Counselor Ethical Boundaries and Practices Essay

Part of being a counsellor requires an apprehension of double relationships and the boundaries that are in topographic point between a client and their counsellor. Bing a good counsellor requires an apprehension of the function that moralss dramas in the professional relationship. Ethical motives are non merely a manner of protecting the client but offer protection to the counsellor every bit good.

Counselor Decision-Making and Counseling Examples

In the guidance profession double relationships besides known as multiple relationships can be defined as a state of affairs in which multiples roles exists between the counsellor and the client. Callanan et al discuss the fact that when a counsellor and a client “blend their professional relationship with a non-professional relationship. so ethical concerns must be considered ( 2014 ) . ” The boundaries that are set in topographic point between a counsellor and a client are done so to protect both parties. A counsellor is in a place of power in the life of their client and if the boundaries are non in topographic point. the counsellor could take advantage of their client and cause troubles for them. To find if a boundary crossing or a double relationship is ethical and appropriate with a client that I am handling I would look foremost to the ACA codification of moralss to find what is viewed as unethical double relationships. The ACA codification of moralss goes into some item in respects to what is considered to be an unethical double relationship. ACA Code A. 5. a provinces that a “sexual and/or romantic counselor– client interactions or relationships with current clients. their romantic spouses. or their household members are prohibited ( 2014 ) . “

The codification of moralss besides explains that counsellors are prohibited from supplying reding services to person that they have antecedently had a sexual/romantic relationship with. If the state of affairs that I am involved in is non covered within the ethical guidelines. so I would seek the advise of my supervisor or trusted co-worker to find what their ideas are in respects to the state of affairs that I have found myself in. In doing my determination. I would look to find that the determinations being made would non adversely affect my client or myself. I would besides look to find if the alteration in relationship would be curative to my client. If I was covering with a state of affairs where I was sexually attracted to my client or my client was sexually attracted to me ; I would look to the ACA codification of moralss and find that a sexual relationship with a client is considered unethical. Geyer believes “there seems to be considerable understanding within both secular and Christian circles that romantic or sexual relationships are ever unethical concurrent with or during guidance and virtually ever unethical afterwards ( Double Role Relationships and Christian Counseling. 1994 ) . “

If during a guidance session with a client. they felt that I was non hearing them. it might be appropriate to make some self-disclosure. This is a boundary crossing but every bit long as the self-disclosure does non do the client to experience negative effects so it is acceptable as a manner to do certain the client understands the guidance is listening and understands what the client is experiencing. If I was working in a little town that did non hold other guidance options. so I might be placed in a place to hold a double relationship with a client. A friend could come to me necessitating aid in covering with an issue and due to the country that we live in. there might non be another counsellor that they could travel and see. In this state of affairs. I believe a double relationship would be allowed every bit long as the boundaries between friendly relationship and guidance are to the full laid out before get downing.

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The friend would hold to come into the Sessionss non as a friend but as a client. person that I am at that place to help without go throughing judgement. If I had been handling a client who had been involved in auto clang where their actions caused the decease of the rider in the auto. would it be ethical for me to traverse the boundary of go forthing the office and traveling to the site of the accident. I believe in this instance that it would be acceptable for me to traverse that boundary and travel with my client as a support system as they are seeking to come to footings with their actions that caused the decease of another. By traveling with them to the site of the accident. they are able to hold a sense of being protected as they process what transpired and led them to that point in their life.

Ethical Issues and Dimensions

The ACA Code of Ethics defines an appropriate sum of clip of 5 old ages following the expiration of therapy to be acceptable for a counsellor to prosecute a sexual/romantic relationship with a past client. I believe that in some cases 5 old ages would be a good sum of clip to go through before looking for that type of relationship but in some instances longer might be better. I will hold been in a really powerful place with my client and hence depending on what they were having reding for. it might non hold been adequate clip for that power moral force to hold equaled out. If I were seeing a client and they invited me to their birthday party. this would be considered unethical because I would be seeing them outside of the guidance Sessionss.

If services have been terminated and we are the five old ages out of the guidance relationship. I would be able to go to the party without fright of my actions being unethical. How the relationship with the client ended besides plays a portion in being able to interact with them after expiration of therapy. Lebaw ( 2014 ) states that there are different types of expiration of guidance services ; the expiration of services can be carefully planned or be wholly unplanned and based on instances that were either successful or unsuccessful. If the expiration of services was a negative experience for the client. it might be more ethical to non interact with them after the stoping of the guidance Sessionss.

