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Code Of Ethics In Counselling

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Code Of Ethics In Counselling

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Code Of Ethics In Counselling

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Question – Describe, identify and apply ethical practice skills and comply with legal responsibilities. Identify safety issues for client and others such as self harm suicide ?
Answer – Introduction

PACFA is an organization standing for Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation in Australia to foster development of professional practice by the means of training, supervision, research and some other clinical practices (Brett, 2011). The code of ethics giving fundamental values to be used in embracing key principles and setting up framework for ethics. However, there can be issues challenging the legal and ethical standpoints (Council). The professional values are becoming more and more significant in a way to express the ethical commitment towards values and beliefs.
The analysis will lay stress upon some of the chosen principles for code of conduct in ethical and legal background by specially focusing over practical adoption of these principles in the real life companies or business organizations. The analysis also lays stress upon the upcoming challenges or barriers in the path of application or execution of those values in the ethical code of conduct.
Values of counselling and psychotherapy

There are primarily nine principles of ethical code of conduct as defined by PACFA (Brett) with each one of them holding special relevance in the practical scenario of business applications and ethical practices.

It includes a commitment towards respecting human rights and dignity.
It includes commitment to increase personal effectiveness.
It includes appreciating the variety of human experience and culture.
It includes enhancing the quality of relationships between people.

Respecting Human Rights and Dignity

This value and ethical standard complies with the fact that every counselling sessions must respect human rights and dignity of all the participants and the stakeholders connected with the session. Every participant and personnel of management must respect the rights of every other co member by upholding their work dignity (Crowden, 2008). The counsellors of professional ethics and rules teach to respect the essentiality of worth, humanity and dignity to promote value of work (Schofield, 2008) for all the potential participants in the work field. The professionals and counsellors for developing a professional identity recognize the need to protect the rights of the participants including the right to have an informed consent (Mahoney, 2006). All the practitioners and the counsellors have to abide by the laws pertaining to human rights and the society in which they practice and live. Counsellors of psychotherapy consider the social context of the participants and the stakeholders along with the connections they have with the laws and rules. Supervisors and counsellors are also responsible for protecting the rights of confidentiality of the clients (Anderson, 1999) in the context of information sharing.
For a practical example that can be taught in the counselling process it can be seen that an organization having 70% of men and 30% of female population, it is utterly important to save the human rights in the context of safety, rules, respect, dignity, appropriateness of behavior and other factors. Tata Consultancy Services have a formularized a code of conduct in which they have explicitly mentioned that every employee shall be treated with dignity and to maintain an environment which is free of sexual harassment (physical, verbal, psychological) to help in providing merit based decisions.
For a practical application of human rights and respect for dignity in the counselling process, there can be special sessions for exchanging information and communication to be able to observe the inherent respect for rights of every individual and thereby come on an analysis for every participant in the process of counselling
There are some of the principles covered in protection and respect of human rights and dignity like right to life to protect the life of the participants. However, there must be counselling provided for suicidal attempts caused which may prove to a barrier to respecting this human rights. There must be respect of human rights to prohibit torture and inhuman treatment (Donnelly, 2013) and to protect the people from slavery of acts of forced labor. Counsellors must teach the participants, the right to liberty and freedom including some personal rights that the place of their practice must respect and uphold. The workplaces do protect the freedom of thought, belief and religion (Rorty, 1993) within the work environment so as to make the participants express the views freely. Human rights pertaining to discrimination are protected and respected. Social barriers are prominent in this scenario where the social stature, income group, cultural background and other factors varies resulting into situations of discrimination and violation of human rights to each and every one.
Therefore, the code of ethics state that for every institution or organization in every field of work, the human rights of people must be protected and their work dignity including the sense of diversity must be upheld within the workplace.
Commitment to increase personal effectiveness

