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Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions 10th Edition

Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions (10th Edition)

Book Edition10th Edition
Author(s)Corey, Corey
PublisherCengage Learning
Values Conflicts Regarding Sexual Attitudes and Behavior
Case Study of Other Possible Value Conflicts
The Role of Spiritual and Religious Values in Counseling
Value Conflicts Regarding End-of-Life Decisions
Chapter 3, Values Conflicts Regarding Sexual Attitudes and Behavior, The Case of Lee and Juan, Exercise 01
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Marisa informs you that she terminated therapy with a prior therapist "because he was unable to understand or help her." She tends to project blame on others and does not take responsibility for her problems. Marisa tells you that she is disappointed in the way her counseling is going with you. She doesn't know if you care very much about her. She would like to be special to you, not "just another client."


How could you address the issues underlying Marisa's comments without responding directly to what she is asking?


A counselor who might be dealing with clients whose life choices they are not necessarily in agreement with (LGBTQIA couples, drug users) could use the following methods to ensure they can perform their duties effectively and, if not, can disengage themselves most healthily and respectfully possible. 

  • Clarification of biases: The process of ethical bracketing given by Psychologists K and H is an essential method that can be employed to ensure there is an active and self-direct action toward the separation of one private belief system from the therapeutic setting. This process is specifically more relevant in the case of a divergent set of worldviews in play. There needs to be a clear understanding within the counselor that an agreement of values is not necessary for them to effectively play the role of a facilitator who empowers the client to understand their issues and build resources to counter them fully.
  • Nonimposition and non-exposure: Imposition of values often involves the intentional or unintentional disclosure and burdening of the client with the value systems of the counselor. To prevent this from occurring, in addition to value clarification, the therapist must obtain informed consent surrounding this issue. A part of this process would involve the client being informed of the potential ways in which values could influence the therapeutic process or relationship.
  • Maintenance of client-centered space with continuous positive regard: An essential goal of therapy that needs to be maintained irrespective of distinct value systems is the maintenance of client-centered space in the therapeutic setup and the prioritization of the client's wellness and personal goals.

Sample Response

Values are the essential principles that lead to the formation of attitudes or actions of a certain nature. They help us to determine what is important to us. Values describe the personal qualities we choose to embody to guide our actions, the sort of person we want to be, the manner in which we treat ourselves and others, and our interaction with the world around us. They provide the general guidelines for conduct. The idea that therapists can be fully objective concerning all forms of issues that are brought about by the clients is no longer a dominant notion in the field of psychotherapy. The clarification of one's values, setting aside assumptions and beliefs, and the supervision of one's belief systems are essential steps in maintaining a client-centered and empathetic space. 

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