The purpose of this assignment is to develop the ability to apply professional values, codes of ethics, and a decision-making model to the process of ethical decision making.
Choose 1 of the ethical dilemmas below to read and analyze, applying the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) Decision-Making Model as outlined in the document, “A Practitioner’s Guide to Ethical Decision Making.” Divide the body of your paper—formatted in current APA style—into the steps outlined in the ACA document, making sure to address all questions for each section.
The body of your paper must be 6–9 pages. Your paper must also include an abstract, title page, and reference page, all in current APA style. Your paper must be well-thought-out and demonstrate critical thinking.
Ethical Dilemma 1
Lakia, a counselor in a public high school, decides to start a “relationship skills” group for juniors and seniors. She posts an advertisement for the group in the school counseling office. Her advertisement provides minimal information, including the name of the group, the date and time of the first meeting, and the contact number of the school counseling office secretary. Lakia instructs the secretary for the school counseling office to admit the first nine students who call to enroll. The secretary adds students to the group as they call in, irrespective of the nature of their problems, their personal goals for the group, or their previous experience with groups. At the first meeting, nine students show up, including seven females and two males. Having never talked with or met the students before, Lakia begins by asking them to share why they have come to the group. One of the males, Robert, shares that he was new to the high school this year, and had just been released from a detention center after serving one year for domestic violence. Robert states that he has anger issues especially directed at women. At break, five of the females leave and do not return to the group. Robert breaks down in the group and states that he is going to kill himself when he gets home.
Ethical Dilemma 2
John, a 7th grader, was referred to the school counselor by a teacher who said John expressed suicidal intentions because he is having some personal and family issues. The school counselor talks to John long enough to assess that he is at imminent risk of suicide. Since John is a minor, the school counselor contacts John’s parents and prints a resource list of community mental health counselors to give to them. Is this the best course of action, ethically and legally, on behalf of this student?
Ethical Dilemma 3
Dan, a licensed professional counselor in a church-based practice, primarily sees relatively well-functioning clients. Dan does not believe he needs to keep client records because his practice is church-based and his clients are so well functioning. Dan reasons that if he was working in an agency setting, and seeing “really sick” clients, keeping records would be of benefit.
Ethical Dilemma 4
Wilma, a counselor in a community agency, has been working with Donna for several months for anxiety and panic disorder. On multiple occasions, Wilma has given Donna homework to complete between sessions that has not been completed by Donna. This past week, Wilma sees Donna again in session and assigns her some more homework. Later that week, Wilma and a friend go out to dinner. Wilma looks up to see that Donna is her waitress. Frustrated with Donna’s lack of effort with her homework and in an effort to hold Donna accountable, Wilma decides to inquire if Donna has done her homework and says, “Donna, I am glad I ran into you. Have you done your homework since our last session?”