Personal effectiveness is realized by the amount of work or the effort that an individual person puts into the task required. Personal effectiveness should increase with time so as to give better output to the workplace as well as it is essential for personal development. Counsellors must take necessary steps and arrange sessions so as to develop and maintain a competent environment within the organization so as to make the professionals perform well in their work culture and prove to be mutually advantageous (Council, 1985) for all. Improvement in the work and the organizational environment is the key catalyst for growth and this improvement is the sole result of the personal efficiency. It is defined in code of ethics of any workplace that participants must comply with rule to refine their professional skills by learning new skills and polishing the acquired skills (Australia, 1982) with due experience and professional domain knowledge. Some places for work also give some recommendations and solutions to increase the personal effectiveness. Some of the key recommendations are to develop a better sense of self concept required for achieving self effectiveness and self excellence (Anderson, 1993). Workplaces lay stress over realizing crisp and clear goals for oneself so as to direct the resources and capabilities in a single direction. Organization of work (Argyris, 1974) and ethical practices is itself a focused and important task which leads to enhancement in the principles of personal effectiveness. It is also required to develop people and HR skills (Tziner, 1991) so as to learn and develop personal effectiveness and management along with developing team leadership and association skills. Various organizations are laying stress over self development techniques, principles and strategies to refine personal skills and effectiveness. Companies specifically mention this in their code of ethics to motivate the participants and to keep them self sufficient (DiMattia, 1990) to learn and progress in the work environment.
In the process of counselling there must be customized sessions for group f participants sharing common level of intellect and self learning capabilities. There must be sessions given over personal enhancement and its use in the future of any work. Counsellors must maintain an open communication to foster the development of personal effectiveness and must have a learning environment to promote self learning techniques.
However, there are some of the barriers in developing this code of ethics in counselling process such as personal prejudices on development and the sources of personal effectiveness development. There may be participants who are resistant to learn new things and develop personal skills out of jealousy, competition and objective behavior. People who are susceptible to age are unable to learn in a better way and lack ethical responsibilities of self learning.
Appreciating variety of human experience and culture

This value under the code of ethics includes appreciating and rewarding the experience and performance of the participants in the counselling sessions to boost their personal confidence. It is essential for every counsellor to pay due respect to the past experiences and culture of every participant and to modulate and structure the sessions and strategies that are special for each of the participant. It is important to understand the uniqueness (Kleinman, 1999) that every person holds in and then formulate the strategies accordingly. Multicultural studies (Rogof, 2003) play a vital role for the counselling sessions to dwell deeper into the cultural background of the participants and seek out for solutions for upcoming ethical or legal issues pertaining to personal experience. Various counsellors seek out procedures and policies so as to appreciate the individuality and uniqueness of each and every participant. There is a respect for diversity. The opposition behavior pertaining to diverse cultured participants is checked and noticed and there is a respect for diversity within the institution. There must be reorganization of diversity within the institution so as to customize the groups within it. Top management must keep a constant check over the functioning of the sessions to monitor the behavior of participants towards diversity and cultural differences. There must be appraisals, rewards or appreciations given in some or the other form to the participants who are genuinely respecting the diversity in culture and giving due regard to the past experiences of the participants (Brown, 2006). Appreciating individual experience and background culture of the participants, will motivate every individual to create an overall safe, humble and respectable environment for everybody.
There must be groups made on a dynamic basis in the counselling sessions having people from diverse backgrounds and having different work experiences in terms of age, intellect and skills. This will encourage a sense of mutual respect of culture and experience.
Barriers in implementation of this code of ethics is disrespect for diversity at various work places. There have been consistent news about harassment, exploitation and mishandling with participants coming from diverse backgrounds. They are ethically and morally harassed because of their background or culture as other participants make them feel different and unwanted in the official environment. Instead of appreciating their work culture, sometimes participants with different background are judged or marked on the basis of their culture which marks the presence of discrimination in diversity. Social barriers must be overcome in the process and hence, there must be special provisions in the counselling sessions to eradicate the sense of discrimination and respect every culture.
Enhancing quality of relationships between people

