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DSST Fundamentals of counseling

Effective counselors have a sense of humor which

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Effective counselors have a sense of humor , which allows them to diffuse the seriousness and intensity of the counseling relationship. A good sense of humor means being able to see the human condition for what it is and laughing at the silliness and ironies one encounters on a daily basis. Without humor, the relationship can easily become maudlin and depressing so it is important that the seriousness is broken up (appropriately) with lighter topics of discussion. Effective counselors are risk takers who are not afraid to show their own vulnerabilities. They communicate honestly and do not hide behind masks or other interpersonal walls. They understand the importance of opening up to another person and model effective communication by maintaining congruence between their verbal and nonverbal behavior. They are also able to accept responsibility for their own actions and do not hide behind excuses when situations turn sour. Effective counselors live in the present and do not place blame; they are role models for the type of behavior that mentally strong individuals demonstrate. Ethics are basic standards of practice that have been agreed upon and that are based on a set of core values. Most professions have a code of ethics that outlines the boundaries of acceptable behavior. These codes of ethics serve to provide the public with assurance of the intentions of the professions. The American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) have set codes of ethics. Mandatory ethics entail a level of ethical function where the minimum standards are met. These are the ethics that are imposed by the code of ethics. Violations of mandatory ethics can result in charges of malpractice. What is happening though, is that people are taking ethical behavior to mean legal behavior. Just because an action is legal does not make it ethical and that is the dilemma facing counseling and most other professions. Aspirational ethics are those that counselors strive to meet. These ethics embody the optimum standard of conduct and imply that the counselor is committed to doing whatever is in the best interests of the client
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Unethical behavior is defined as behavior that is inconsistent with the expectations set forth in the relationship. When the expectations established between a professional and a client are breached, the behavior is deemed unethical. Relationships work effectively when each party trusts the other and knows generally what the rules and expectations are. When that trust is broken, the relationship is no longer useful to the client. The greatest source of ethical issues in counseling comes from the notion of confidentiality of information shared. The problems surrounding confidentiality usually stem from how much information the counselor shares with other professionals or interested parties, which the counselor deems is in the best interest of the client. It is very important that the expectation of confidentially is clearly explained and agreed upon at the beginning of a counseling relationship.
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