Personal Moral And Legal Issues

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In some cases the counsellor is to advise the client but not to act for them (with the exception of threats of harm to self or others). As an individual, Ray is facing many dilemmas and obstacles in the context of his actions as he himself states, “I knew from a textbook standpoint it was wrong… it’s different when you’re in it…” However, given the nature of this case and the information that Ray shared during our sessions the dilemma is mine. I must adhere to ethical, professional, moral and legal issues as Ray works in an advocacy role with young people.

“…The challenge of working ethically means that practitioners will inevitably encounter situations where there are competing obligations…” (The BACP 2013 pg. 3)

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Bond (2010) suggests that the general moral principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, justice, fidelity, self-respect, should underlie any ethical decision-making. The BACP (2013) notes the principle of autonomy emphasises the importance of developing Ray’s ability to be self-directing and self-governing through contracting. Ray has referred himself to counselling and is a fee paying client looking for a space to articulate his issues. The essence of this principle is Ray’s freedom of choice and action. My job is to encourage Ray to try and make his own decisions and act according to his own values. The BACP (2015 section 7:25) outlines,

“… We will protect the confidentiality by actively protecting information from unauthorised disclosures…”

I would work with Ray to motivate him that the information needs to be disclosed as he is working and socialising with minors in his workplace and further afield. Keeping in mind the BACP (2015 section 8: 33c) I would ensure that reasonable care is taken to separate the distinction between my personal and professional presence. Ray is entering freely into a counselling relationship and should be aware of the contract law including confidentiality and its limitations. Entwistle et al (2010) comment that the respect for autonomy is usually associated with enabling patients
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