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ThorntonCMFT6201-3.docx - Running head VALUES AND CULTURAL...

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Running head: VALUES AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY 1 Values and Cultural Diversity Candace Thornton North Central University
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Values and Cultural Diversity 2 “The code of ethics of all major professional associations affirm that a therapist’s primary responsibility is to the client. Clients, not therapists, take first priority” (Wilcoxon, Remley, & Gladding, 2013). When contemplating a new therapeutic relationship, the therapist should always have the client as center focus. Therapist who start a therapeutic relationship with preconceived ideas and unbridled judgments will more than likely do harm to the client. One of the first things therapist learn as students is to do no harm and those who over look this ideology are lacking in competence. With the previous being said, this paper will give a brief overview of how a therapist decides their level of competence cases by case, under what circumstance should a therapist refrain from seeing a client, and how to ethically counsel a client without doing harm. Competence first starts with the education; Having the degrees necessary to be a therapist is the first step to competence. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Code of Ethics (2015) points out in standard 3.1 that “marriage and family therapists pursue knowledge of new developments and maintain their competence in the field of marriage and family therapy through education, training, and/or supervised experience”. Judging a therapist competency in part comes from their continual effort to increase their knowledge about their field. Along with this standard 3.6 of the AAMFT Code of Ethics states “while developing new skills in specialty areas, marriage and family therapists take steps to ensure the competence of their work and to protect clients from possible harm. Marriage and family therapists practice specialty areas new to them only after appropriate education, training, and/ or supervised experience”. Full knowledge must be evident to be considered competent otherwise the therapist
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