Ethical Issues

Social Media: Breeding Ground for Multiple Relationships

It starts out innocently. You email the client a scanned copy of an article relevant to something that came up in session. She emails you back to say thank you, and then asks a question related to her therapy, which you feel duty-bound to answer, so you do; before you know it, there is regular email exchange taking place. A few weeks later, she rings on your cell phone to clarify something you sai... »

Counselling and Social Media: Opportunities and Risks

When Marshall McLuhan stated that “the medium is the message” (1964), he probably didn’t realise how prophetic his words would become a half-century later. Yet the exponential growth in online technology shapes ever more firmly how individuals learn, interact, and entertain themselves. Mental health professionals have offered treatment via communication technologies since the 1990s (Smith & Reynol... »

Caring for Others: Avoiding Common Traps

In the first article in this series we highlighted needs and motivations behind providing emotional and psychological support to others, touching on the “shadow” side of helping: trying to meet personal needs through the helping relationship. Both professional and non-professional helpers can unwittingly do this, even when they are meticulous, highly ethical helpers, so it is crucial to gain an un... »

Ethical Decision Making Process

Often a dilemma can be easily solved through applying basic problem solving concepts and/or by looking at relevant ethical codes. There are times when neither process will be sufficient to address the scope of a dilemma. When this arises, an ethical dilemma or problem may be approached from a number of frameworks. Two approaches are considered in this article... »

The Role of Boundaries in Counselling

Boundaries are a crucial aspect of any effective client-counsellor relationship. They set the structure for the relationship and provide a consistent framework for the counselling process. »

Respect for the Client

If not the most important feature of professional counselling, "respect for the client" is definitely high up on the priority list. Geldard and Geldard (2005) explain that regardless of who the client is, and regardless of their behaviour, the client has come to the counsellor for assistance and deserves to be treated as a person of worth and value. »

Ethics and Disclosure

Disclosure is a controversial issue when examining therapeutic boundaries. There are two issues to consider regarding disclosure. The first is counsellor disclosure and confidentiality. The second is counsellor disclosure (ie. how much does a client disclose about their own lives to a client?). »

Ethics and Counselling

The origins of ethics are related to the introduction of moral behaviour in early societies. The application of concepts such as 'right' and 'wrong', and the definition of these concepts in different environments, induced the need for a formal approach to social behaviour - an attempt to create commonality and organisation in a society. In this context, codes of behavior were created, and differen... »

Ethical Situations in Counselling

An important aspect of counsellor training involves the analysis of ethical situations. Counsellors need to be malleable to the variety of situations in which the client’s personality traits and environmental circumstances reflect in the progress of the counselling relationship. »

Confidentiality and Professional Ethics

Have you ever found yourself involved in an ethical dilemma? Even if you are not a counsellor or mental health professional, it is most likely that at some stage of your life, you have been directly or indirectly involved in a situation in which ethical conduct was to be considered. »