Counselors may want to explore the effectiveness of the approaches they are using or the outcome of a program they have developed; they might also want to write an article or make a presentation about the work they are doing. This unit reviews the ethical and legal issues that may emerge when counselors are engaged in research and publication. Chapter 15 of the course text addresses the role of the researcher, diversity issues to consider when designing research, protection of participants, and accurate reporting of results.
- Identify ethical guidelines for conducting an evaluation of counseling services in a specific setting.
- Analyze the effectiveness of current decision-making models to determine the appropriate methods necessary to resolve legal and ethical issues when working with students or clients from diverse backgrounds.
- Apply ethical decision-making models to resolve specific legal and ethical issues found within diverse counseling settings.
- Analyze ethical guidelines specific to demonstrating developmental and cultural sensitivity when working with students or clients of diverse ages and backgrounds.
- Evaluate the impact of a counselor’s personal values on the ability to resolve legal and ethical dilemmas within the counseling profession.
- Develop strategies to address the influence a counselor’s personal values have on ethical decision making.
- Communicate effectively through the consistent use of APA guidelines for grammar, punctuation, and mechanics expected of a counseling professional.
Use your Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling text to complete the following:
- Read Chapter 15, “Professional Writing, Conducting Research, and Publishing,” pages 361–372.
Use the Library to read the following:
Click Launch Presentation to view Responding to Ethical and Legal Issues Presented by Clients – Case Study. This presentation contains examples of issues presented in counseling situations that involve responding to ethical and legal issues presented by clients. Complete this activity in preparation for this unit’s assignment. Case Study Below!
Bobby is a 41-year-old man who has been seeing you for counseling to address issues with alcohol and marijuana abuse. Bobby’s mother is Native American and he spent his childhood living on a reservation in Arizona. Both he and his mother were physically abused by his father; at the age of 12 they left the reservation and relocated to live with relatives in a large city in another state. His mother passed away last year.
Bobby is HIV-positive due to use of intravenous (IV) drugs in his early 20s. He has not used IV drugs for over 15 years and has been working closely with a physician to maintain his health and monitor any symptoms that emerge. He has not disclosed his HIV status to anyone except you.
Bobby works as an overnight residential counselor for adolescent boys five evenings a week; he is also in school to complete his degree in counseling and hopes to become a licensed therapist someday. He tells you that he attends Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings several times a week.
Two weeks ago Bobby comes to one of his counseling sessions with alcohol on his breath. He admits to having a relapse and reveals he’s been drinking and smoking marijuana for the past month. He was afraid to tell you because he didn’t want you to be disappointed in him. Bobby further discloses that he’s been drinking “just a little” in the evenings at work after the boys are asleep. He says that some of his own abuse issues from childhood have been emerging and he’s having a hard time dealing with the horrible memories.
Bobby also admits that some of his anxiety is being triggered by meeting a woman in his NA group to whom he’s very attracted. He finally got up the nerve to ask her out and they have been on three dates. He believes they will be sexually intimate soon but he’s not ready to tell her about his HIV-positive status. He assures you that he’s extremely careful to practice safe sex, and that he’ll tell her “when the time is right.”
Responding to Ethical and Legal Issues
- Choose and view one of the case studies from the multimedia presentation in this unit’s study that is most relevant for the type of work you will be doing as a professional counselor.
- Choose a specific ethical decision-making model from the course text, one of the readings included in the course, or another current peer-reviewed article from a professional counseling journal.
- Summarize the key legal and ethical issues presented in the case.
- If you were the counselor working with this case, discuss how you would apply each step of the ethical decision-making model you have selected in order to respond effectively to these legal and ethical issues.
- Include specific examples to illustrate the actions you would take at each step.
- Include the specific ethical standards and state laws that you would consult when determining your response to the situation. How would these laws and standards influence the choices you might make in responding to the situation?
- Describe how you would demonstrate developmental and cultural sensitivity when addressing the legal and ethical issues presented. Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.
- How do your personal values and beliefs impact your understanding of the situation and the choices you might make when deciding how to respond to the legal and ethical issues that may arise in working with this client?
- Include at least two examples of specific values and beliefs you hold that may influence your reactions to this case and the actions you may take.
- Present at least two specific strategies that you will develop to address the influence that your personal values and beliefs may have on ethical decision making with clients.
- Written communication: Develop accurate written communication and thoughts that convey the overall goals of the project and do not detract from the overall message. Your paper should demonstrate graduate-level writing skills.
- References: Your reference list must include at least six sources. You must use proper APA style to list your references. Refer to the APA Style and Formatting section of the Capella Online Writing Center for more information.
- Number of pages: The length of your paper should be 7 double-spaced pages. (Note: Page count does not include cover page or references.)
- Formatting: Use APA formatting, including the following: correct in-text citations, proper punctuation, double-spacing throughout, proper headings and subheadings, no skipped lines before headings and subheadings, proper paragraph and block indentation, no bolding, and no bullets. Refer to the APA Style and Formatting section of the Online Writing for more information.