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The code of conduct stipulates that the professional ethics guides the execution of certain consignment. The practitioners should adhere to the stated ethical practices to satisfy the needs of parties concern. The violation of professional ethics normally results in an ethical dilemma scenario. Let us consider the following case. The intern, Gwen, gives her laptop containing the details about her clients to a friend, Adrienne, who reads through the confidential information because of curiosity. On reading, she comes across the confidential information of her sister, which is not to be found by anyone, especially relatives. Adrienne finds out that her sister made a suicidal attempt, that is why based on the information she confronts, she calls her sister immediately. The affected party complains about the violation of confidentiality to the university counseling center. This situation puts the supervisor of Gwen in an ethical dilemma on what to do to the intern for the violation of confidentiality right of the supervisee. The problem occurs due to the negligence of the intern. The supervisor is afraid of what to do if the Director of counseling center learns of the incident (Kottler & Shepard, 2010).
The supervisor needs to respond swiftly to this issue through a number of actions. This is because the violation may negatively affect the organization, the intern and supervisor as well as the reputation of the entire profession. As a supervisor, it is important to determine the precedence of facts in establishing the truthfulness of the complain. The facts are possible to find out contacting the intern and checking whether she transferred the information to the center site as it was necessary to do. The intern explains what happened, and what penetrated her to transfer all the information from her laptop to the safe place. In addition, the supervisor makes a consideration whether the move is ethical. The supervisor looks into the issue to establish whether the supervisee thought about the ethical issues of the information stored on her laptop. The legality of the violation should be also put into consideration. After analyzing the legality of this complains, the supervisor should state the possible courses of action. This should incorporate both external and internal influences, such as the center at large, public and management.
The supervisor should identify the affected parties. This action helps in sketching out effective ways of dealing with the concern. These also aid in designing a response strategy for the ethical issue at hand. It is possible for the supervisor to deal with parties that he is well conversant with and give them tailored solutions that may facilitate managing with their problem. Another aspect that needs an in-depth analysis is the fundamental principle that the supervisee violated. In this case, there is a violation of confidentiality principle. The supervisor can ascertain the extent in which the violation of the principle affects the privacy of the client. Furthermore, the supervisor can seek legal and professional advice concerning the ethical issue violated. This enables him to grasp and understand the weight of the violation. It also creates a platform for any possible but efficient decision that is necessary to avert the effects of the violation as well as provide a sufficient explanation to the raging client. Finally, the supervisor should refuse to remain associated with the violation because this does not protect him from taking responsibility, but it will save him of any wrongdoing. The gathered facts should create a clear picture of the exact cause of the violation. The supervisor is to dismiss the intern because of failure to meet and follow the required guidelines (Remley & Herlihy, 2010).
The decisions taken by the supervisor follows the guidelines that the American Counseling Association code of conduct stipulates. Some of the main obligations of the supervisor are to oversee and monitor services granted by interns and other counselors apart from professional development and clinical performance of the supervisee. The supervisor fulfils this obligation through regular meetings with the supervisee in order to review part of the clinical work, case notes, or live observations. However, supervisees have a duty to be aware of and follow the code of ethics stipulated by ACA. In addition, the supervisor initially ensures that the supervisee is aware of the necessity to maintain client confidentiality and privacy. The violation of the principle of confidentiality, which is the key component in counseling, indicates impairment on the part of the supervisee. This means that the supervisor cannot endorse the intern as a competent counselor until a justification of adherence to all the guiding principles and ethics of counseling. This move aims at improving the existing counseling relationship and enhances client satisfaction.
According to Corey (2010), a seven step model aids in making ethical decisions. This implies that a supervisor must follow the guidelines articulated by the model before making any decision. First of all, it is essential to identify the problem that is the cause of the alarm. In this case, various techniques, such as listening carefully to the client story, can help to identify and solve the problem and give a green light on the exact problem leading to complain. This creates an in-depth understanding of the nature of the problem. The second step is to identify the possible issues that the supervisee has violated. What does the client complain about? This indicates the meticulous principles that the supervisee has violated. In this case study, the supervisee infringes upon the clients’ privacy and confidentiality of information principles. Review of relevant ethical guidelines follows that the supervisor seeks to establish the extent and legality of the ethical issue eliciting concern. The review of the guideline helps the supervisor to find out all the facts before making any decision. In addition to the review of guidelines, it is also essential for the supervisor to seek legal and professional advice. Out of consultation, the right and necessary steps should be taken. It also shades light on key responsibilities of the supervisor as far as the issue is concerned.
The supervisor should consider a number of probable courses of action. This gives a wide range of possibilities to make a choice as well as a decision. The alternative causes of action help to limit biases and individual judgment. Moreover, it incorporates objectivism on the part of the supervisor. In addition, the likely consequences of each available courses of action should be enumerated in order to give a clear picture of its suitability in dealing with the situation. All the decisions should be well-thought because they can ruin the reputation of the center. Such consequences aid the supervisor in selecting the best decision. Finally, the supervisor is free to choose from the existing alternatives the best course of action. This choice relies on the nature and number of consequences it exposes the organization.
In conclusion, ethical guidelines are professional tools that every supervisor must follow in order to uplift clients’ confidence and trust. The guidelines stipulate principles that all the people in a scrupulous profession are to follow. It ensures a smooth running of the affairs and responsibilities associated with some exacting task. However, a breach of such guidelines leads to some consequences that can affect both the organization and the executor. This implies that timely and rightful decisions must be made to limit those consequences. In addition, before making any justifiable decision, it is necessary to follow certain steps as stipulated by Corey (2010). This will ensure implementation of the best courses of action.
- Corey, C. C. (2010). Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions. London: Cengage Learning.
- Kottler, J. A., & Shepard, D. S. (2010). Introduction to Counseling: Voices from the Field. London: Cengage Learning.
- Remley, T., & Herlihy, B. (2010). Ethical, legal and professional issues in counseling. 3rd ed. Upper SaddleRiver, NJ: Pearson Education.