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Ethical Principles and Concepts in Counseling Essay

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Updated: Jun 8th, 2021

In counseling, compliance with ethical standards is critical since the negligence or violation thereof may cause a tremendously adverse effect on a client’s progress. However, in the cases that require sacrificing ethical principles for the sake of customers’ well-being, some ethical principles need to be ignored (Cottone et al. 145). One of the most common situations that demand a counselor to dismiss ethical standards involves the dilemma regarding the notion of veracity. Implying that a counselor has to be fully open and truthful in their interactions with clients and colleagues, the specified principle can be ignored once group or family counseling is provided. In the described scenario, telling the complete truth to all parties involved may entail disclosing personal information about specific members to which they may object (Corey et al. 206). Therefore, unless all participants are privy to a specific piece of information or have given their full consent to sharing personal data in the setting of group counseling, a counselor will have to bend the principles of veracity in order to meet the standards for non-disclosure.

It is worth noting that the decision to violate the concept of veracity should be made only under special circumstances that imply possible harm to clients if the information is disclosed. Therefore, any other instances will require utilizing the concept of veracity and telling the full truth. The significance of veracity as the foundational mechanism I building relationships between a counselor and a patient lies in the development of trust that the specified notion provides. Therefore, it can only be bent in situations that suggest immediate harm unless the information is concealed.

The notions of privacy, confidentiality, and privilege are central to the process of counseling and have to be adhered to so that rapport could be established between a patient and a counselor. Being the constituents of the code of a counselor’s ethics, the three notions in question have quite a number of points of contact, simultaneously retaining unique characteristics that set them aside from each other. Due to the nuanced nature of the specified elements and the subtle connections that they share, they can be used to advance the relationships between a counselor and a patient, encouraging the latter to engage in the process of managing their emotional and psychological concerns.

The principle of privacy is supported by the constitutional standards that entitle every citizen to have the right to control the management of their personal data and the disclosure thereof. Therefore, privacy can be seen as the legal interpretation of the subject matter. In turn, confidentiality implies a professional stance on managing clients’ information and suggests that a counselor should promise to keep it concealed from any third parties (Corey et al. 207). The difference between privacy and confidentiality is often misconstrued by clients, which leads to legal conflicts (Corey et al. 205). Finally, privilege refers to a patient’s right to decide which piece of information should be deemed as confidential (Corey et al. 207).

Understanding the difference between the specified concepts is critical for a counselor. By grasping teach of the three notions and delineating these differences, one will be able to meet customers’ needs concerning their privacy and personal safety, ensuring that the process of counseling occurs naturally and uninhibitedly. Since a client is very vulnerable in the counseling environment, it is the job of a counselor to reduce the level of stress and anxiety by maintaining the client’s dignity, which can be achieved by keeping sensitive data private. Therefore, knowing the three concepts mentioned above will allow a counselor to locate sensitive information and keep it contained.

Works Cited

Corey, Gerald, et al. Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions (SAB 240 Substance Abuse Issues in Client Service). 8th ed., 2011.

Cotton, Robert Rocco, et al. Ethics and Decision Making in Counseling and Psychotherapy. 4th ed., Springer Publishing Company, 2016.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Ethical Principles and Concepts in Counseling." June 8, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ethical-principles-and-concepts-in-counseling/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Ethical Principles and Concepts in Counseling'. 8 June.

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