Ethics is an extremely important aspect in psychotherapeutic counseling. Ethical issues often affect the counselors as well as their clients which creates a rift in their relationship. Over the years there have been number of researches on the ethical issues in counseling and hence it is important to discuss the key issues in counseling. There are number of different ethical issues which can affect a counseling session. Confidentiality is an extremely important aspect which the counselor has to bear throughout the contract as well as after the completion of the contract. The present essay will discuss the two key ethical issues of confidentiality and beneficence (Bond, 2015).
Confidentiality is one of the most important aspects in counseling. Ethics is an extremely important ethical aspect in counseling. Counseling in psychotherapy stands to be an extremely important aspect since most of the cases are very unsteady and shaky. The first and the foremost thing that a counselor has to understand is to keep the information of the clients under wraps and by any way the counselor is not allowed to spill any kind of information about the client. In this the counselor is directly legally and socially bound (Allmark et al., 2009). As a counselor it is important for an individual to focus on keeping all kinds of information confidential. In some cases the counselors face an ethical dilemma which forces them back on the wall which would make them ambivalent regarding the patient. There are number of situations where keeping the pledge of being confidential about the patient might be harmful to the patients themselves and these are the situations which create most of the ethical dilemmas. Hence it is extremely important for the counselor to decide and use his or her presence of mind in order to make decisions (Tolich, 2009).
Since there are number of situations where confidentiality becomes one of biggest hurdles to cross and hence it could be said that as a counselor what I am most concerned about is the ethical dilemma of keeping things confidential. It is important for me as a counselor to act effectively and ethically always but it is not always possible in the field of psychotherapy to be confidential enough. It is stated that confidentiality is one of the most important aspects in counseling which is absolutely correct but in some cases the aspect of confidentiality might create problems for the counselors and most importantly the patients. As a counselor it often becomes a trouble to understand when to abide by ethics and when not to since the job of counselor is very tough. Ethical dilemma that breaks the oath of being confidential in doing the job tests the boundaries of the counselors for instance not taking any action even after knowing that the patient is at risk (McLeod, 2009). Assessing the situations of the patient as a counselor can often become tough for me which is most likely to affect my confidentiality towards the client. Hence I can state for me confidentiality will be a huge aspect during my interview or counseling work. Hence it could be said that I have to be very patient in understanding the problems of my client and assess the situation which would help me to address my personal ethical dilemma effectively (Jenkins, 2010).
I understand that as a counselor I have to be very particular about keeping records even because my obligation to be confidential extends to records even. Being confidential is important and effective as it helps to understand the clients in a better way and on the other hand if somehow it is breached it can have myriad ill effects. Hence as a counselor it is extremely important to understand when and how to act confidential (Bond & Mitchel, 2014). Making the client convinced as a counselor to be confidential and private to that I will come across will help me to know more about that person which will ultimately help me to understand the disease or the pain better and address the problems accordingly. Hence I personally feel that confidentiality as an ethical issue is extremely important for my counseling or interview work. There are different aspects to confidentiality and it works differently for different patients and hence as a counselor I have to understand that and act accordingly (McLeod, 2013). As a counselor one will have to be aware of the problems that the client is facing and that could only happen when the client is assured enough that the counselor will keep everything confidential and he or she can speak their minds out. Hence being confidential is a key aspect for me as a counselor. Overall it could be said that confidentiality is one ethical issue which I personally feel is important for my work (Van Allen & Roberts, 2011).
For children and adults there is a special treatment. It is important to understand that for children and adults there should be a level of confidentiality but it has to be well communicated with their immediate guardians so that the patient doesn’t face any kind of problem as well as a counselor I personally do not face any legal problem if anything wrong happens with the patients. Counseling the minors and adults is likely to put all sorts of problems especially in terms of maintaining confidentiality and hence it is important that maneuvering any kind of ethical dilemma the counselor is able to address the problems of the clients. Adults often pose more problems as they tend to experience a lot of problems and hence having an effective conversation is extremely important for which confidentiality is essential. The considerations mainly should be to assure them that it will be confidential as well as gain their faith in order to get the best possible information to treat the patients accordingly (Close, 2010).
As a counselor I will try to make the client understand that I am one of his friends and going to help him or her out of problems and will try to suggest some suitable ideas which will help me to gain their trust, on the other hand I will also focus on understanding their nerves and problems and will try to calm the client and try and encourage him about the way he feels and will try to focus on eliminating the problems. This is naturally going to calm the patient and will instill faith about me which will be helpful to know his mind and will also ensure confidentiality which is likely to help the client to gain faith and also manage to build up confidentiality. It could be said that most of the problems start when the clients starts disbelieving the counselor and hence it is important for me to create that faith and ensure that I am able to keep everything confidential and understand the problems of the client which is likely to help me fix the issues of the client (McLeod, 2013).
