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Ethics and Group Counseling Mary Saint, M.Ed., LPC.

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Presentation on theme: "Ethics and Group Counseling Mary Saint, M.Ed., LPC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethics and Group Counseling Mary Saint, M.Ed., LPC

2 Screening of Members Select members whose needs and goals are compatible with group Who will not impede group process Whose well-being is not jeopardized by the group experience In working with minors, secure written permission of their custodial parents or legal guardians, even if this is not required by state law.

3 Orientation and Providing Information Prepare prospective or new group members by providing as much information about the existing or proposed group as necessary.  entrance/termination procedures, group participation  expectations and the nature of the group  professional disclosure statement  informed consent  goals of group

4 Confidentiality Confidentiality Clearly define what confidentiality means, why it is important and the difficulties involved in its enforcement. Emphasize importance of maintaining confidentiality before the group begins and at various times in the group. Inform group members that confidentiality in group therapy may not be protected under the state laws of privileged communication Taped sessions are only done with prior consent When confidentiality must be violated, discuss it with the group member and obtain written release

5 Leaving a Group Leaving a Group Provisions are made to assist a group member to terminate in an effective way Legally mandated member is informed of possible consequences Member leaving prematurely is discussed with the group Counselor encourages members to discuss reasons for wanting to leave the group Counselor intervenes if undue pressure is placed on member to remain in the group

6 Coercion and Pressure Protect against physical threats, intimidation, coercion, and undue peer pressure insofar as is reasonably possible Therapeutic pressure v/s undue pressure for change Others persuade against their will Physical or verbal aggression

7 Remain alert to ways in which your personal reactions might inhibit the group process Monitor your countertransference Avoid using the group as a place where you work through your personal problems. Imposing Counselor Values Develop an awareness of your own values and needs and the potential impact they have on the interventions likely to be made.

8 Maintain awareness of behavior toward individual group members Ensure equal use of group time for all members Recognize and respect differences (culture, race, religion, age etc). Equitable Treatment

9 Dual Relationships Avoid relationships that might impair objectivity and professional judgment or compromise a group member’s ability to fully participate fully in group. Avoid mixing professional relationships with social ones. Do not barter or exchange services. Avoid admitting family members, relatives ore personal friends as members of the group. Do not engage in sexual relationships with either current or former group members.

10 Restrict your scope and practice to client populations for which you are prepared by virtue of your education, training and experience. Use of Techniques Use of Techniques

11 Goal Development Group members should be assisted in developing personal goals Goals should be assessed throughout the course of a group and the counselor should assist in revising goals when appropriate

12 Termination from the Group It is the responsibility of the group counselor to help promote the independence of members from the group in a timely manner.

13 Evaluation and Follow-up On-going assessment and use of skills to assist members in evaluating their own progress Follow-up may take the form of personal contact, telephone or written contact  reach goals  positive or negative effect on participants  could members benefit from some type of referral

14 Professional Development Recognize that professional development is a continuous, on- going, developmental process throughout a career. Maintain and upgrade knowledge and skill competencies Keep abreast of research findings and new developments

15 * Always consult with colleagues or clinical supervisors whenever there is a potential ethical or legal dilemma. þ Find sources of ongoing supervision. Be aware of your state laws and professional organization ethical guidelines that limit your practice, as well as the policies of the agency for which you work. Courts may refer to group leader’s professional organization’s code of ethics to determine liability.

16 References Corey, G. (1995). Theory and Practice of Group Counseling (4th ed.). Ca.: Pacific Grove. Corey, G., Corey, M., & Callahan, P. (1998). Issues and Ethics In the Helping Professions (5th ed.). California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co. Corey, G., Williams, G. T., & Moline, M. E. (1995). Ethical and Legal Issues in Group Counseling. Ethics & Behavior, 5(2), 161-183. Gladding, S. T. (1999). Group Work: A counseling specialty (3rd ed.). Columbus, Oh: Merrill. Rapin, L., & Keel, L. (1998, arch 29). Association for Specialists in Group Work Best Practice Guidelines. Retrieved July 3, 2004, from

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