Ethical Issues in Group Counseling Essay

2126 Words Jun 30th, 2014 9 Pages
Ethical Issues in Group Counseling

COUN 612: Mental Health Ethics, Law and Practice
April 28, 2011

Introduction
Group counseling offers multiple relationships to assist an individual in growth and problem solving. Groups are an excellent treatment choice for numerous intrapersonal and interpersonal issues, and in helping people to change. Groups provide a sense of community to its members allowing them to see that they are not alone. In group therapy sessions, members are encouraged to discuss the issues that brought them to therapy openly and honestly. It is the responsibility of the counselor to work to create an atmosphere of trust and acceptance that encourages members to support one another. This atmosphere is developed and
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It is the responsibility of the counselor to respect the basic rights of all members. Because of this responsibility, counselors must carefully select members and hold individual consultations with each member to discuss informed consent. This dialogue must also include the risks and benefits of group work (Israel, 2002). During this time it is important for the counselor to stress the importance of confidentiality within the group. A counselor cannot prevent a group member from speaking out during their personal lives, however a counselor must stress the importance of maintaining confidentiality as a way of demonstrating respect for protecting the disclosures of others in the group (Corey et al., 2010). It is a difficult task for the therapist to uphold the legal rights of each individual within the group especially since they have no control over the activities of members outside of the group. Therapists also may interact with group members away from the group setting and have to toe the line of what is and is not appropriate to discuss outside of the group setting (Israel, 2002). Many times counselors encounter less than enthusiastic clients.
Participation is sometimes an issue within the actual group. Some dilemmas might include involuntary participation, a member’s right to leave the group, and mandatory participation in various activities that take place during group. More and more counselors are dealing with and