Take a Stand! Ethical Dilemmas
Clinical mental health counselors often encounter situations that require ethical decision making. How would you handle a family member who asks you for therapy? What would you do if a client pursued a romantic relationship with you? The ACA and AMHCA have codes of ethics that help clinical mental health counselors make these decisions. The codes are revised regularly based on changes in the counseling field or current trends in the world. An example of this would be new technologies that may blur the line between personal and professional identity or bring confidentiality into question.
Clinical mental health counselors must be aware of, and be up to date on, the professional codes of ethics and apply them to their practice. For this Discussion, you will review a set of ethical scenarios, and you will evaluate the ethical behavior exhibited based on the ACA Code of Ethics. Ethical scenarios aren’t always easy to resolve. Counselors may interpret situations and ethical codes differently. This Discussion offers you an opportunity to engage in well-informed, open-minded discourse with your colleagues, just as you will do as a counseling professional.
- Review examples of how to provide appropriate citations for the ACA Code of Ethics from this week’s Learning Resources.
- Review the scenarios in Case Study 3.2 (pp. 86–89) from Chapter 3 of the Erford course text. Select three scenarios to respond to for this Discussion.
Note: You are required to post your response to the Discussion thread before you are able to view others’ responses.
Post your evaluation of the three ethical scenarios you selected.
- Explain whether the behavior exhibited in the scenario was ethical or unethical, and why.
- Make sure to provide the ACA Code of Ethics standard that applies to the case.
Erford, B. T. (Ed.). (2018). Orientation to the counseling profession: Advocacy, ethics, and essential professional foundations (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
- Chapter 3, “Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling” (pp. 70–112)
Ponton, R. F., & Duba, J. D. (2009). The ACA Code of Ethics: Articulating counseling’s professional covenant. Journal of Counseling & Development, 87(1), 117–121.
American Counseling Association. (2014). ACA Code of Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.counseling.org/Resources/aca-code-of-et…
American Counseling Association. (2016). Navigating the Ethical Decision-Making Process. Retrieved from https://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/ethics…
American Mental Health Counselors Association. (2015). AMHCA Code of Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.amhca.org/viewdocument/amhca-code-of-et…