Professional Collaboration Counseling

It is of import for counsellors and other stakeholders to work together in respects to the attention of a client. There are different state of affairss in which multiple countries of aid will be needed for the clients’ safety and wellbeing and it is of import that each member of the squad is able to pass on efficaciously with one another.

Multidisciplinary Team

It is of import for a counsellor in certain state of affairss to be able to work with other professionals to guarantee the best attention is being given to a client. If I have non been trained in managing dependences and have a client that is covering with terrible depression but is besides an alcoholic so it would be good for me to work in concurrence with their dependence counsellor. Then as I am handling the client for their depression. the dependence counsellor is working with them in respects to their intoxicant dependence. In this instance the dependences counsellor and I would necessitate to be able to pass on back and Forth with one another to guarantee that our client was having the best possible attention for their co-occurring upsets. Besides. with holding another individual involved in the attention of the client it helps to maintain the house boundaries in topographic point that maintains the safety of the client and myself. The dependences counsellor and I would run into on a regular basis to discourse our programs to accomplish a elaborate attention program that gives our client the best possible result. Staton and Gilligan ( 2003 ) specify the aim of coaction as “developing common understanding on ways to work together to supply the most effectual services. “

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Fiddler et Al ( 2010 ) said that “meaningful battle and determinations should be made in coaction with the patient about his/her intervention and future direction. ” The client should be a portion of the procedure of the attention program and non merely being told what is traveling to be taking topographic point. it allows the client to hold a voice in their intervention. If my client did non wish for me to join forces with their dependences counsellor. desiring to maintain the two countries separate so I would necessitate to handle the client entirely within the range of the depression. I would non be able to supply my client with any advice as to why they are imbibing or even why they find it hard to halt imbibing. As an single counsellor working entirely with the client. I need to be certain that I do nil unethical with the client. By cognizing what I have been trained in and informing my client that because I do non hold the experience or preparation to handle them in respects to their dependence. I am non merely taking attention of myself ethically but the client every bit good.

Part of the occupation of a supervisor-counselor relationship is for them to non merely develop the pupil in what it is to be a counsellor. but to be a support system for the pupil. This puts the supervisor in a place of utmost importance to the pupil. Not merely is the supervisor seting Forth a class on the students’ public presentation. but they are besides being confided in by the pupil with the battles the pupil is holding. The supervisor could utilize this place to act upon the pupil in an unethical manner if they are non careful. It would be simple for the supervisor to pull strings the student’s feelings towards them.

These are really similar to the things that a counsellor could make to a client if they did non supervise themselves. AS a counsellor. you have the trust of your client that everything you are making is being done to assist them and non harm them. A standard that could be used to find if something a fellow counsellor is being done is ethical or non is by cognizing and being familiar with the ACA codification of moralss every bit good as the Torahs of the province that I am practising in. If I found a fellow counsellor moving in an unethical manner it would be my responsibility to describe them to the licensing board. The board is the lone 1 who has the right to go through judgement and sentence on a counsellor who has behaved unethically.

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Development of Ethical motives

Ponton stated “In whatever forte counsellors pattern. they are asked to supply expertness to the job of equilibrating an individual’s demands. strengths. and individuality with the group or society within which that person maps ( 2009 ) . ” Since taking this class I have become more familiar with the functions that moralss demands to play in the relationship between non merely counsellor and client ; but counsellor and counsellor. and counsellor and supervisor. That each of these relationships forms a concatenation that needs to be strong and good defined.

The function that moralss dramas in the life of a counsellor is something that is really of import. Ethical motives are non merely at that place to protect the client. they protect the counsellor every bit good. From this class I have learned that there will be times when the lines between ethical and unethical are non traveling to be clearly defined ; yet there is a support system available to me. I learned that there is nil incorrect with traveling to my community of counsellors for support or way when I am diffident of a measure. This is a profession where non merely do we assist clients but we help each other.


Person who is get downing in the guidance profession needs to be to the full cognizant of the ethical guidelines set in topographic point by non merely the ACA but the province in which they are practising. The codification of moralss are non in topographic point merely to protect the client ; but to besides supply protection to the counsellor. The function of moralss and boundaries is of import and something that a counsellor will necessitate to continuously ticker and larn about as the work with clients. Though boundaries can fluctuate they should ne’er be crossed in a manner that could harm a client. As a counsellor. I need to cognize what instances that I can handle and those that I can’t and be willing to work with others to give my clients the best possible attention. There are ethical guidelines for non merely the interaction with clients but for the interactions with other reding professionals. Without moralss to steer a counsellor in their pattern. they are in a place to make major injury to their clients. This class has shown me that moralss are an built-in portion of the guidance profession and demand to be respected.

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