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Counseling and Ethics

Counseling and Ethics

Assignment Overview


Beginning counselors may face ethical issues as they get started in counseling practice. The beginning stages of counseling entail integrating and applying theoretical knowledge and psychotherapeutic techniques learned in school while facing a diverse population of clients for the first time. New counselors need to be familiar with professional ethical codes, state statutes, and ethical issues that might arise. Counselors may experience uncertainties about their skills and abilities to cope with ethical dilemmas as they begin practice. However, with experience and supervision, new counselors can effectively help their clients.


Assignment Instructions


For this assignment, you will choose one of the ethical codes based on your area of interest (APA, ACA, MFT, LSW, school counselor, et cetera) and review state laws regarding counselors and psychologists in your state. You will apply the ethical code and laws to an ethical issue you might encounter during counseling sessions. You may either select a case study issue from your Corey text or use an issue you identify while reviewing the ethical codes.


You can find links to the ethical codes in the unit content. Following the “Steps in Making Ethical Decisions” on page 40 of your Corey text, trace the steps as you work through your ethical issue. You may need to conduct additional research in Capella’s library as you familiarize yourself with the codes, consider your possible responses to the issue, and support your approach to each step. The Library Guides in the Resources can help you with your research.


In your assignment, use the following model developed by Corey (2017) and his colleagues to address the ethical issue (see page 40 of the textbook for the model):


Identify and summarize the ethical problem or dilemma. Why is it a problem?

Identify the potential issues. (Surrounding issues may include other people, state laws, et cetera.)

Look at the relevant ethical codes for general guidance on the matter. Explain which code or codes apply.

Consider applicable laws and regulations, and determine how they may have a bearing on an ethical dilemma.

Explain how you would seek consultation for more than one source to obtain various perspectives on the dilemma. Identify potential resources or people.

Brainstorm various possible courses of action. Consider culturally appropriate aspects of the situation.

Enumerate the consequences of various decisions, and reflect on the implications of each course of action for your client. Incorporate scholarly research for support as needed.

Decide on what appears to the best possible course of action and provide a recommendation as your conclusion.

Additional Requirements


Your paper should be 3–4 pages in length.

Support conclusions with properly cited codes or statutes, and the textbook or any other outside references.

Include at least three peer-reviewed resources.

Your assignment will be scored on the following criteria:


Explain an ethical problem related to counseling.

Apply relevant codes or guidelines to an ethical problem.

Analyze perspectives and approaches for dealing with an ethical problem.

Recommend a well-supported best course of action.

Write coherently to support a central idea with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics as expected of a psychology professional.

Successfully implement APA style.

Review the Counseling and Ethics Scoring Guide for additional information.




Corey, G. (2017). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.


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