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Ethics Paper

3866 words - 16 pages

Ethics Paper: Individual or Group Therapy
HSER 511
Liberty University

Abstracts
The paper researches the ethical issues faced in group counseling. It also shows a comparison of individual and group counseling. The paper discusses issue of confidentiality, and how it affects group counseling. Confidentiality is considered cornerstone to counseling (Kocet 2006). It is very important for the counselor to reinsure that the client understands confidentiality policies. When dealing with adolescents, confidentiality rules and regulations are the same as ...view middle of the document...

A group will give them a place to feel comfortable and safe to disclose their feelings and thoughts with people that they now understands what they are going through (Crespi 2009). For grieving clients, groups can be very helpful because they are surrounded by empathetic people who have had similar experiences. There are a lot of ethical issues associated with group counseling, such as, confidentiality, ethical use of exercises, and dual relationships (Corey, et. al. 2005). Ethical issues for group therapy are similar for individual therapy. The ethical issue that will be address is confidentiality. Can you keep a secret?
Ethical Issues: Are They Different
All licensed counselors are bound by a professional code of ethics. Every mental health association has an ethical code presenting rules of professional practice and procedures (Bradley, et. al. 2011). They are bound to follow this code that is outlined with the standards of excellence of practice in their field (Bradley, et. al. 2011). There are serious repercussions for not following the code of ethics. Violators can lose their license if they do not follow the policies set in place.
Basically, when it comes to ethical issues, individual and group therapy is the same. They both have the same basic guidelines when it comes to ethics. For instance, informed consent forms are needed by both types when dealing with clients under age 17 (Bradley, et. al. 2011). A parent has to fill out a informed consent form giving the therapist permission to counsel the child or permitting them to participate in the group (Bradley, et. al. 2011). Confidentiality is a very important ethical issue when it comes to therapy. Coming to therapy is a big step for individuals, confidentiality is essential when a therapist is trying to get a client to open up about their deepest feelings and thoughts; especially amongst a group of people.
Confidentiality
Who hasn’t told their friend a secret and asked them not to tell? In the research conducted by Kathleen Davis (2001), she stated that confidentiality is crucial to the effectiveness of group therapy. First what is confidentiality; it is defined as laws that govern the degree to which communications between a counselor and a client are private or privileged information (Davis 2001). Confidentiality has to be discussed and clients have to have a clear understanding of the difference of how confidentiality works in a group setting versus an individual setting (Davis 2011). Before group members will disclose any information, they have to know that they can trust the group leader and other members, and their information will be kept confidential (Davis 2001).
Do the rules change when the group consists of adolescents? No. Although they are minors, they do have the same disclosure rights as adults (Behnke and Warner 2002). Parents have to give informed consent for them to participate in the group, but counselors work to do what is best for...

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