For this week, I want each of you to review the American Counseling Association’

For this week, I want each of you to review the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics. Counselors live and work in many diverse communities and serve many diverse populations. When counselors and counselors-in-training are faced with ethical dilemmas that are difficult to resolve, they are expected to engage in a carefully considered ethical decision-making process. Oftentimes this entails speaking with your supervisors, co-workers, peers and more importantly, reviewing the Code of Ethics.
Your last assignment this week is the following:
Read the case studies / scenarios about Rick and Anna. Read the Code of Ethics. I would like you to identify what code violations there are in each scenario with the fictional counselors. For example, a counselor may have solicited an active client to write a positive review on their website. You would point out that this may be a violation (and why it is a violation) of ACA Code C.3.b. Testimonials – Counselors who use testimonials do not solicit them from current clients, former clients, or any other persons who may be vulnerable to undue influence. Counselors discuss with clients the implications of and obtain permission for the use of any testimonial.
This is not an essay but please be thorough.
Case Example: Rick, age 35. Married, with 2 children.
Client Rick has been a client of Counselor Sally for the past four years. Counselor Sally runs a successful private practice in the downtown area of New Haven and she is licensed as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor (LADC) in the state of Connecticut. He comes into her office on a weekly basis for outpatient counseling – a one hour session every Tuesday at 3:00pm. He has a history of substance use (alcohol and opiate use disorder) and the last time he used any substances was approximately 4 years ago. During a recent session, Rick asked counselor Sally if she can update his treatment plan as it has been four years since she “gave him one to follow.” Counselor Sally replied to Rick that he is doing fine in counseling and there are no changes in his treatment other than that he is “doing fantastic, with no concerns.”
Recently, Rick shared in a session how he has been developing “feelings” for a co-worker at his place of employment and how he and his co-worker have been secretly texting each other with flirtatious messages. Counselor Sally, who is divorced (her husband had an affair) explained to Rick that his behavior is “incredibly selfish” as he has a marriage with two children and what he is doing is “clearly wrong.” Counselor Sally informed Rick that she is willing to have both Rick and his spouse as clients and conduct family therapy in an effort to save their marriage. At the end of the session, Rick informed counselor Sally he is uncomfortable with bringing his spouse into the therapeutic space and does not want his spouse involved or informed of his behavior. Counselor Sally informed Rick that unless he consents to marriage counseling, she has no choice but to immediately discharge Rick from treatment and today will be their last session together.
Case Example Two: Anna, age 24. College social work student.
Anna has been a client of Counselor Robert for 6 months. She has been in recovery for three months (alcohol use disorder). Anna shared she recently went to visit her family in Jamaica who are Rastafari. As part of their religious beliefs, marijuana is oftentimes used by Rastafarians to heighten feelings of community and to produce visions of a religious and calming nature. Anna shared she is also a practicing Rastafarian and “smoked some ganja” during a religious ceremony. Anna stated she felt very close to her community and family afterwards and was happy she was able to make the trip to her homeland. Counselor Robert informed Anna he has “no knowledge of Rastafarians” but stated regardless, she is not considered “sober” or in recovery as she used marijuana. Counselor Robert encouraged Anna to cut off any contact with her family in Jamaica as they are clearly not supportive of Anna’s efforts to remain drug free. Counselor Robert offered to “reach out” to Anna’s family in Jamaica and let them know of Anna’s efforts to remain in recovery and how they have jeopardized the significant progress she has made.
A week later, counselor Robert was informed by Anna’s health insurance she was no longer covered and thus, any future therapy sessions were no longer covered. Counselor Robert attempted to call Anna on her cell phone but her number was disconnected. He conducted a quick Google search and found her Instagram profile. He “friended” Anna and messaged her and gave her the bad news. However, counselor Robert suggested to Anna she can come into the office a couple hours a week to “work as my secretary, answering phones, making appointments, cleaning up patient files,” so that she might remain in treatment with him. As a perk of being his “employee,” Anna could also earn college credit as an intern.

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