088 -Common Counseling Ethical Violations and Prevention

 
 
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Common Ethical Violations
Presented by: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes
Executive Director, AllCEUs

Continuing Education (CE) credits can be earned for this presentation at  https://www.allceus.com/member/cart/index/product/id/614/c/

Objectives
~    Explore ethical guidelines with respect to
~    Multiculturalism
~    Confidentiality
~    Informed consent
~    Documentation
~    Discharge vs. Abandonment

Ethical Guidelines
~    Act in the best interests of the clients at all times. Act in good faith and in the absence of malice.
~    Inform clients of possible limitations on the counseling relationship prior to the beginning of the relationship.
~    Increase awareness of personal values, attitudes and beliefs; refer when personal characteristics hinder effectiveness.
~    Actively attempt to understand the diverse cultural backgrounds of the clients with whom you work, including your own cultural/ethnic/racial identity and its impact on your values and beliefs about the counseling process.
Ethical Guidelines
~    Function within the boundaries of personal competence. Be aware of personal skill levels and limitations.
~    Be able to fully explain why you do what you do.
~    Encourage family involvement, where possible, when working with minors in sensitive areas that might be controversial.
~    Follow written job descriptions. Be sure what you are doing is defined as an appropriate function in your work setting.
~    Read and adhere to the ethical standards of your profession.

Guidelines cont…
~    Consult with other professionals
~    Join appropriate professional associations. Read association publications and participate in professional development opportunities.
~    Stay up-to-date with laws and current court rulings, particularly those pertaining to
~    Counseling with minors
~    Handing suicidal/homicidal clients
~    HIV
~    Consult with a knowledgeable attorney, when necessary
Guidelines cont…
~    Join appropriate professional associations. Read association publications and participate in professional development opportunities.
~    Stay up-to-date with laws and current court rulings, particularly those pertaining to counseling with minors, handing suicidal/homicidal clients, HIV.
~    Consult with a knowledgeable attorney, when necessary

http://www.tennlegal.com/files/430/File/Statistics_of_Ethical_Violations.pdf

APA’s Tips to Avoid Ethical Pitfalls

~    Understand what constitutes a multiple relationship
~    Whose needs are being served?
~    Is the client being exploited?
~    Protect Confidentiality
~    Discuss limits
~    Ensure safe storage of records
~    Know federal and state law is there a law requiring disclosure?
~    Obey mandatory reporting laws

APA’s Tips to Avoid Ethical Pitfalls
~    Obtain informed consent at the start of treatment
~    Type of treatment to be provided and alternatives
~    Cost and expected duration of treatment
~    Confidentiality
~    Identify your client and role
~    Understand who you were hired to help and what is expected of you
~    Document properly
~    Guidelines at www.apa.org/practice/recordkeeping.html
~    Practice only where you have expertise

Ethical Documentation
~    Some specifics to include in documenting therapeutic interactions, according to the guidelines and ethics experts:
~    Identifying information and first contact.
~    Relevant history and risk factors, medical status and attempts to get prior treatment records.
~    Dates of service and fees.
~    Diagnostic impressions, assessments, treatment plans, consultation, summary and supporting data, and progress notes. Include not only the treatments chosen, but treatments considered and rejected.
Ethical Documentation
~    Some specifics to include in documenting therapeutic interactions, according to the guidelines and ethics experts:
~    Informed-consent documentation, consent to audiotape or videotape
~    Release of information and documentation of any releases
~    Relevant telephone calls and out-of-office contacts.
~    Follow-up efforts when clients “drop out of sight.”
~    Details necessary so another provider could take over in your absence.
http://www.apa.org/monitor/jan03/10ways.aspx
APA’s Tips to Avoid Ethical Pitfalls
~    Know the difference between abandonment and termination
~    Treatment can be discontinued when clients:
~    Are not benefiting from treatment
~    May be harmed by treatment
~    No longer need therapy
~    Threaten the counselor
~    Pre-termination counseling involve the client in the process.  Discharge planning begins at admission
~    Abandonment is when
~    The client drops out of treatment and the therapist doesn’t follow up
~    The therapist “discharges” the client without appropriate referrals
APA’s Tips to Avoid Ethical Pitfalls
~    Stick to the evidence when giving an expert opinion, conducting an assessment or documenting
~    Identify what you know and do not know

Summary
~    Ethics involves constant awareness of the clinician’s own motivations and attention to the client’s best interest
~    Effective documentation can eliminate many sources of confusion at the beginning and can support a clinician in a legal situation
~    Annually read any changes to your state statutes to ensure you are not violating any legal and ethical dictates
~    When in doubt, consult other professionals, ethics committees and/or your attorney

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