To enhance the quality of relationship between the people, incorporates establishing and maintaining the relationship between all the stakeholders both internal and external to the counselling institution so as to uphold the integrity of the staff members (Wilson, 2000) and their cooperative support extended in business projects. Counsellors must pay special attention to build positive and beneficial relationships between the participants and the outer world giving services for a successful business venture. Mentors must also pay focus over building positive relations within the whole supply chain (Ledingham, 2000) to be able to integrate all the efforts and to produce the required end product or service. Various companies specially specify the code of conduct to be followed by the participants when they would deal with the end customers or the officials of top management. Coaches must make the participants study these code of conduct and take practical case studies for research purposes. In the process of counselling, it is a highlighted topic of concern to teach the participants to show due regard to every other employee and establish long term and mutually beneficial relationships (Gremler, 2001) with all the stakeholders. The key role of counsellors comes into picture when they have to guide the participants to maintain a good relationship with the top management as well as junior participants or peer workers to make the system of work environment and culture healthy, positive and vibrant.
The challenges in adoption of this value under ethical code of conduct is the strains and hardships that may occur due to activities of misbehavior, misunderstanding, unethical procedures in work and such other factors. On a whole, there might be classifications done on the basis of socio cultural position of an employee which might lead to strained relationships causing harm to the productivity of work.

It can be summarized that code of ethics in a counselling process should be based over ethics and mentors must be proficient with the structure of the management, culture of the participants and the values and principles abided by within the institution. This will help in making the process of counselling enriched and refined. The principles followed by the code of ethics statements in the counselling institution more or less revolves around human rights, respect for diversity, quality of professionalism, integrity of the participants, self growth opportunities and appreciation for quality work.

Brett, M. (2011). PACFA response to consultation: Draft Public Health (Code of Conduct for Certain Health Practitioners) Regulation 2011.
Council, A. H. M. A. PACFA response to consultation: Options for regulation of unregistered health practitioners.
Brett, M., & CEO, P. eNewsletter. Crowden, A. (2008). Professional boundaries and the ethics of dual and multiple overlapping relationships in psychotherapy. Monash bioethics review, 27(4), 10-27.
Schofield, M. (2008). Best Practice Self-Regulation Model for Psychotherapy and Counselling in Australia.
Mahoney, J. (2006). Respecting Human Rights.Law & Just.-Christian L. Rev.,156, 53.
Anderson, J. C. (1999). Respecting human rights: Multinational corporations strike out. Pa. J. Lab. & Emp. L., 2, 463.
Donnelly, J. (2013).Universal human rights in theory and practice. Cornell University Press.
Rorty, R. (1993). Human rights, rationality, and sentimentality.
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Australia, S. (1982).Code of ethics. Education Department of South Australia.
Anderson, R. E., Johnson, D. G., Gotterbarn, D., & Perrolle, J. (1993). Using the new ACM code of ethics in decision making. Communications of the ACM,36(2), 98-107.
Argyris, C., & Schon, D. A. (1974). Theory in practice: Increasing personal effectiveness. SanFrancisco, CA: Jossey Bass. Argyris, C. and Schön, D.(1976), Theoryin Practice: Increasing Professional Effectiveness, SanFrancisco, CA: Jossey Education, 15(1), 18-33.
Tziner, A., Haccoun, R. R., & Kadish, A. (1991). Personal and situational characteristics influencing the effectiveness of transfer of training improvement strategies. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 64(2), 167-177.
DiMattia, D. J., & Mennen, S. (1990).Rational Effectiveness Training: Increasing Personal Productivity at Work. Institute for Rational-Emotive Therapy.
Kleinman, A. (1999). Experience and its moral modes: Culture, human conditions, and disorder. Tanner lectures on human values, 20, 355-420.
Rogof, B. (2003).THE Cultural NATURE~ OF Human Development. New York: Oxford University Press.
Brown, E. L. (2006). Knowing, Valuing, and Shaping One’s Culture: A Precursor to Acknowledging, Accepting, and Respecting the Culture of Others. Multicultural education, 14(1), 15-19.
Wilson, L. J. (2000). Building employee and community relationships through volunteerism: A case study. Public relations as relationship management: A  relational approach to the study and practice of public relations, 137-44.
Ledingham, J. A., Bruning, S. D., Ki, E. J., & Kim, J. N. (Eds.). (2000).Public relations as relationship management: A relational approach to the study and practice of public relations. Routledge.
Gremler, D. D., Gwinner, K. P., & Brown, S. W. (2001). Generating positive word-of-mouth communication through customer-employee relationships. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 12(1), 44-59.


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