account all relevant facts, use any resources available to you, and reason through the dilemma in a way that points to the best possible course of action. Clinicians have different perspectives and values, which are a part of their decision-making process, and ethical issues can have diverse outcomes. Reflecting on your assessment of the situation and on the actions you have taken is essential. By following a systematic model, you can be assured that you will be able to provide a rationale for the course of action you chose (Forester-Miller & Davis, 2016). The procedural steps we have listed here should not be thought of as a simple and linear way to reach a resolution on ethical matters. However, we have found that these steps do stimulate self-reflection and encourage discussion with clients and colleagues. Using this process, we are confident that you will find a solution that is helpful for your client, your profession, and yourself.
Part II: Self Care/Wellness Plan
Imagine that you are practicing as a professional counselor and you begin having trouble sleeping, you are tired, and feel overwhelmed for days on end. You have said some things in anger or frustration to friends and/or family recently, and your stomach feels “tied up in knots” more days than not.
You find yourself not returning calls to clients, and you are getting behind on your documentation. You worry that you are getting behind on things, but really don’t feel motivated to do much of anything to change things.
You have a colleague who has expressed concern in the past few days, that you haven’t seemed “yourself,” in quite some time. Your colleague brings up the term “wounded healer” which initially alarms you, but you can’t get it out of your mind.
In 2 – 3 pages (not including title page and reference page), respond to this situation as if this was really your experience. Write up a wellness plan for yourself that you can practice in your day to day life, as well as turn to in the future when you are feeling “less than 100%.” Provide some narrative that will help me understand how you arrived at this plan, and the significance of the pieces of your personal plan.
Grading will be based on depth of thought, and reflection. Do not rush through this. Give yourself time to really consider all aspects of your situation if this was you, as a professional counselor, in the future. Work hard to come up with a plan that you can really follow, and that will be of help to you. Also consider and discuss the implications legally, ethically, and personally of this situation as it bears down on you.
This is Part II of this assignment. Part I has to do with a “colleague of concern.”
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