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Professional ethics are the hardest to adhere to compare to other codes of conduct. This is due to the complications and difficulties that arise during service delivery. People have been at crossroads while deciding which route to take when they are faced with this situation. This essay explores moral, legal, and professional issues surrounding bartering in relationships concerning a case study.
Origin of Barter Trade
This refers to the exchange of goods without using currencies. It is a traditional form of trade where buyers and sellers exchanged their products or services with similar commodities. The use of currency had not been introduced; therefore, people used what they had to get what they did not have (Corey 2011). Modern relationships have taken different turns and adopted various interpretations depending on the terms of service used to sustain relationships.
Professional and Barter Relationships
Human beings have different forms of relationships, depending on the interest individuals are concerned with. However, all these relationships are defined as official or unofficial relationship (Fisher 2009). The former refers to all interactions that are guided by professional codes that stipulate and specify the boundaries within which these relations should operate. The second category relates to relationships that are open and do not have any restrictions that must be followed. However, it is necessary to state that even informal relationships have some form of guidelines to ensure people interact without going beyond the stipulated limits.
The case study used in this essay has significant concerns that have been addressed by the American Psychological Association in attempts to restore sanity in psychology institutions. Bartering has become a common problem, and concerns continue to arise regarding how professionals and clients are experiencing regular conflicts.
It is not easy to determine the level at which this has occurred, but reliable sources show that there is an increase in these cases (Fisher 2009). Clients and psychologists have compromised the quality of their relationships due to the lack of professional ethics while dispensing their services.
According to this case study, it is necessary to highlight the lack of professional behavior by this client who demands that unless they engage in barter, the client will terminate counseling visits. It is essential to identify the reasons behind this proposal according to the client and how it applies to this situation. In a real sense, there is no way a professional can offer free counseling services unless it is being provided under philanthropic grounds.
Psychologists offer their services as a way of making money for their daily and annual expenses (Corey 2011). Therefore, they deserve to be paid just like a business person who invests money in trade and expects to get profit. However, this situation is tricky since the client has declared that there are no funds to pay for counseling services. The first option is to terminate counseling and let the client know that without money, no services will be offered.
Secondly, people must understand that a reduction in income means a reduction in expenses or diversification of income-generating activities. Therefore, this client must know that unemployment must not present an opportunity to compromise professional relationships. The client must look for other ways to make money and pay counseling fees regardless of whether there are jobs or not. This will ensure that he or she has a second plan for not only paying counseling fees but also all other mandatory expenses like food, rent, transport, and other bills.
Thirdly, the client needs to know that counseling is a profession offered by psychologists and should be respected like all other professions. The client is jobless and unable to get back the lost job due to professional ethics that must be observed. For instance, the person may have been sacked because of lateness, inefficiency, absenteeism, or other forms of professional indiscipline (Fisher 2009). Consequently, the way the previous employer has respected and followed his or her professional codes of conduct and workplace policies is the same way this psychologist will appreciate his job. There are no double standards in professional codes, and no profession should be compromised at the expense of inefficiency in another profession.
However, this psychologist should know that if he compromises his profession by going beyond the professional codes of conduct, he or she will be exposing his job too serious risks. First, there will be no trust between them, and this will compromise the quality of services offered (Corey, 2011). A lot of time will be wasted in discussing relationship issues rather than counseling. Also, there will be less seriousness on the part of the psychologists, and this will expose the profession to inefficiencies.
Psychologists have a significant role in ensuring their clients get quality counseling services regarding all the problems they face during counseling sessions. They should never let clients’ interests to overpower their abilities to make a sound judgment regarding their relationships. They have the upper hand in determining the nature of relationships between them and their clients; therefore, they should always maintain a professional face despite the challenges facing them.
Corey, G. (2011). Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions. California: Thomson Brooks.
Fisher, C. B. (2009). Decoding the Ethics Code: A Practical Guide for Psychologists. California: Sage Publications.