Almost any field of profession has its corresponding hardships that an individual involved in it has to face. Nevertheless, there are occupations that pose a more challenging situation due to the fact that it deals with the life or personal affairs of other people. This kind of adage is greatly applicable to the area of psychology most specifically counseling. The counselors are responsible in aiding people who are having difficulties in various areas of their lives, may it be in terms of their personal growth, relationships with other people, and many others (Hawkins et. al, n. d. ).
Being the case, counselors have their own set of ethical dilemmas in doing their responsibilities especially in terms of separating their personal and professional relationships with their clients as well as giving sound judgments in times of crucial situations. These aforementioned roles could be exemplified in this case of a counselor that works in a rural setting. Counseling in this type of area entails that almost all people know each other and that they usually go and socialize to the same places. As such, being a counselor it could not be prevented that I have to socialize with my clients to some community events.
This could mean ethical dilemmas such as: confidentiality, privacy and the overall boundary between a counselor and his or her client. This is why I should establish a firm distinction between my personal and professional life. I should see to it that whenever I mingle with my clients at community events I would not discuss any of the sessions that we had especially the situation of my other patients. Moreover, it is better that I do not get to attach with any of my clients to prevent any biases in their cases but I will still make sure that I establish good relationship with them.
Another case involves a counselor that works in a local high school. One of her clients called her at a very distraught state and informed her that she was pregnant before and she committed abortion. She has not told anyone about it aside from the counselor. If I were the counselor, I will tell my client that it would be better that we talk the problem over face-to-face rather than in the phone. I could fetch her, as she is not in a proper state to travel. Then, we could talk at the clinic regarding her problem. I will also make sure that utmost confidentiality is observed since this is a very serious and delicate matter.
I would leave the decision to her as to when she would inform her family and her boyfriend about that particular incident. However, I would also make sure that I inform her about the limitations to confidentiality (Hawkins et. al, n. d. ). In doing so, I could aide in deciding for the appropriate thing to do. The ethically appropriate action is to aide her through counseling and other means to guide her in making the right choices but I will never meddle with her decision or impose anything upon her. The role of the counselor is to help and guide the patient to make her burden easier but never to take control of the situation.
In these two cases, it is clearly observable that counselors face ethical challenges in their profession. They even encounter more incidents like these because their responsibilities deal with other people’s life especially with regards to their emotional state. As such it is important that counselors adhere to ethical standards in order to help them in making sound and appropriate decisions.
Cornier, & Hackney. (2008). Hawkins, A. , Cormier, S. , & Bernard, J. (n. d. ). Common Challenges for Beginning Counselors.
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