ethical standards

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Psychology ・APA ・5 Sources

In instances like the one described in this scenario, a professional should first rely on the established ethical standards of his or her field. Counselors can find clear advice in the ACA Code of Ethics, 2005. According to the ACA Code of Ethics, when counselors are presented with any ethical quandaries that are particularly difficult for them to solve, they are encouraged to involve in well considered ACA Ethical standards."" As a result, in this instance, the ethical decision-making process, potential benefit interaction, and confidentiality are the three most applicable ACA Ethical Standards to this specific issue. In considering within the ethical decision-making standard, there are still quite a number of models to choose from (Herlihy, & Corey, 2014). However, it is important to acknowledge that the ACA Code of Ethics does in any way recommend any model over other models. To be more precise, models such as Davis, 1997, Cottone, 2001, Forester Miller and Davis, 1996, Seymour and Rubin can be applied to address this particular scenario. When evaluating the model by Seymour and Rubin (2006), it can be notice there is active implementation of the voices of the major stakeholders (Bloisi, Cook, & Hunsaker, 2007). For example, if applied for this particular scenario of the counselor controversially meeting his clients in a wine testing party, it would definitely appear to be favoring whatsoever would be the judgment about the client which would probably demand for the continue probation of the clients. However, it is undeniable that the model does to have an elaborate and comprehensive formula for the making of the decision as well as incorporating the required ethical standards which in this case should be basically ethical decision making process, potential benefit interaction and confidentiality.
The second ethical standard that would considered is the open-ended decision making which should involved thorough analysis of the case especially by focusing on how the counselor and his clients who is also the boyfriend of his friend. This can be effectively handled by borrowing from Kitchener's (1984) virtue of ethics. However, this can be contradicted in case we would want a sequential and a concrete methodology, as well as where a model entailing means of reducing the level of biasness is required. In consideration of the application of the potentially interaction, as part of ethical standard, it is therefore expected that the scenario whereby the counselor meets his clients within a non-professional setting, for example in this case in a wine testing party, it should serve as an opportunity for the two to interact positively and benefits (Bloisi, Cook, & Hunsaker, 2007). As a counselor, he may only document the right information without biasness to favor his selfish decision, for example to justify his decision or his intention to have the client to continue serving his probation even if he had already changed or transformed. The clients should also not consider taking the situation and the condition they were interacting with the counselor since its setting of interaction was out of duty and more personal life affairs even if he confirmed finding him drinking wine.
Final ethical standard is the confidentiality, which requires the professionals including the counselors to ensure the security of the information given to them by their clients. It is also their role to ensure that the information about their clients whether given in good faith or unveiled accidentally should be well kept and not used in any way against the clients whosoever the case.

Steps of Ethical Decision Making Model

During the actual ethical decision-making process, there are definite steps that must be followed. Now considering this scenario, it would be of no different and the steps will be still as follows;

First step: Identification of what exactly the problem. This is usually the initial step of the ethical decision making (Forester-Miller & Davis, 1996), whereby by the two basic aspects of the case should be considered. First, the counselor considering using the observed drinking habit of his clients to influence his evaluation while on the other the client contemplating to use demystify the validity of his counselors evaluation results

Second step: Applying the ACA Code of Ethics as well as other applicable ethics codes. The professional should to ensure he applies the ACA Code of Ethics to the latter (Kelly, Woolfson, & Boyle, 2008). This will help in guiding him to take the most appropriate action to serve both your clients and court by providing genuine evaluation of the clients without biasness.

Third step: Determination of the nature and the dilemma of the dimension. This will require incorporation of the P3 formula which will guide the counselor in adhering to the ethical processes as well as considering all the principals and principles surrounding the case (Koocher, & Keith-Spiegel, 2008).

Fourth Step: Generating the possible and appropriate course of action. The main purpose of the step is to allow the counselor to brainstorm openly before beginning his evaluation of the clients. This should however be achieved regardless of the consequence that subject might face including whether the court with continue holding him or discharge him from the probation fairly (Kelly, Woolfson, & Boyle, 2008).

Fifth step: Taking into consideration all the possible consequences of all actions. This could be the most impetus step involving power struggle between counselor and clients meeting at the wine testing party (Urbina, 2013). To some extent, the importance for protecting the client's privacy might be overruled by the counselor.

Sixth Step: Evaluation of the selected course of action. It is self-evaluative portion of the entire process of making the decision. Here is where the professional should consider reevaluating his decision if case he entire used his perception of the clients in the party (ACA, 2015).

Seventh step: Implementation of the taken course of action. This would normally be the final step in the ACA model of decision-making. It is generally of sound reason to discover that the counselor, clients and the court will finally arrive at a commonly acceptable as well as ethically sound solution regardless of the previous interaction between the client and his counselor at the wine testing party.


Bloisi, W., Cook, C. W., & Hunsaker, P. L. (2007). Management and organisational behaviour. London [u.a.: McGraw-Hill Education.
Herlihy, B., & Corey, G. (2014). ACA Ethical Standards Casebook. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Kelly, B., Woolfson, L., & Boyle, J. (2008). Frameworks for practice in educational psychology: A textbook for trainees and practitioners. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Koocher, G.P. & Keith-Spiegel, P. (2008). Ethics in Psychology and the Mental Health Professions: Standards and Cases. Oxford University Press: New York. (Chapter 2: Making Ethical Decisions and Taking Action, written by Edmund Burke, pages 20-40).
Urbina, S. (2013). Essentials of psychological testing. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

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