Ethical Issues in Counseling

606 Words2 Pages
Ethical Issues in Counseling There are many ethical issues that can arise during counseling. One issue that is fairly common is sexual attraction from patient to counselor, counselor to patient, or even in both directions. Even though an attraction may exist, this does not necessarily mean that these instincts will be followed in any inappropriate way. In fact attraction is a natural part of life and is impossible to avoid. However, any fulfillment of these desires is an unethical act that could not only be in violation of the code of ethics that a counselor is bound by, but it could also subject the counselor and their organization to litigation and legal action. It is important for a counselor to first recognize the sexual attraction and be aware of these feelings. It is often the case that a counselor will ignore these feelings or dismiss them given the rather taboo nature of the counselor viewing their patient as sexually attractive (Gallagher, 2010). The lack of acknowledgement of these feelings or urges can increase the risk that they could manifest. Identifying them is the first step in ensuring that appropriate responses can be developed that will allow the counselor to maintain their ethical integrity. Once the attraction is brought into the open there are many ways in which it can be handled. However, if the attraction is not identified then this puts both the client and counselor at an increased risk for damages to one or both parties. It is also common for
Open Document