Ethics in counselling

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Ethics in counselling

  1. 1. Ethics for Counselling and Psychotherapy<br />Introduction<br />
  2. 2. The changes: to ...<br />Generic<br />Talking therapy as both personal and social action<br />+ Team and agency<br />Multiple ethical perspectives offered<br />Other approaches to expressing ethics included<br />Relational ethics <br />Role specific<br />Talking therapy as personal/individual action<br />Individual practitioner<br />Ethic of client autonomy dominant<br />Ethical principles dominant<br />
  3. 3. Ethic of client autonomy -strengths<br />Challenges assumptions about professional power<br />Strengthens client power and influence by directing attention to the client’s right to be self-governing<br />Directs attention to importance of free and informed consent, confidentiality, rejects manipulation for social ends<br />
  4. 4. Ethic of client autonomy - limitations<br />Culturally biased - presupposes atomistic and individualistic approach to self<br />Leaves an ethical void when limitations to autonomy encountered - dependency/lack of capacity, suicidal intent(?), harm to others<br />Weak on practitioner’s valid rights<br />Inhibits awareness of wider social context and responsibilities - self in relationship <br />
  5. 5. Innovations – new principles<br />Fidelity -honouring the trust placed in the practitioner <br />ethic of relationship<br />trustworthiness, boundaries, confidentiality, mutual respect<br />Closely matches ethic of autonomy in Western culture but adaptable to other social and cultural contexts<br />
  6. 6. Innovations - autonomy<br />Autonomy - respect for client’s right to be self-governing<br />addresses power imbalance, informed consent, confidentiality, clients as ends in themselves -not means to an end - ie rejects manipulation for beneficial social ends<br />
  7. 7. Innovations - new principles<br />Beneficence - promoting client’s well-being<br />Non-maleficence - avoidance of harm<br />previously implicit as subsidiary principles <br />vulnerable clients incapable of autonomy<br />prohibition on exploitation <br />responsibility for dependent clients who are vulnerable to harm?<br />
  8. 8. Innovations - new principles<br />Justice - fair and impartial treatment of all clients and the provision of adequate services<br />respect for human rights and dignity<br />conscientiously considering any legal requirements<br />fairness and avoidance of discrimination<br />striving for fair and adequate provision of services<br />
  9. 9. Innovations - new principles<br />Self-respect - fostering the practitioner’s self-knowledge and care of self<br />controversial but important in relationship with client’s, colleagues and others <br />appropriate application of all the previous principles to self<br />personal and professional development<br />validates life outside talking therapies<br />
  10. 10. Strengths and limitations of principles<br />Dominant in professional ethics<br />Good way of expressing prospective expectations and retrospective justification<br />Rational, analytic and action orientated <br />impersonal and detached? BUT<br />Ethics in practice are informed by underpinning ethical commitment, values, and experienced as personal moral qualities ….<br />
  11. 11. Values<br />Values inform principles<br />respect for human rights and dignity<br />integrity of practitioner-client relationships<br />enhancing quality of professional knowledge<br />alleviating personal distress and suffering<br />facilitating a sense of self that is meaningful …<br />
  12. 12. Personal moral qualities<br />Empirical evidence that the practitioner’s personal qualities are foremost in clients’ sense of safety and quality of relationship<br />Cannot be required by definition <br />Need to be deeply rooted in the person as an act of personal commitment<br />Qualities are what we aspire to<br />
  13. 13. Personal moral qualities<br />Empathy<br />Sincerity<br />Integrity<br />Resilience<br />Respect<br />Humility<br />Competence<br />Fairness<br />Wisdom<br />Courage<br />
  14. 14. Overall effect<br />Recognition that profession is maturing and facing complex ethical challenges for which there may be several appropriate responses<br />Change the professional culture and ethos from conformity to rules to ethical accountability and engagement<br />Fostering ethical understanding and practice intrinsic ethics - ethical mindfulness<br />

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