Topic 4. Other professional obligations including dealing with ethical and legal violations by professional counselors
Instructor comments about topic
As you learned in the first topic, counselors have certain obligations to those they serve in a professional capacity that go beyond the obligations of typical relationships. In the second topic you learned about the essential counselor obligation to maintain counselee confidences. The third topic was an exploration of the duties imposed on counselors by virtue of their relationship with those they serve. There are other professional obligations or duties associated with the role of professional counselor. In this topic we will explore other professional obligations of counselors. The ethical responsibility is not always clear. For example, a counselor educator is a counselor who wants to "help" but the counselor educator role of "gate keeping" and fair evaluation may conflict with the counselor's desire to help. Likewise, the counselor in private practice is operating a business as well as providing mental health services to clients (yes, counselees served by counselors in private practice are clients). Perhaps the most troublesome role conflict is the counselor as employee. Counselors who work for schools must follow the rules for other school professionals and yet follow professional ethics and meet their obligations to parents.
Another professional obligation is the professional counselor's duty to deal with suspected ethical and legal violations by colleagues. These colleagues may be superiors or friends but the obligation remains. Review the applicable sections of the ethical codes you are reading to inform our class discussion.
Finally, members of a profession have an obligation to other members of the profession because the public tends to generalize from one member of a profession to the entire profession. However, there are limits to that obligation. For example, what about advertising that in the eye of the beholder presents a bad image for counselors?
Students will need to search for other resources depending on their proposed work setting.
Avery & Gressard (2000), Chauvin & Remley (1969); Cobia & Pipes (2002); Hermann & Herlihy (2006); Pate (1999)