It is the purpose of this paper to address the topic of ethics in group counseling. This author will define what group ethics is according to the psychological organizations such as the American Counseling Association (ACA), and the Association of Specialist in Group Work (ASGW). This author will also address what the American Association of Christian Counselor (AACC) has to say about the ethical standards for Christian Counseling. To effectively practice ethically group therapy a counselor needs to internalize the morals, values, and behavioral makeup of each individual within the group. This paper will also look at the comparison between group and individual psychotherapy and ...view middle of the document...
Ethics in Counseling
Merriam Webster (2012) defines ethics as: “the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group.” Glosoff & Kocet (2005) highlights the ACA Code of Ethics which address the following “five points: 1) the ethical responsibilities held by its members 2) to support the mission of ACA 3) to establish principles that define ethical behavior and practices 4) provide ethical guidelines to assist professionals in constructing a professional course of action for those utilizing counseling services and that promotes the values of the counseling professions 5) to serve as the basis for processing of ethical complaints against it members” (p. 6). These codes have been created to protect the public as they provide a common standard for counselors, researchers, and students. Counselors have a legal and ethical obligation to protect their clients and it is these ethical codes that do this. Abrahams (2007) states that ethics provide standards for counselor’s performance that has been set by its own profession which is managed by professional associations, national licensing and certification boards which regulate the profession.
According to Pondon & Duba (2009) The ACA Code of Ethics (ACA, 2005), “provides a marker in the development of the counseling profession, as well as an illustration of the covenant relationship between counseling professionals and society” (p. 121). They further state that “by adhering to the ACA Code of Ethics (ACA, 2005), professional counselors will behave in ways that are in the best interest of clients and the society at large, will incorporate training and education to the utmost standard of delivering services, and will be guided toward professional behavior within all contexts of practice. Finally, and perhaps most important, the ACA ethical code serves to protect this covenantal relationship as it continues to evolve” (p.121). By looking at counseling relationships as a covenant between the counselor and client the counselor will then respect the welfare and the dignity of their client.
Ethics in Group Therapy
Corey & Corey (2006) state that counselors need to have a “thorough grounding in ethical issues is as essential as a solid base of psychological knowledge and skills” (p. 64). They found that groups have been responsible in bring about change in the members and that the profession of mental acknowledged its effectiveness late in the counseling profession. According to Markus and King (2003) they found that group therapy has been seem effective treatment modality for some psychological and psychiatric disorders and issues. Professional organizations have seen the importance in developing ethical standards for counselor who will provide group psychotherapy due to the group may experience different ethical issues than individual therapy. Fallon (2006) found that there are two areas that need to be addressed, the group’s rights and what the responsibilities for the group leader. ...