Values and Ethics in Counseling Techniques

Recognize your values, life experiences, personality characteristics, needs, and motives that may help or hinder your ability to work effectively with this client.
As a social worker, my core values are human dignity and worth, client obligations, self-determination, social justice, and honesty. As a professional counselor, I will first ensure that my level of openness in dealing with the client is above average to ensure that the client in scenario one is treated professionally and correctly. To better understand the client, she must first trust me and have a favorable impression of me. The client has been described as elderly and socially awkward (Reamer, 1998). Therefore for me to succeed in helping this client, I must be able to commit myself to her and have self-determination in ensuring a change in her entire life.
The client’s interests are primary and should be given priority. I offer to affirm psychotherapy for, couples, individuals, multiple-partner relationships, and poly-partner relationships. I deal with clients of every ability, gender, age, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religious affiliations ((Reamer, 1998). I am a professional in alternative psychotherapy and sexualities, and I specialize in working with adults in the kink and sex work communities. I work with those who have more conservative and private lifestyles; and those who live openly and out. I also work with transitioning adolescents and gender non-conforming. Some of the values that I do uphold in my professional work include:
My primary goal as social workers is exemplary public service through assisting needy people to manage, address and resolve various social problems. Counselors must always elevate public service above personal gain and self-interest ((Reamer, 1998). Through the use of skills and knowledge, I will be able to help my clients through serious social problems like trauma and residential instability. As a counselor, I often volunteer my professional skills through community organizations free of charge.
Social Justice
In my profession as a social worker, I do advocate for social justice and fight against social injustice. I offer social support and resources for vulnerable individuals and oppressed groups. My social change efforts are primarily focused on education, poverty, unemployment, housing and discrimination. I promote public sensitivity to social justice issues and encourage the public to embrace cultural respect and genetic diversity. I ensure that my clients have access to basic services, information, and resources. I promote the equality of wholesome engagement and opportunity with my clients.
What I value most is the dignity and worth of each client by ensuring that I treat each client in a compassionate and respectful way that is mindful of individual differences, ethnic diversity, and cultural norms. I promote, clients’ socially responsible self-determination based on their individual values and strive to increase my clients’ capability address their own needs, become self-reliant and change. I am always aware that I am simultaneously responsible to my clients, the law and their organization by resolving conflicts between clients and society in ways that are respectful.
Human Relationships
Our work is to recognize the primary importance of human relationships. Therefore, I understand that relationships between individuals are important vehicles for advocacy, change, and equity. In collaboration with other professionals and community program staff as partners, we engage clients in the healing and helping the process. We improve relationships among people in order to restore and promote the functionality of clients, communities and their families. Because social work depends on the ability to maintain positive relationships with individuals who may be unreliable and hostile, we must be communicative and patient.
Counselors must always act in trustworthy and transparent ways. In this regard, I do ensure that while dealing with my clients, I maintain a continual awareness of my organization’s mission, my profession’s values and lastly my individual ethical standards(Reamer, 1998). I must honestly and responsibly conduct myself in public to encourage my coworkers and support my organization. In order to maintain my integrity, I improve my work expertise through continually increasing my career competency.
B. What strengths do you possess that you believe will enhance the therapeutic relationship with this client?
The strengths I possess always depend on my way of approach to the problem which is always holistic, collaborative and person-centered. People seek therapy with me for several reasons, including depression; a deeper understanding of identity; difficulty adjusting to relationship difficulties; traumatic experiences; compulsive thoughts or behavior; sexual functioning issues; and changes in relationship structure. Most people prefer to work with me due to my specialized training and experience and because my clients feel more comfortable speaking to a social worker with first-hand knowledge of alternative identities and lifestyles.
