Professionals must counselors must possess adequate skills and competencies. They should also develop superior philosophies to meet their clients’ needs. Attributes such as ethics, morality, justice, and integrity must guide them whenever supporting their beneficiaries. This paper gives a detailed literature review of informed consent and code of ethics. It also presents a summary of my code of ethics and how it can be applied in a counseling environment.
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My personal code of ethics is comprised of attributes such as integrity, respect, shared goals, communication, confidentiality, informed consent, and compassion and can guide me to deliver evidence-based, timely, unbiased, and professional counseling services.
Code of Ethics
Corey, Corey, Corey, and Callanan (2015) define a “code of ethics” as a set of principles that are designed to inform the practices and behaviors of professionals. Such guidelines are presented in a document in order to act as reference points. This code will outline specific attributes, standards, and values that are appropriate for a given profession. Individuals who focus on such guidelines will act ethically and achieve their potential (Farmer & Lundy, 2017). The outlined principles will differ from profession A to B. In the world of business, such codes are taken seriously to dictate the performance and behaviors of different employees.
Although codes of ethics differ significantly, there are specific attributes that are common in such documents. These include integrity, justice, professional behavior, transparency, confidentiality, competence, objectivity, and independence (Jennings, 2014). Individuals who possess these characteristics will achieve their goals. Powerful codes mitigate risks, empower professionals, minimize ethical dilemmas, and improve performance.
Human services professionals and counselors must be aware of their client’s rights and freedoms. This concept explains why informed consent should always be taken seriously. Brady-Amoon and Keefe-Cooperman (2017) indicate that “informed consent” is a critical process whereby professionals such as healthcare workers and counselors receive permission from an individual before collecting information or providing certain services. The same concept is used whenever gathering data or information from specific groups. This notion is usually pursued in accordance with social, research, or medical ethics.
More often than not, informed consent will be granted when the targeted individual or subject is aware of the outlined process and its implication. Jennings (2014) asserts that a person’s dignity is what dictates the nature of this process. Ethical counselors must also ensure that every subject has desirable reasoning abilities or faculties. Informed consent can also be granted by guardians, parents, or close relatives depending on an individual’s health status. This knowledge is necessary for practitioners in different human-related fields such as counseling.
My Personal Code of Ethics
As a counselor, my aim is to expand my competencies and be in a position to meet the needs of more clients. I have developed a powerful philosophy that dictates my behaviors and actions. My personal code of ethics is comprised of specific elements that guide me whenever interacting with different clients and colleagues. The major guiding principles in the code include integrity, respect, shared goals, communication, confidentiality, open-mindedness, and compassion (Jennings, 2014). From these values, it is quite clear that I focus on the best approaches to support the needs of my clients.
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I always exhibit the highest level of professionalism, communicate with others positively, and offer desirable support to different beneficiaries. I also respect other people’s decisions. It is always necessary to develop goals and share them with different workers (The British Psychological Society, 2014). The issue of confidentiality is taken seriously to ensure that information is not shared with unauthorized users. These aspects have made me successful in my field. I am also engaging in lifelong learning in order to develop superior attributes.
Code of Ethics: Counseling Environment
Counseling is a profession that seeks to meet the needs of troubled persons and make it easier for them to lead better lives. My code of ethics will always be used as a guiding principle whenever providing psychotherapy services to different patients. The first aspect to take into consideration is that of confidentiality (Woo, Henfield, & Choi, 2014). I will always ensure that informed consent is obtained from clients or guardians. Data and information will not be shared with other people.
Throughout the practice, I will support every client’s rights and integrity. Justice will be applied in each and every situation. The idea of empathy will be used to re-pattern the experiences and emotions of different individuals and make them successful. I will communicate with my colleagues and clients efficiently. I will always be open-minded in order to understand the issues facing my clients. Every person should be respected (Corey et al., 2015). These practices will ensure that more patients are guided and empowered. This move will make it easier for them to achieve their potential.
The possession of a powerful code of ethics can result in positive performance. Counselors and other human services professionals must identify and develop specific principles that can support their ethical goals. They should also update and improve them continuously in order to emerge successfully. The issue of informed consent is also critical whenever dealing with human subjects or clients.
Brady-Amoon, P., & Keefe-Cooperman, K. (2017). Psychology, counseling psychology, and professional counseling: Shared roots, challenges, and opportunities. The European Journal of Counseling Psychology, 6(1), 1-13. Web.
Corey, G., Corey, M. S., Corey, C., & Callanan, P. (2015). Issues and ethics in the helping professions (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Publishing.
Farmer, L., & Lundy, A. (2017). Informed consent: Ethical and legal considerations for advanced practice nurses. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 13(2), 124-130. Web.
Jennings, T. (2014). Sexual orientation curriculum in U.S. school counselor education programs. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 8(1), 43-73. Web.
The British Psychological Society. (2014). Standards for the accreditation of Doctoral programmes in counseling psychology. Web.
Woo, H., Henfield, M. K., & Choi, N. (2014). Developing a unified professional identity in counseling: A review of the literature. Journal of Counselor Leadership and Advocacy, 1(1), 1-15. Web.