why do we need an ethical framework in counselling

Counselling Ethical Framework for Good Practice on October 11, 2013
( The Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling The Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling (BACP, 2013) is the ethical code for counsellors, trainers, and supervisors within the counselling field. It is also applicable to counselling research, the use of counselling skills, and the management of counselling services within organisations and agencies. In other words, it has been developed to inform individual members of the BACP, as well as those providing counselling services. The framework provides a common platform for counsellors and other people working within the counselling field, although member associations are also expected to have ethical codes of their own. Since there are huge disparities in how ethics are approached, the BACP framework has made every effort to reflect this ethical diversity by considering three key ethical domains: The importance of adhering to an ethical framework can be highlighted through an exploration of these three domains. Firstly, values ensure that clients feel comfortable and safe to express themselves. The fundamental values of counselling include respecting human rights and dignity, ensuring clients are safe, maintaining a professional counsellor-client relationship, and counsellor commitment to keeping up to date with the discipline via research and continued professional development. Further values include working with clients to alleviate suffering and distress, increasing clients personal effectiveness, and appreciating diversity in experience and culture. Ethical principles place emphasis on ethical responsibilities, with counsellors being accountable for any decisions. Ethical principles include: Fidelity (i. e. being trustworthy) this is fundamental to understanding and resolving incongruence. Autonomy this principle emphasises the importance of respecting and developing the clients ability to be self-directing.

P Beneficence acting in the best interests of the client, based on professional assessment and working within ones limits of competence. Non-maleficence the responsibility to mitigate any harm to clients. consideration of any legal requirements and obligations, and conflicts between legal and ethical obligations. Self-respect working towards self-awareness and taking care of the self. In other words, counsellors need to apply all of the above principles to themselves as well as their clients. In terms of personal moral qualities, counsellors are encouraged to towards: P Empathy being able to understand the clients experience from their frame of reference. Sincerity a personal commitment to consistency between what is done and what is professed. P Integrity honest and coherent service provision. Resilience being capable of working with client concerns without being personally diminished. Humility accurate assessment and acknowledge of ones own strengths and weaknesses. Competence effective deployment of the skills and knowledge needed to be an ethical counsellor. Working within an ethical framework not only protects the client, but also the counsellor. It also enhances the interaction between the two by promoting transparency and thus helping create equality between the client and the counsellor. This is particularly important within person-centred theory, where the counsellor is not portrayed as the expert but as someone who works with the client. The ethics section of the ethical framework explains more about the client, while the moral section is more about the counsellor. Ethics are obligatory standards that clients deserve, while morals are processes that can be worked on and developed among counsellors. References BACP (2013). Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counseling andPPsychotherapy. [Last accessed 20/09/2013]. Categories:, Tags:, 7 replies 1. Our ethics are based on values, principles and personal moral qualities that underpin and inform the interpretation and application of Our commitment to clients and Good practice. 2.

Values are a useful way of expressing general ethical commitments that underpin the purpose and goals of our actions. 3. Our fundamental values include a commitment to: 4. Values inform principles. They become more precisely defined and action-orientated when expressed as a principle. 5. Principles direct attention to important ethical responsibilities. Our core principles are: being trustworthy autonomy beneficence non-maleficence justice self-respect : fostering the practitionerвs self-knowledge, integrity and care for self 6. Ethical decisions that are strongly supported by one or more of these principles without any contradiction with the others may be regarded as well-founded. 7. However, practitioners may encounter circumstances in which it is impossible to reconcile all the applicable principles. This may require choosing which principles to prioritise. A decision or course of action does not necessarily become unethical merely because it is controversial or because other practitioners would have reached different conclusions in similar circumstances. A practitionerвs obligation is to consider all the relevant circumstances with as much care as possible and to be appropriately accountable for decisions made. 8. Personal moral qualities are internalised values that shape how we relate to others and our environment. They represent a moral energy or drive which may operate unconsciously and unexamined. This moral energy or drive is ethically more beneficial when consciously examined from time to time and used to motivate our ethical development or shape how we work towards a good society. 9. вPersonal moral qualitiesв are a contemporary application of вvirtuesв from moral philosophy. 10. The practitionerвs personal and relational moral qualities are of the utmost importance. Their perceived presence or absence will have a strong influence on how relationships with clients and colleagues develop and whether they are of sufficient quality and resilience to support the work. 11.

High levels of compatibility between personal and professional moral qualities will usually enhance the integrity and resilience of any relationship 12. Key personal qualities to which members and registrants are strongly encouraged to aspire include: care : benevolent, responsible and competent attentiveness to someoneвs needs, wellbeing and personal agency diligence courage : the capacity to act in spite of known fears, risks and uncertainty empathy identity : sense of self in relationship to others that forms the basis of responsibility, resilience and motivation humility integrity : commitment to being moral in dealings with others, including personal straightforwardness, honesty and coherence resilience respect sincerity wisdom 13. The challenge of working ethically means that practitioners will inevitably encounter situations that require responses to unexpected issues, resolution of dilemmas, and solutions to problems. A good understanding of the ethics that underpin our work is a valuable resource which is helpful in making significant decisions. The use of an ethical problem-solving model and discussion about ethics are essential to good practice. This Ethical Framework is intended to assist practitioners by directing attention to the variety of ethical factors that may need to be taken into consideration and to identify alternative ways of approaching ethics that may prove more useful. 14. No statement of ethics can eliminate the difficulty of making professional judgements in circumstances that may be constantly changing and full of uncertainties. By accepting this statement of ethics, members and registrants of BACP are committing themselves to engaging with the challenge of striving to be ethical, even when doing so involves making difficult decisions or acting courageously.

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