ETHICAL ISSUES IN COUNSELLING
In recent years, counsellors have taken important steps to develop clearer professional identity. Counsellors regard themselves as a specialised sub-group within the helping professions. A critical criterion for any professional group is the development and utilization of relevant ethical standards. Knowledge about ethical issues is important as these issues have legal implications. The topic under discussion also presents examples of issues of ethical concern, which may crop up in the course of counselling and how to deal with them.
The study of this issues will enable the counsellor to:
* avoid legal complications in the course of his/her ...view middle of the document...
The Counsellor must believe in human dignity
What does this imply? Every human being is entitled to respect and to being treated humanely. Even though individual differences must be considered in relating to the students, every one should have equal opportunity for counselling, must be respected as a human being whatever the status of the parents, the individual’s appearance, wealth or age. There should be no partiality, no favouritism. Under no circumstance should you or any committee member refuse to offer guidance service to a student because he or she is different or has offended a teacher.
Belief in human dignity also implies that the student should be accepted for what she/he is. This fulfils Carl Roger’s condition of warmth, the second of his three core conditions, sometimes referred to as acceptance, unconditional positive regard and caring. (Carl Roger’s three core conditions are unconditional positive regard, warmth and empathy). It is obviously much easier for counselees or for anyone to discuss sensitive, personal or intimate issues when the person they are talking to is clearly showing attitudes of warmth and acceptance. Acceptance implies a non-judgmental approach by counsellors. Another significant aspect of warmth and acceptance is that when these are present, counselees are more likely to gain confidence in themselves, and in their own ability to cope. The feeling that someone else cares for and values us prompts a sense of confidence almost immediately. This can, in turn, lead to greater courage and self-assurance in tackling problems. For instance as a school counsellor, you should treat or handle all students equally it does not matter whether you are related or not. Treating students should not base on tribal basis, religious affiliation, political affiliation etc
According to Akinade (2004), Acceptance of students does not mean that you should approve of everything they say and do. This raises the issues of counsellor self-awareness, and the importance of being able to separate your own views and opinions from those of the counselee. A student’s views, experiences and behaviour may be at variance with the counsellor’s own value system, but the counselee as a person is entitled to acceptance and positive regard, especially when he/she has placed his/her trust in the counsellor and made himself/herself vulnerable in the process.
The Counsellor must be committed to increasing a counselee’s understanding of himself/herself and others
Every student is entitled to knowing who he/she is. The Appraisal Service Committee has the job of organising activities that will help the students know who they are. This can be done on both group and individual basis. Texts, exercises, games, role plays and drama, help the individuals to know their abilities and capabilities, likes and dislikes, their aspirations and ambitions, weaknesses and strengths, talents and gifts. Conscious efforts should be made to organise more of such activities to...