This textbook is available Logo
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
Social Justice Perspective
Working Within a System
The Case of Adriana
Chapter 13, Social Justice Perspective, The Case of Ludwig, Exercise 01
Page 462

The Case of John


John comes from an impoverished neighborhood in an eastern city, has struggled financially to get a college degree, and has finally attained a master's degree in counseling. He is proud of his accomplishments and considers himself to be sensitive to his own background and to those who struggle with similar problems. He has moved to the west coast and has been hired to work in a high school with a culturally diverse student population.


As a high school counselor, John starts a group for at-risk adolescents. his goals for this group are as follows: (1) to instill pride so that group members will see their present environment as an obstacle to be overcome, not suffered with; (2) to increase self-esteem and to challenge group members to fight the negativism they may encounter in their home and school environments; (3) to teach group members to minimize their differences in terms of the larger community (for example, he points out how some of their idioms and ways of speaking separate them from the majority and reinforce differences and stereotypes); and (4) to teach group members how to overcome obstacles in a nonsupportive environment.


John does not work very closely with teachers, administrators, or other school counselors in the district. He views them as being more interested in politics and red tape and as giving very little energy to personal counseling in the school. He has little to do with the families of the adolescents because he sees them as being too willing to accept handouts and welfare and as not being very interested in becoming self-sufficient and independent. He tells his group members: "What you have at home with your families has obviously not worked for you. What you have in this group is the opportunity to change."


If you were john's supervisor, how would you work with him?


Ethical bracketing is the purposeful setting aside of a counselor's personal values to supply moral and acceptable messages to the people. Ethical bracketing is crucial as the values of the counselors should not interfere with the goals or the beliefs of the clients. Ethical bracketing reduces the risk of value imposition on the clients.

Counselor L is employed by a group that promotes healthy sexual practices in collaboration with a religious institution. Few institutions, however, withdrew their support, claiming that the initiative promotes the use of condoms for safer sex, which goes against their religious values. The counselor is torn between instilling the significance of condom usage in society and religious principles that oppose it.


The opinion of Colleague C is ethical in the given setting. This is because the needs of the client [prevention of HIV] are not in accordance with the values of the counselor. By stating these values to the client, it might be difficult for the client to trust the counselor. The goal of the counseling session is to help the client, and the values of the counselor do not encourage the safety of the client. As a result, maintaining ethical bracketing is necessary for the counselor in the counseling session. If the counselor states their values, the client might feel that value imposition is being performed. This might interfere with the therapy session, and the client might fear judgment from the counselor if the values of the client do not match the values of the counselor.

Verified Answer

Counselor L is confused between the values that are imparted through the organization and their personal values. To resolve this perplexity, Counselor L seeks advice from colleagues. Colleague C advised the counselor not to disclose personal values to the clients, and it appears to be appropriate as the client should not feel that value imposition is done by the counselor. Consequently, it is important for the counselor to maintain ethical bracketing. 

How would you rate this answer and explanation?
Did you like this example?
Subscribe for full access
Page 462