I provide an empowering, safe and non-judgmental in which to explore feelings, thoughts, and behaviors; identify patterns and potential barriers to progress that connect with current life experiences and to the past; recognize and build on personal resilience, strengths, and insight; and improve communication and decision-making skills(Reamer, 1998). Through those strengths, I have been able to help many clients with different problems successfully. My clients have been very satisfied with my work and they always appreciate me after they have gotten better. My approach has helped me to build the strong relationship with my clients. The approach was initiated by the organization so that social workers can adopt it while attending to their clients
C. Do you have any attitudes, beliefs or biases which could interfere with working effectively with the client?
As human beings, we all have our own attitudes values and beliefs that we have developed throughout the course of our lives. Our friends, family, community and the experiences we have had all contribute to how we view the world and our sense of who we are. As community services worker, I often work with people who are vulnerable and who may live a lifestyle that mainstream society views as being unacceptable or different. If, as community services worker, I provide a service that meets the needs of my target groups and helps them to feel empowered, I need to be aware of my own personal values, beliefs and attitudes and be prepared to adopt the professional values of our organization and not impose my own ideas on my clients.
It is important to know the challenges of a client. A language barrier is one of the biggest challenges between the ethnic client and the counselor. Therefore I would ensure that I address the challenge in order to avoid cases of mistreatment biasness to her. What I will do is to document the counseling session and noting the steps I take to understand and adjust to her culture since my primary goal is to ensure that I understand her as a whole(Reamer, 1998). During my initial visit, I observed several incidents of confusion. What worried me most was that the lady could not keep an eye contact. Later, I came to understand that this was a sign of respect according to their culture not that she was feeling ashamed or uncomfortable or being dishonest.
It is important to consider the mapping of my own life; what qualities I admire in myself, what beliefs are important to me, what have been some significant events that have shaped me and others, what I value and so on. Some examples of these may be personal features such as helping people, a strength of character, honesty, respect, wealth, success, health etc.
What we believe is what qualities we admire in ourselves and others generally reflect our life experiences and the values which we established in our early years through the influence of teachers, family, religion, friends, our culture, and education.
Given that all of us have differences which have been shaped by our life experiences, we can understand that we will all have different sets of values and beliefs. We do not all think about issues in the same way! To work effectively it is critical to understand your own values and beliefs and to understand the importance of not allowing them to affect the way in which you work with clients. Remember they are your values and may be quite different to the values held by your clients. In order to remain professional, it is necessary to leave your personal values out of the client/worker relationship(Reamer, 1998). This means that it is important that you allow clients to make decisions based on their own values and beliefs rather than decisions that reflect what you think they should do.
When we are carrying out our daily duties at work we rarely think about our attitudes, we are immersed in work itself and often remain unaware of just how different our attitudes could be to others around us. As previously defined an attitude is simply a belief and describes what we think is the proper way of doing or thinking about something. Attitudes vary in intensity.
When we feel strongly about something attitudes are called values. Attitudes that are less important to us are called opinions. For example, we may feel strongly that older people should give up their jobs when they reach a certain age so that younger people can get work. Strong attitudes are often very emotional and can cloud our judgments in meeting other people’s needs. This means that some people or clients may be denied their rights to be allowed to make their own choices and decisions about their life.

