Examples Of Ethical Dilemmas In Counseling

2130 Words 9 Pages
Counselors are faced with many situations that test their moral and ethical beliefs. Although there are numerous guides for counselors to follow, none can offer absolute solutions to every scenario. Some situation, no matter the course of action, may have consequences that may harm the counseling relationship. However, “A practitioner’s guide to ethical decision making”, by the American Counseling Association (ACA) offers a seven step decision making model that will help counselors with the challenges of ethical dilemmas (Forester-Miller & Davis, 1996). This paper will use the decision making model to analyze scenario 2. Scenario 2 reveals the implications of boundary crossings, boundary violations and possible dual relationship issues. This …show more content…
Although there are numerous guides for counselors to follow, none can offer absolute solutions to every scenario. Some situation, no matter the course of action, may have consequences that may harm the counseling relationship. Scenario 2 describes the misguided actions of an outpatient intern (John) for a specialty drug and alcohol addiction recovery center. John has interned for the facility for 9 months and has co-lead many groups. Thus, developing a positive client counselor relationship. One evening, John received a friend request on his personal Facebook page from a male client. John and this client had great interactions, so John accepted his request. A few days later, John received a friend request from a female client in the group. John is not fond of her because of her reluctant behavior during the sessions. Therefore, he denies her request, explaining to her that he does not befriend …show more content…
The fundamental principles of professional ethical behavior are autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice, fidelity and veracity (ACA, 2014, p. 3). According to Gutheil (1994) & Arnold (2002) each principle should be considered equally important, however one must determine where the priority lies. The principle of nonmaleficence takes priority in scenario 2. John needs to do all he can to avoid harming both Ben and Jeanne. The second principle that needs to be addressed is justice. John needs to treat both clients equally and not allow outside communications if it is not beneficial. John also needs to preserve fidelity and veracity if he continues to interact with Ben on facebook. He also needs to make sure that it is beneficial to communicate with Ben in this way. Finally he needs to foster autonomy among both Ben and Jeanne. Working with his supervisor to foster these principles can prevent a situation that may have legal

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