CNL-505 Topic 4: Counselor Ethics and Responsibilities Assignment Guidelines

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.

This paper requires six scholarly references including your textbook.

Part One:

Please note that Part One must be written in the third person.

Section 1: The Counselor’s Role in Protecting Client Rights

  1. One of the roles of clinical mental health counselors is to do no harm. Based on research, describe how counselors incorporate the following five principles of ethical practice in order to maintain client rights.
    1. Autonomy
    1. Nonmaleficence
    1. Beneficence
    1. Justice
    1. Fidelity
  • In all clinical settings the informed consent process is important because it protects the privacy and dignity of the client. Discuss how the informed consent process protects client rights in the following areas:
    • Billing
    • Right to Privacy
    • HIPAA compliance
    • 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 legal considerations 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 the counselor for client record keeping in protecting the following:

  1. A client’s right to a professional standard of care
    1. The counselor from malpractice
    1. Notification of client’s rights
    1. Storing files and documents electronically

Part Two:

Section 4: Self-Care

After reading the introduction of Section C “Professional Responsibility” in the American Counseling Association (ACA) or American School Counseling Association (ASCA) Code of Ethics, discuss the following:

  1. What does the ACA or ASCA Code of Ethics say about self-care?
  2. How do you plan to maintain 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 have not 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 receiving personal counseling? Some counseling programs require it. What counseling resources are available for you in your area? (Please note: The Counseling Community Connections website has a Counselor and Counseling Resource List available to you. The direct link is in the Topic 4 Resources. Please contact GCU Tech Support if you have difficulties logging into the website.)

Section 5: Advocacy

Go to the Take Action webpage on the American Counseling Association website, located in the Topic 4 Resources, to find options to advocate for the counselors and the counseling profession at the governmental level. Summarize a population you are passionate about how you can get involved. What ethical responsibilities does a counselor have for advocacy? Cite at least one ACA code.

Section 6: Counselor Values

  1. Select one of the following issues you feel strongest about from the following:
    1. 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.)
    1. 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.)
    1. 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.)
    1. 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 advocate for the client(s) in each situation you selected. How would you work with a client who was in direct conflict with your advocacy group/ a group that you are passionate about? HINT: Make sure you review the respective code of ethics specific to your program of study (ACA or ASCA). Reference the relevant ethical codes in your response.
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