Counseling Trinity: Ethics, Diversity, And Confidentiality Analysis

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The Counseling Trinity: Ethics, Diversity, and Confidentiality Confidentiality and privileged communication are two topics of ongoing concern for counseling professionals, particularly in group counseling where confidentiality plays a vital role. The American Counseling Association 2014 Code of Ethics section B.4.a. urges group counselors to clearly explain the importance and parameters of confidentiality for their specific group (ACA, 2014). The relationship of confidentiality in group therapy is dependent on a delicate balance between the counselor and the group. An ethical dilemma is created should this relationship ever become unbalanced at any point during the counseling process. According to Remley & Hermann (2003), the vital nature…show more content…
112). Legally, group counselors have the right of protecting group member’s confidentiality depending on the state laws. Morally, group counselors practice with varying precepts that may go against ethical standards. In a professional setting, however, professional standards prevail or the counselor is subject to license censure or loss. The American Counseling Association (2005) maintains that in all situations, "when counselors are faced with ethical dilemmas that are difficult to resolve, they are expected to engage in a carefully considered ethical decision-making process." (p. 3). Nonmaleficence is the ethical principle addressing the counselor’s responsibility to “do no harm” including the removal of present harm and the prevention of future harm (Gladding, 2004). According to the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia (LPCA-GA, 2008), Licensed Professional Counselors in the state of Georgia are required to follow a code of ethics that has 15 different principles taken from the American Mental Health Counselors Association’s Code of Ethics. If there is ever a conflict between the professional and the state code, the more stringent one is to be followed (Brennan, 2013). Group counselors are highly recommended to consult with local agencies, state laws, supervisors or other professionals in the field when in doubt about professional guidelines regarding confidentiality concerns. The Emergency Admission Certificate and Report of Peace Officer also known as a GA1013 should be utilized by group counselors in times of crisis such as the threat by a group member to harm themselves or others. Other professional issues may arise, such as counter transference in intensely emotional crises. Self-care cannot be emphasized enough when group counselors are involved in crisis assessment and

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