Type: Analysis
Pages: 4 | Words: 1099
Reading Time: 5 Minutes

In this essay, I chose an ethical dilemma about the client who lost his job and was not be able to continue seeing his counselor because he becameunable to pay the counseling fees.

Using Corey, Corey and Callanan’s book entitled Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions (2007 edition), and Pope and Vasquez’s Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling: A Practical Guide (4th edition), as references, I would take the following steps in resolving the ethical dilemma used in this paper:

First, I would review ethical codes relevant to the case, or dilemma, before working out the solution.

Next, I would embark on resolving the dilemma through following established ethical systematic steps, as pointed out in Corey, Corey and Callanan’s book, as follows:

  1. Identify the problem or dilemma. In this step, I must consider the fact that my client still needs to see me continuously to attain full healing or resolution of his problems. The ethical dilemma, therefore, that I would possibly be facing in this case is the fact that stopping to see my client will pose a big threat on his situation For example, a recurrence of my client’s problem and perhaps a worsening of his condition.
  2. Identify the potential issues involved. Issues involved in this case may include the following:
  1. Recurrence of my client’s problems that might have already started getting better following regular consultations with me, his counselor;
  2. Possibility of worsening my client’s condition;
  3. Client’s inability to pay my counseling fees;
  4. Me not receiving my consultation fees if I choose to continue meeting with my now financially incapacitated client;
  5. I will be conscience-stricken if I stop meeting with my client.
  1. Review the relevant code of ethics. I must review code of ethics that is relevant to this case. Doing so will give me further enlightenment, and will further help or point me out to the right resolution of the dilemma.
  2. Know the applicable laws and regulations. It is very important that I take the time to go over and know by heart the laws and regulations of government affecting such cases as this particular dilemma. I will consider laws affecting such matters as confidentiality, reporting child abuse or elder abuse, personal rights etc. I must be aware that not knowing these laws will put me at risk at committing malpractices in the conduct of my profession.
  3. Obtain consultation. Consultation with colleagues and other concerned authorities is also very important and will help me a lot in the resolution of my dilemma or enlighten me to the right steps to take in solving my dilemma. However, I should not forget to observe the proper code of ethics when consulting with others.
  4. Consider possible and probable courses of action. By this time, or following completion of the five steps above, I would now have a wider view of the dilemma that I am currently experiencing, and I will now be close to determining proper judgment of the case. By this time, I may have already thought of several courses of action that I can take to resolve the dilemma. Still, it would be right to discuss with my client whatever courses of action I have thought of. It would further help to refer them with colleagues or other professionals who can add enlightenment on the matter.
  5. Enumerate the consequences of various decisions. Once I have chosen the courses of action, I would again evaluate each of those courses of action in line with its effectiveness or benefits or if there are risks and consequences involved in relation to my client, to other people related to my client, and even to me. I would involve my client in this discussion so that he would know where he stands in this dilemma and how he would benefit from the decision and/or if there are risks involved on his part.
  6. Decide on what appears to be the best course of action. Finally, the last step is to choose the best course of action, which I can come up with by considering all the information, feedback and discussion that I got from various sources I had consulted with, including discussions with my client.

Apparently, using the above systematic approach will ensure an effective resolution of my dilemma, which would serve the best interest of my client and, which results in an effective professional approach to my decision making as a counselor.

On another note, while I resolve my ethical dilemma through using established systematic approach, as illustrated above, I would also at the same time observe six moral principles. Thus, I approach my ethical dilemma using established ethical systematic steps, accompanied by observance of six moral principles, as cited in Corey, Corey and Callanan and two other online resources: Fast Facts written by Steve Pantilat, MD and an article on Ethical Decision Making published by the Tasmania Department of Health and Human Services, which are as follows:

  1. Autonomy. In this principle, I would consider the individuality and differences of my client and I would align my approaches and decision making to my client’s uniqueness or differences, including matters as his beliefs, culture or tradition. I would respect my client’s preferences in our counseling procedures and refrain from imposing my own preferences.
  2. Nonmaleficence. Counselor must use counseling procedures that don’t harm the client. Her duty is to give care to client. In view of this, I must ensure that all decision making I come up with must not bring harm to client.
  3. Beneficence. According to the article by Tasmania Department of Health, this principle demands that above all we do good, and therefore requires a positive action to benefit someone. It said that an example of this is providing nursing care that is both appropriate and affordable. As counselor I must, therefore, think or do something that brings only what is “good” for my client.
  4. Justice. In this principle, I as counselor must treat my client with fairness. I must give him the best quality of care and service that I give all other clients in different status and background.
  5. Fidelity. It is imperative that I as counselor must be trustworthy to my client, and respect his privacy and wishes. In this principle, my client must feel assured that I won’t divulge any information about him to others without his consent.
  6. Veracity. In this principle, I as counselor must endeavor to be truthful, honest and sincere to my client.

In essence, this essay presents that ethical decision making involving an ethical dilemma must be dealt with using established decision making steps accompanied by observance of moral principles in accordance with anatomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice, fidelity and veracity.

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