As a culturally competent counselor, I decided to invite an open and honest talk with her about race and ethnicity in my therapeutic sessions and used professional resources and activities to assist me to develop my counseling skills.
What will you do to address any cultural considerations of this client?
First I will ensure that I create a trusting relationship and a comfortable environment with the client before I start counseling her. Since the client is of a different race, it will then force me to know and understand the various ways in which the culture will impact the counseling relationship. Lack of sensitivity to unique client’s background and experience may lead to miscommunication, a client’s refusal to participate and ultimately ineffective counseling relationship. When there is ineffective counseling, the counselor may be charged with negligence in the court of law(Reamer, 1998). Cultural competence is one of the competencies required of every counselor in most state statutes. The American Counseling Association (ACA) sets forth the particular guidelines for the efficient provision of counseling services to ethnically and culturally diverse population in their ACA Code of Ethics.

A. What steps will you take to address the problem?
To address this problem, I will begin by developing an atmosphere of trust, safety, and exploration by ensuring that I build a strong relationship before going any further. This I will do through engaging the lady in a talk. After having built the relationship, I would go ahead to know deeply the nature of the problem of the client. How the problem is being perceived by her neighbors, how the problem is felt and how the problem is being acted out. There is no effective way to know the impact of the challenge without necessarily going inside a client to find out how the problem has made its mark(Reamer, 1998). Next, I will explore the problem memories and associated responses. When I do this, am sure I will be able to observe the unique responses that the client has to the memories. After having explored the problem, I will ensure that I decondition the effective harmful responses by helping her to discover new ways of responding to difficult responses. Lastly, I will ensure that I teach her specific coping strategies by making her have the new sense of self and feel more confident about her internal abilities to help her win the battle over the present by keeping the past from taking over. Through my abilities, I will have to teach, model and reinforce new adaptions and coping skills.
B. What are the potential issues?
In this scenario, the potential issues are desperation and trauma. The client is traumatized by the memories of the past. Her husband’s death is considered as being stressful to her, she cannot afford to pay her bills, and she cannot even obtain food for herself. Being that she is childless is a big issue. The client my visit, I realized that the neighbors had developed a bad perception of her, only a few could sympathize with her. The condition of being helpless in an old stage can result in trauma(Reamer, 1998). The lady is desperate because she is alone and no one is there to assist her, to listen to her, to advise her, to counsel her and to socialize with her.
C. Review Code of Ethics and determine how you are going to apply them.
Ethically speaking, the Code is giving priority to the principle of protecting life over the principle of respecting self-determination. This could include initiating processes that may result in involuntary admission to a psychiatric facility. Standard 1.02 does not say social workers may ignore self-determination. It says they may limit self-determination. Implicit in this language is the notion of the “least intrusive” course of action. As much as possible, I will ensure that I honor self-determination. Given that involuntary commitment is highly intrusive, I will first consider less intrusive approaches that respect and expand self-determination as much as possible, without undue risk to the life of the client.
I will assure my client that all aspects of her communication with an audiologist regarding herself will be held in the strictest confidence. When she fails to trust that I will treat the information as confidential, she will then have to withhold information that is important to assessment and treatment. It is true that when I disregard her privacy, she will be injured in obvious ways. Therapy, evaluations, treatment plans and, discussions with her or her neighbors, consultations with other professionals, payment negotiations and treatment records should all be treated as confidential. Any individual who comes into possession of her information is equally bound by this requirement. I will ensure that supervisors and assistants overseeing the client’s services are all prohibited from revealing her information to unauthorized third parties(Reamer, 1998). Being a member of ASHA members, we have a responsibility not only for monitoring the clients’ own conversations, sharing of client information and treatment records but also for ensuring that supervisees and support staff are adhering to ethical requirements regarding privacy.
D. Consider any laws or regulations and how they might cause an ethical dilemma.
Statutory law: Many federal laws enacted by Congress and state laws enacted by legislatures affect social workers. Examples include statutes governing social workers’ obligation to report suspected neglect of elders and other vulnerable people; statutes governing minors’ right to consent to mental health counseling HIPAA laws.
Case law: Many laws relevant to social work are created by the courts in the context of litigation and judicial rulings. For example, a judge may need to interpret the meaning or application of existing law, resolve conflicts between laws, or fill gaps in existing laws. Such rulings by the court become legal precedent or case law(Reamer, 1998). For example, current guidelines concerning social workers’ duty to disclose confidential information without client consent to protect third parties were initially established in the 1970s.
E. Who is to be involved in decision-making?
Ethical decisions made by social workers are shaped by the decision maker and the process used to resolve ethical dilemmas. Although systematic guidelines for resolving ethical dilemmas offer social workers a logical approach to the decision-making sequence, it is inevitable that discretionary judgments will condition the ultimate choice of action (Reamer, 1998). Social workers are influenced by professional roles, practice experiences, individualized perspectives, personal preferences, motivations, and attitudes (Reamer, 1998). Through reflective self-awareness, social workers can recognize their value preferences and be alert to the ways in which these values unknowingly influence the resolution of ethical dilemmas.
F. What are the potential consequences of the various decisions?
Ethical decision-making in human research involves responding to a problem involving multiple, often competing, goals and motives. The decision maker must evaluate the effectiveness of alternative courses of action in relation to the ethical and professional standards of their field. I propose that forecasting, or predicting the potential consequences of future actions, is an important cognitive process involved in EDM(Reamer, 1998). Additionally, identification of critical causes of the problem situation contributed to both better forecasting and better EDM.
G. Decide on what appears to be the best cause of action.
The best cause of action is to ensure that the client undergoes through psychotherapy in order to find out whether she can be restored to her normal senses. In my first visit, I realize that client had a problem with memory loss. It will be necessary for me as a social worker to find out what is exactly wrong before we could engage in a talk(Reamer, 1998). When I succeed in this action, sure enough, I will be able to make a better decision on of handling the problem.
H. How would you set up a system to monitor the course of action?
The appropriate setup will be that I will ensure that I keep records on the client’s progress. Before I could begin the work, I will have to note somewhere her initial conditions and consequently update the records to find out whether there are improvements in her health status.

Reamer, F. G. (1998). Ethical standards in social work. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

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