Beneficence mainly means that the counselor has to work for the benefit of the client and will have to suggest the client what is best for him or her. Beneficence is another key ethical issue that needs to be taken into account always by a counselor. It is important that the counselor is focused on providing the benefit which the patient is looking for which is the mental benefit. Mental peace is what the client is looking for and as a counselor it is always important to look for the aspect or things which the client will be happy about. Beneficence for a client is multi faceted and hence it is important that the counselor is well aware of it ethically and where to use it and how. It could be said that most of the times patients often talk and love talking and it is important that as a counselor one gives full attention to what the patient is saying or else he or she might miss on something very important and effective for treatment (Finn & Barak, 2010).
As a counselor I try focus on providing my clients with the best possible opportunity to discuss their problems as well as their feeling so that they are able to feel free inn their minds and feel mentally comfortable and become more communicative (Macciocchi, 2009). Ethically it is important for me as a counselor to understand what benefits the patient most and trying to do those things which would help me to understand them effectively. Beneficence is an attribute that needs the counselors to put the needs and interest of the patients and clients ahead of the personal interest and hence it could be said that it could be done only by understanding the client successfully. In counseling psychotherapy it is important to understand the mental state of the clients in order to suggest the best way of treatment for the counselor. I personally feel that beneficence is important in my interview or counseling work is because they are extremely important to communicate with the clients and understand their problems (Smith, 2015).
The ethical concept of beneficence is likely to help me to perform by duties well as it will help me to understand the needs and wants of my clients effectively as well as help me to prioritise them for the best interest of the clients. Prioritising the needs and wants of the consumers effectively will help me to understand my clients and also give them the feel of being important to me which will stabilise the mental state effectively and also to make them feel better from the context of mental state (Kirsch, 2010). Implementing an ethical decision should be done with strong contemplation which would help to develop to act in the best interest of the clients. For me it will be important to understand the mindset of the clients and since it varies from man to man the thinking will have to be different for different clients. When the counselor deviates from his or her sole motive of benefiting his or her clients this is when he becomes cynical which is highly contradictory to the indenture formed before the counseling sessions started and this is when the counselor becomes legally vulnerable. Hence it is extremely important for me to personally focus on developing a strong bonding with the client and make sure I always act for the best interest of the clients in order to help the clients to come out of the poor mental state and also help myself as a counselor (Kress et al., 2013).
There are number of works based on the different ethical issues related to counseling and these works have broadly highlighted the importance of beneficence as a crucial ethical issue that has to be taken into account by all the counselors while working for clients. After reading these materials I have understood that as a counselor considering beneficence in my work which means providing the best possible service through which the client gets mental peace, encouragement and motivation is what my job is and hence I will have to strive to achieve that through working for the best interest of the clients. It could be said that as a counselor I will have to develop a strong bonding through which I will be able to work on motivating and developing my client’s mental and physical state (Donate-Bartfield et al., 2009).
Beneficence does change for people. It could be said that for different age groups it beneficence may vary from man to man and hence it is important that I am able to understand the needs and wants of the consumers. For instance beneficence could be received by playing video games with a minor and may be having a nice tea session with an adult may be effective to understand him or her and hence it is important for me to act ethically as a counselor and do what is needed for especially minors and adults (Welfel, 2015).
To conclude it could be said that beneficence is an extremely important aspect for the consideration for a counselor. As a counselor it is important that I am able to act for the best interest of my clients so that I am able to focus on developing the mental state of my client. Confidentiality as an ethical issue will have to considered importantly since as a counselor maintaining a perfect relationship is extremely which comes through keeping all the key discussions confidential. Addressing ethical dilemma in counseling could be often tough but in counseling it is always important to understand that providing beneficence is a statutory job of the counselor which has to be fulfilled by me in order to get the best result for my client (Welfel, 2015).
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Bond, T. (2015). Standards and ethics for counselling in action. Sage.
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McLeod, J. (2011). Qualitative research in counselling and psychotherapy. Sage.
McLeod, J. (2013). An introduction to counselling. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).
Smith, L. C. (2015). Queering multicultural competence in counseling. InDecolonizing “multicultural” counseling through social justice (pp. 23-39). Springer New York.
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Welfel, E. R. (2015). Ethics in counseling & psychotherapy. Cengage Learning.
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