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Counselling Theory - Good Practise and Ethics

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´╗┐Define what is meant by the term Counselling Counselling is a process in which a person is given the opportunity to talk openly and freely, exploring issues, thoughts and feelings that are currently affecting their life in an understanding environment free from judgement. It is a private, personal and confidential process and can only take place between a person who feels as though they are in need of help and a qualified practising counsellor. A person can only ?choose? to enter in to a counselling relationship, it cannot be forced upon anybody; ?It is always at the request of the client as no one can properly be 'sent' for counselling? (BACP, education, what is counselling?) ?Counselling takes place only when both sides agree it is taking place and the counsellor has no other role in the client?s life. If the helper does just the same things but as part of another role they are not Counselling but using Counselling Skills.? (Frankland and Sanders, 1994, p.34) A qualified practising counsellor is somebody who has gained the relevant academic qualification and experience to enable them to practice. They adhere to Counselling boundaries within a contract with the client. They have Counselling aims and goals and work within an ethical framework which displays Counselling ethics to ensure good practice. A client seeking help through Counselling will be incongruent and experiencing difficulties in some or many areas of day to day living. They may be experiencing confusion, distress or dissatisfaction with life. Through listening closely to the issues presented a counsellor will try and see things from the client?s perspective and through the therapeutic relationship will endeavour to encourage change, choice, clarity and empowerment. Counselling is not giving advice or being directive in approach but encouraging a client to see past their difficulty and find their own right answers to life?s questions. Explain their own philosophical approach to Counselling I view the human condition as being essentially good. ...read more.


3.1 Using examples analyse the key issues surrounding the following in relation to possible actions by clients: Professional conduct Professional Conduct means to maintain appropriate actions and behaviours relevant to all areas of your profession. The BACP framework (2010) states, Good standards of practice and care require professional competence; good relationships with clients and colleagues; and commitment to and observance of professional ethics. A client may perceive a breach in this area should their counsellor become overly familiar and tactile when they are in a state of great distress. This could be seen as an attempt by the counsellor to abuse their position of trust for their own sexual amusement which would undoubtedly damage the working relationship and have an adverse effect on the well-being of the client. Ethical issues It is inevitable that when working with distressed and vulnerable people in a counselling capacity that ethical issues will arise, we all have our own ingrained views and beliefs of what is right and wrong. It would be clearly un-ethical for a counsellor to borrow money from a client or accept a large monetary gift in any circumstance. The counsellor would be using their position of trust for their own financial gain which goes against the basic ethical values and principles of the counselling profession. Confidentiality Trust is a fundamental element in any counselling relationship, it is therefore essential for a counsellor to make it clear at the contracting stage of the relationship what information will be kept confidential and where exceptions to this confidentiality rule apply. A counsellor is required by law to disclose any information regarding drug trafficking, terrorism or money laundering, disclosing any other information to a third party without a client?s consent would be breaching the confidentiality agreement. If for example a client?s spouse called the counsellor out of concern for their partner and asked what was being discussed during sessions and the counsellor divulged some information regarding material being explored during sessions; the counsellor would be breaching confidentiality and the implications of this could be extremely damaging to all parties concerned. ...read more.


A counsellor must be careful not to disclose anything that may breach confidentiality of sessions if others have access to the case records. Clients should be aware of and in agreement with any information that is being kept about them. *reports and letters A counsellor may sometimes be required to write a report or a letter to assist their client with something outside of the counselling relationship. It is important that a good level of written communication is established for this purpose. A letter or report may be needed in the case of referral, to help a client with housing or possibly requested as a means to establish a fitness to work. Clients should always be aware if a counsellor is sending any information to another party and it would always be done as a means of support. *legal rights of clients to access records Clients should be made aware of any personal information, notes regarding sessions and any other information concerning them that is being kept by the counsellor or organisation. It should be made clear to the client the reasons for keeping records, where they will be kept, who will have access to them and they should know that as part of the Freedom of Information Act (2000) they have a legal right to access these records at any time. 5.3 Explain the importance of the need for casework evaluation for the ongoing professional development of the reflective practitioner A responsible, reflective counselling practitioner should evaluate their casework regularly. This will assist the counsellor in being able to identify what is working for them as practitioner and what is not. It will help in identifying their own patterns of avoidance in their work with clients, what triggers discomfort for them in their work and will therefore enable them to see where their areas of growth lie. These things will then be able to be explored in supervision enabling growth and development in the counsellor and ultimately benefitting clients and the therapeutic process. ...read more.

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