Posted by: mentoringstore | April 27, 2012

Images of Counselling Ethics: Guest Blogger Jennifer Bauer

Asking counselling students to create a personal image of ethics out of art materials as an assignment is usually met with a loud sigh and round of resistance that sounds like “I’m not an artist” or “I’m not creative.”

As their personal images and statements of ethics presented in this series demonstrate, working with ‘matter’, with physical substances and materials to embody your ideas and ideals regarding your ethical position as a counsellor is a powerful process that requires no artistic ability.  All you have to do is take a risk, get some materials and make a concrete object that you can take into your office which helps to remind you to always serve at your utmost of integrity as a counsellor.

May I now introduce Jennifer Bauer, guest blogger.  Thank you for sharing your inspiring image and story.  – Dr. Duanita

Personal Image of Ethics: Putting the Pieces Together

by:  Jennifer Bauer

Adler School of Professional Psychology, Vancouver BC Canada

Personal Statement of Ethics

Counselling ethics is complex; becoming an ethical counsellor and person is even more challenging. There are so many different parts of ethics that need to be considered, understood, accepted, and integrated in order to become a fully responsible, genuine, and ethical individual. Only when these different individual parts come together to form a whole, can a person be considered ethical, very much like pieces of a puzzle coming together to form an image.

I strongly believe that these different parts or pieces of the puzzle are unique to each and every person. Personally, ethics is composed of the following: responsibility, professionalism, competency, equality, respect, trustworthiness, confidentiality, genuineness, and acceptance. However, if we were to ask another person what his or her values and beliefs are regarding ethics and being an ethical person, we would have a completely different puzzle or image of ethics. It is important to note, that there are no black and white answers in ethics, only shades of grey. I would like to take this last point even further and argue that ethics is not grey but rather a variety of different colours, shapes, and patterns. I believe that ethics is ever changing and evolving and this is reflected in the design of my puzzle pieces.

Personal Meaning Behind Each Puzzle Piece

Responsibility: As a future counsellor, I am responsible for others and myself. I am responsible for providing the highest quality of care, for minimizing harm and maximizing benefits, and for believing in second chances and change.

Professionalism: At all times, I respect my clients and their struggles. I avoid any distractions when in session and devote all my efforts and attention to that client.

Competency: Education is an ongoing process. To provide the highest quality of care, I must keep my knowledge up-to-date via seminars, workshops, courses, conferences, and so on.

Equality: I believe in fair and equal opportunities for all. Everyone, no matter their skin colour, religious or spiritual beliefs, sexual orientation, values and traditions, cultural beliefs, ethnicity, gender, sex, and so on, deserves a chance to change and have access to resources to do so.

Respect: We are all human beings; we are all unique but no matter our differences, we need to respect each other. I respect our similarities and differences.

Trustworthiness: Without trust, there is no helping. I believe that trust is the foundation of a healthy and positive therapeutic relationship. Trust is a gift I can offer my clients.

Confidentiality: Protecting clients and their identity. To recognise the precious and extremely private stories that clients share with me and to do everything in my capacity to protect my clients from harm by never divulging their secrets.

Genuineness: Truly and honestly caring for another human being. To mean what I say, to show that I am concerned or proud or touched by their story, and to to understand another person’s values, beliefs, and perspectives.

Acceptance: Includes being open, flexible, and non-judgemental. Accepting clients for who they are, that is, as any other human being with strengths and shortcomings. Without acceptance, there can be no trust, equality, genuineness, and respect.

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