Classmate #-1-Kevin K.
Good Morning Esteemed Colleagues and Dr. Walker,
This morning I will be sharing some insights regarding ethical conflicts in career counseling. In this particular case, I am to find a potential personal/ethical moral issue that may impact my work as a career counselor. In light of this situation, I will examine the specific ethical codes that apply to the case selected. I will also discuss how I would go about handling the situation and the resources I could potentially use to come up with the best response.
It was difficult coming up with an ethical issue since I like to think I am accepting of all persons. However, the Week 5 Career Counselor interview did give me the ethical issue I needed for this discussion post as I believe I put her in the ethical situation I am about to discuss. The situation is that I intend to retire from my job at the university in NN years. At that point, I intend to take a job, potentially at a competitor in the career counseling field. So here is my ethical situation: I have made the transition to career counselor at Big Time University. I love my job, and all the people I work with. I have a great reputation of helping people discover their true paths in life, and word has gotten out that talking to me has helped these people tremendously. My coworker, “Joe”, who is “the guy” when it comes to the University network walks into my office for a chat. Joe informs me he is dissatisfied with his job, and wants some help transitioning to a new role at another university. I know that if Joe walks away from the university, network issues will surely happen and could take considerable time and effort to resolve. My ethical issue is if I help Joe transition out, I could be putting the university in a precarious situation. On the other hand, I can talk Joe off the ledge and convince him that leaving the university would be a bad idea, and he needs to work it out somehow. What do I do?
My first step is to determine if there are any ethical codes that apply to my case. My first stop was to Appendix A in the text to research the National Career Development Association Standards (Niles & Harris-Bowlsbey, 2012). I see that as a career counselor, I have a responsibility to both the client I am serving (Joe) and to the institution in which the services are being performed (Big Time University). Reading further, I see in Section 9 that I need to “avoid engaging in activities that meet my personal needs at the expense of the client” (Niles & Harris-Bowlsbey, 2012, APP-2). By discouraging Joe from pursuing other opportunities, I am self-serving my personal needs. It would appear to me that Joe’s well-being trumps the needs of the university and that providing guidance to Joe is more important than potential network problems at the university.
If a real situation like the one presented itself again, I would most certainly look at the codes of conduct provided by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), National Career Development Association (NCDA), and the American Counseling Association (ACA). By having a cross check of the guidelines provided by these institutions, I should be in compliance within ethical boundaries of my profession.
National Career Development Association. (2015). Code of ethics. Retrieved from http://ncda.org/aws/NCDA/asset_manager/get_file/3395
Niles, S. & Harris-Bowlsbey, J. (2012). Career development interventions in the 21st century (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson
Classmate #-2-Kaitlyn P.
Career Development Ethics
An ethical issue that can arise for career counselors involves the complex topic of boundaries (Shiau, 2006). In a counseling situation, the counselor needs to set clear and professional boundaries to ensure that the relationship stays professional. It is important for a counselor to be honest with themselves about where the boundaries are for each client because it can vary depending on the client. Should a counselor always provide their personal cell phone number to clients or should they provide their email address? Boundaries are necessary to protect the counselor from being taken advantage of and to teach the client that they need to learn to not only rely on one person for every little situation that arises (Granas, 2011). Unless there is an emergency, counselors should only be providing assistance during counseling sessions. If a clingy client calls their counselor every time they feel stressed, even late at night, the counselor will need to set a boundary explaining that the client can email or write down all the times they feel stressed and during their scheduled sessions they can discuss these situations.
In extreme cases, boundary violations can lead to abuse of power and sexual exploitation (Webb, 1997). By properly training new counselors on ways to avoid any mismanagement of situations, these issues can be avoided (Webb, 1997). Clients seeking career counseling are often feeling vulnerable and are seeking guidance so if the counselor does not have clear boundaries the situation can become unethical and uncomfortable. Maintaining proper boundaries in a counseling relationship is not always easy but is necessary to avoid having any ethics violations.
Granas, M. (2011, December 12) The Ability to Establish and Maintain Boundaries. Retrieved from https://www.southernoregon.va.gov/SOUTHERNOREGON/features/The_Strength_of_Boundaries.asp (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Shiau, S. (2008). A Review of Boundary Issues in Counseling: Multiple Roles and Responsibilities. Counseling &Values. Vol. 52 Issue 2, p172-174.
Webb, S. (1997). Training for maintaining appropriate boundaries in counseling. British Journal of Guidance & Counseling. Vol. 25 Issue 2, p175.
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