Professional Counselors : Ethics, And Maryland 's Board Regulations

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Ethical Vignette Paper 2
Kristen L. Pruitt
Liberty University

Professional counselors deal with many legal and ethical issues in the course of treating clients. Some of the issues they may come across include dual relationships, boundaries, bartering, sexual relationships, gift giving, touching a client, and how to begin or end treatment. Some of these issues may seem straightforward in theory, but they can become complicated in practice. In these cases, if possible, a counselor should seek consultation before making any decisions. Ethical dilemmas are an area where professional counselors should continually receive consultation and ongoing education. This paper provides a summary of how a video presentation, the ACA Code of Ethics, and Maryland’s board regulations for professional counselors handle dual relationships, boundaries, gift giving, touch, and beginning and ending treatment. The paper will go on to discuss my reaction to these issues. Finally, I will discuss how I plan to apply what I have learned to my own counseling practice.

The video presentation, Legal and ethical issues for mental health professionals, Vol. 2: Dual relationship boundaries, standards of care & termination (Feldman & Sommers, 2010), is broken up into four vignettes: dual relationships and boundaries, gift giving and touch, beginning treatment, and terminating treatment. Boundary violations occur when there is no clinical purpose for a
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