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Ethical Boundaries and Practices Essay

Follow the directions below to write a paper of 1,500-1,750 words on counselor ethical boundaries and practices. For this paper, write from the perspective that you are a professional counselor in the field. Provide a thoughtful response to each of the following three sections, including specific, concrete examples to illustrate your ideas. Use the section headings provided below to separate each section of your paper. Your final deliverable should be one cohesive paper addressing all three sections along with an introduction and conclusion.

Section 1: Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships

Part A – Decision-Making Model and Counseling Examples

How would you determine if a boundary-crossing or dual relationship is ethical and appropriate? What criteria would you consider when making your decision? Present examples of how you would apply this criteria to at least four counseling situations in which you believe the dual relationship issues are complex and ambiguous. One of your examples should address the issues of physical attraction between clients and counselors.

Part B-Ethical Issues and Dimensions

In addition, examine these issues in terms of former clients. Address the following: Do the ethical issues (and your opinion about appropriateness) change, depending on how long after the termination of therapy a dual relationship is initiated? What are the key ethical dimensions that might change, after the termination of therapy? Present an example of a situation that you believe would constitute a boundary violation with a current client but might be acceptable with a former client.

Section 2: Professional Collaboration in Counseling
Part A – Working with a Multidisciplinary Team

Explain why counselors frequently collaborate with other stakeholders regarding a client’s care in order to maintain professional and ethical boundaries and practices. For example, professional counselors frequently work with clients with addiction issues. Addiction counselors may work with clients who also have a co-occurring disorder. The specific roles of each of these counselors are well defined; straying into an area outside your scope of practice is unethical. How would you work independently as a counselor within your scope of practice as well as collaboratively with other mental health professionals to ensure quality client care? What is the role of a counselor in a multidisciplinary team?

Part B –Relationships with Supervisors and Colleagues

Describe the ethical issues involved in the supervisor-counselor relationship. How is this relationship similar to the counselor-client relationship? How is it different? Outline a series of criteria and describe how you would integrate the criteria into an ethical decision-making model to respond to issues of incompetence and/or unethical conduct by fellow counselors.

Section 3: Development of Your Thinking about Ethics

Clearly describe what you consider to be the most important developments in your thinking about ethical practice that have occurred during this course. This may include areas in which you have clarified your views and beliefs, modified your thinking on a given issue, gained new insights, or acquired a new perspective. It may include issues whose complexity you now appreciate more fully or difficult issues that you now understand you must grapple with, as a counselor. What have you most learned about yourself and/or about what constitutes becoming an ethical practitioner and how has your thinking about ethics and legal issues changed? Be sure that you include specific examples to illustrate general statements.


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