Unit 3: Ethics And Legal Issues Flashcards Preview

Introduction To Counselling > Unit 3: Ethics And Legal Issues > Flashcards

Flashcards in Unit 3: Ethics And Legal Issues Deck (22):

Explain the difference between regulated professional counsellors and non-regulated professional counsellors in Canada and give examples for each group

Regulated professional counsellors include psychologists and social workers

The Canadian Constitution act gives provinces the responsibility to regulate professions and intern, provinces passed legislation designating and occupational group as a regulated profession, giving the group responsibility to establish entry requirements and oversee the professional conduct of members b provincial law's permit to members of an association exclusive use of an occupational Maine, such as chartered psychologist, registered social worker, and registered nurse, three of many regulated professions in Alberta that include counselling within their scope of practice
The health professions act or HPA requires that each profession establish minimum educational requirements and the code of ethics and practice standards for its members which provide a framework for evaluating members conduct

Non-regulated counsellors do not have to register with a professional organization, but may choose to certify themselves voluntarily


Identify the six fundamental principles that guide the ethical conduct of counsellors according to the Canadian counselling and psychotherapy association's code of ethics. Explain briefly what each principal addresses. Do you feel that any of these principles are more important than the others?

Respect for the dignity of persons, not wilfully harming others, integrity in relationships, responsible caring, responsibility to society, and respect for self-determination

The first three steps follows a rational decision-making model: identifying the key ethical issues in a situation; identifying the relevant ethical guidelines cup; and determining the ethical principles of major importance in the situation

The fourth and fifth steps add new elements to the decision-making process. The fourth step, generating alternatives and examining the risks and benefits of each, also includes securing additional information through possible discussion with the client and consultation with colleagues.

The fifth step, the counsellors challenged to consider his/her own feelings and intuitions regarding the ethical dilemma, and to engage in reflective actions, such as taking time for the solution to incubate before he/she implements an action

I feel like the first principle is the most important because respecting the dignity of persons encompasses all of the other principles, even the respect for self determination because you have respect for the dignity of yourself as well


It is fundamental to the security of each person that he/she has the right to control information about him/her and how much to share with others.


It is a counselor's duty to ensure that what a client says will be kept in strict confidence

Under normal circumstances, a counsellor can reveal or disclose information about a client only with the clients written or recorded permission, after discussion if possible, only to agreed-upon recipients, and for a limited period of time.

A counsellor is obligated early in the counselling process to advise the client about exceptions to confidentiality, duty to warn, and providing counselling to a minor, as laid out by law and by his or her code of ethics


A legal right which protects clients from having any confidences revealed during legal proceedings

Privileged communication

In Canada, privilege is not extended to counseling, although cleric-client privilege exists into provinces

Counselor-client privilege exists on a case-by-case basis, the client or the counsellor may request to the court that the counsellor not be forced to testify.


The principles and rules of acceptable or proper condo



A relationship in which there is both a counselling relationship and another type of relationship, such as business, friendship, or sexual intimacy

Dual relationship

Lead to the risk that counsellors could miss use or be perceived to be misusing, their professional relationships for personal gain. Problematic because they reduce the counsellors objectivity, confuse the issue, and often put the client in a position of diminished consent.


Means that client disclosures are not shared with anyone

Absolute confidentiality


Means that information is shared within the agency with supervisors or colleagues, outside the agency with the clients permission, or in the courts of law owing to legal requirements

Relative confidentiality


Analyze the issues of confidentiality, limits to confidentiality, informed consent, and client rights as they apply to an adult client. How do these issues different when the client is a minor?

Usually clients can be assured of only relative confidentiality. In order to provide optimum service to clients, counsellors must share information about them within the agency, and the courts can subpoena counsellors records because Canada has no legislative protection for licensed or unlicensed psychotherapists

There are valid reasons and some legal requirements for sharing information. All jurisdictions in Canada have legislation that requires counsellors to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect and when they believe that clients might harm themselves or others

Clients have a right to be fully informed regarding the limits of confidentiality, including any legal and ethical responsibilities that require counsellors to share information. This helps clients decide how much information they want to share.

Working with children: parents have a right to determine what happens to their children and parental rights may conflict with the minors right for autonomy when a minor seeks counselling.
There is nothing in the Canadian common law which prevents miners from consenting to their own treatment, and there is no established age at which patients can give consent, or below which they cannot. Therefore, a counsellor seeks to determine if a child has reached the age of discernment and is able to give valid consent through reasoned decision making


Describe the belief in the dignity and worth of people

Commits counsellors to ensuring that their clients are treated with regard for their rights. It obligates counsellors to demonstrate acceptance of the individual and to uphold confidentiality.


The principle that clients have a right to autonomy and freedom of choice to make their own decisions, in so far as possible



Exists when a choice must be made between competing values and potential courses of action

Ethical dilemma


Honour clients self-determination and their freedom to make their own decisions



Pursue the welfare and benefit of others



Do no harm to others



Be fair with equal distribution of resources, equitable effort among participants



Be loyal, honest, and keep promises



What are five ethical rules or principles that can be used to help resolve ethical dilemmas?

Autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, justice, fidelity


The capacity to understand situations and people without bias or distortion


When counsellors are objective, they understand their clients feelings, thoughts, and behaviours without allowing their personal values, beliefs, and biases to contaminate that understanding. They also do not directly or subtly trying to impose their preferred solutions on clients

Counsellors can fail to be objective by making assumptions, by over identifying with clients, by becoming overly involved with clients


Principles or qualities that individuals and groups consider important or worthwhile


Ethics are derived from values. Values represent beliefs about what is desirable and good.

Two key values of counselling are the belief in the dignity and worth of people and the clients right to self-determination


Every counsellor has his or her own personal needs, values, beliefs, and attitudes. Discuss how some of these needs might interfere with the counselling process. Which personal needs, values, beliefs, and attitudes might hinder or help this process?

Counsellors have the same basic needs as everyone else, including the need to be loved, respected, and valued by others. Lack of self-awareness regarding personal needs can lead to unconscious structuring of the session to meet counsellors needs instead of the clients

The need to be liked: counsellors need to remember that having clients like them is not the primary goal of counseling. The aim of counselling is to support client change or problem management. Counsellors have to be assertive enough to risk making reasonable demands on their clients, which, in turn, may generate tension and anxiety. Otherwise, clients can easily stay locked into established but unhealthy patterns. The need to be like becomes problematic when it becomes more important than achieving the goals of counselling

Need for status or prestige: counsellors may become technique centred instead of client centred when driven by the need to impress others. The needs of the client may then be overlooked

Need for control: counsellors interfere with the clients right to self-determination when they attempt to take over clients problems and orchestrate their solutions. Examples are advice-giving, interfering with client self-determination, imposing personal values, and stereotyping clients as needy and inadequate which creates a role for someone to be helpful

The need for perfectionism: an unrealistic pursuit of excellence can negatively affect counselling when counsellors are unable to realistically appraised their work, and they may have an unjustified tendency to blame themselves for client failures. Sometimes push clients toward unrealistic goals or challenge them to move at too fast a pace. Examples, focussing on mistakes, pushing clients toward unrealistic goals, responding with self-depreciation to mistakes

The need for social relationships: counsellors with unmet social needs risk over involvement with clients. Example, meeting clients socially, continuing relationships beyond the normal point of closure, indiscriminate self-disclosure


Statements of principles and guidelines or standards that govern the moral, legal, and ethical conduct of practitioners of a profession

Codes of ethics