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Professional Ethics in Counselling Professor Craig Jackson Head of Psychology BCU.

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1 Professional Ethics in Counselling Professor Craig Jackson Head of Psychology BCU

2 Ethics Ethos - moral character or custom Morality comes from the Latin word “moralis” - custom or manner Ethics is a generic term for various ways of understanding and examining the moral life” Beauchamp & Childress, 1994 Morality is concerned with perspectives of right and proper conduct

3 Morality There is nothing divine about morality a purely human affair If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed What the individual can do is to give a fine example, and to have the courage to uphold ethical values... in a society of cynics (Albert Einstein) “People are responsible as the primary agents in determining their own behaviour” (Evans 2001)

4 Consider your own Morality Is your moral code the same as your parents’ or “significant other”? In what way has it changed since you left your family of origin? On what basis do you decide what is right or wrong? i.e. religion/legal grounds How do you decide when to be honest or when it is wrong to steal?; are these absolute values for you or are they always relative to each particular situation? Man does not strive to be good; the good is what it is human to strive for (Perls et al, 1989, 335) Bracket own values and morals and explore the phenomenology of the client.

5 Your own Morality

6 10 personal qualities of the ethical therapist Empathy - the ability to communicate understanding of another person’s perspective Sincerity – a personal commitment to consistency between what is professed and what is done Integrity – honesty and coherence Resilience – the capacity to work with client’s concerns without being personally diminished Respect – showing appropriate esteem to others and their understanding of themselves

7 10 personal qualities of the ethical therapist Humility – the ability to assess accurately and acknowledge one’s own strengths and weakness Competence – the effective development of skills and knowledge Fairness – the consistent application of appropriate criteria to inform decisions and actions Wisdom - possession of sound judgement that informs practice Courage – the capacity to act in spite of known fears, risks and uncertainty

8 Values of Counselling & Psychotherapy Respect for human rights and dignity Ensuring the integrity of client practitioner relationships Enhancing the quality of professional knowledge and its application Alleviating personal distress and suffering Fostering a sense of self that is meaningful to the person’s concerned

9 Values of Counselling & Psychotherapy Increasing personal effectiveness Enhancing the quality of relationships between people Appreciating the variety of human experience and culture Striving for fair and adequate provision of counselling and psychotherapy services

10 . Ethical Principles – Beuachamp & Childress Respect for individual autonomy – right of another to choose and act in accordance with his or her wishes or beliefs 2. Beneficence – a commitment to benefiting the client 3. Non-maleficence – not to harm others intentionally 4. Justice – a fair distribution of services within society Thompson (1990) added a further two principles 5. Fidelity – honouring the promises upon which the trust between client and counsellor is founded 6. Self-interest – the counsellor’s entitlement to all the preceding principles (Bond, 2000)

11 Bond’s development of ethics

12 Ethical Problem Solving 6 stages Methods taken from – Standards and Ethics for counselling in action (Bond, 1993) Six step process 1.Produce a brief description of problem or dilemma Can have effects of clarifying, reducing even removing the difficulty. 2.Whose dilemma is it anyway?

13 Ethical Problem Solving 3. Consider all ethical principles and guidelines Questions to be considered What actions are prohibited by law What actions are required to be performed by law What are the people involved, including yourself, entitled by law In the absence of any relevant guidelines or decisive legal advise you can consider Non malificence – what will cause least harm Respect for autonomy – what maximises the opportunities for everyone involved to implement his or her choices? 4. Identity all possible courses of action Brainstorm possibilities

14 Ethical Problem Solving 5. Select the best of actions (Holly & Stradler 1986) Universality – would my chosen course of action be recommended to others? Would I condone this course of action if t was done by someone else? Publicity – could I explain my chosen course of action to others would I be willing to have my actions and rationale exposed to the scrutiny Justice – Would I do the same for other clients in a similar Situation. Would I do the same if the client were well known and or influential? If answers are No than reconsider your course of action.

15 Ethical Problem Solving 6. Evaluate the outcome Learn from experiences Was the outcome as you hoped Had you considered all relevant factors with the result?


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