Counselor Ethics And Responsibilities

Directions: Follow the directions below to write a paper of 1,750-2,100 words on counselor ethics and responsibilities.

Provide a thoughtful response to each of the following sections, including specific, concrete examples to illustrate your ideas. Use the section headings provided below to separate each section of your paper.

Your final deliverable should be one cohesive paper addressing all six sections along with an introduction and conclusion.

Part One:

Please note that part one must be written in the third person.

Section 1: Client Rights

1) Describe how you will incorporate the following five principles of ethical practice in order to maintain your clients’ rights.

a) Autonomy

b) Nonmaleficence

c) Beneficence

d) Justice

e) Fidelity

2) Discuss the informed consent process and how it protects client rights including:

a) Billing

b) Right to Privacy

c) HIPAA compliance

d) Compliance with credentialing board requirements for incorporating informed consent into practice

Section 2: Responsibility to Warn and Protect

Identify the factors that you will consider in order to determine your “duty to warn” and “duty to protect” responsibilities as a counselor. Be sure to consider ethical guidelines as well as the laws pertaining to the “duty to warn” and “duty to protect” in the state in which you plan to practice.

Section 3: Client Record-Keeping

Discuss the role of client record keeping in protecting the following:

a) a client’s right to a professional standard of care

b) the counselor from liability

Part Two:

Please note this section can be written in the first person.

Section 4: Self-care 

After reading the introduction of Section C “Professional Responsibility” in the ACA Code of Ethics discuss the following:

1. What does the ACA Code of Ethics say about self-care?

2. How do you plan on maintaining a healthy balance between your professional and personal life?

3. What healthy self-care activities have you engaged in in the past or present?

4. What healthy self-care activities have you considered but haven’t yet implemented?

5. What are some red-flags suggesting that you may need to address personal issues to avoid personal impairment?

6. How do you feel about counselors being counseled? Some programs require it. Do you agree with that concept?

Section 5: Advocacy

Go to the American Counseling Association (Government Affairs > Take Action) ( to find a way to advocate for the counselors and the counseling profession at the governmental level. Summarize how you can get involved (approx. 100 words).

Section 6: Counselor Values

1) Select two of the following issues you feel strongest about from the following:

a) Abortion. (A 19-year-old rape victim wants an abortion, but her parents are vehemently opposed to abortion on religious grounds and have stated that they will no longer consider her their daughter if she proceeds. The young woman is firm in her plans, but wants your help in changing her parents’ attitudes.)

b) Gay adoption. (John and Bill, after living in a committed relationship for 7 years, decide that they want to begin a family. They have differing opinions about whether to use a surrogate mother or adopt a child.)

c) Assisted suicide. (Eleanor, an 87-year-old with terminal cancer, has decided to end her life but is undecided about how to discuss this with her family, or if she should discuss it with them at all. She seeks your guidance in this decision, but is not interested in revisiting her decision to end her life.)

d) Extramarital affairs. (Both spouses in a couple you are counseling are having affairs, which they claim are not contributing in any way to their current marital difficulties. They want your help in strengthening their marriage but they are both committed to the “open marriage” concept that does not require sexual monogamy.)

2) Describe your personal values and attitudes towards the selected issues as well as how you would counsel the client in each situation you selected. HINT: Make sure you reference ethical codes from ACA, NBCC, or NAADAC.

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