Essay on Ethics in Action

Submitted By Colleen22
Words: 2073
Pages: 9


When approaching divorce, it is always a difficult issue. So many variables and different people involved (husband, wife, children). If this woman were my client I would want to approach it very differently than the counselor in the presentation. It is obviously a very difficult and painful decision that she is dealing with and has been a source of pain leading up to this. I would want to begin with exploring what the client’s goals were in meeting with me. I would fully utilize the informed consent to address her needs and expectations from the therapeutic relationship. I would want to be more empathetic to her current situation and try to understand more fully what it was she was looking for in our meeting together. Once the purpose of the therapy was determined, I would work from there. Overall, I would want to discuss her feelings regarding the divorce, the changes she is expecting from this decision, how she came to this decision and if there were areas to explore; possibly meeting with her husband to discuss it further? Or any apprehensions she may have regarding the decision. The reason for my approach would be to listen to her, get a better feel for where she’s at in her head and let her know I was in her corner to work towards the goals she envisioned. Ideally this would allow me to get better perspective while simultaneously building her trust and increasing her comfort level.

My personal values are that when you take the sacred vow of marriage, “till death do you part”, does not mean until this relationship dies. It means to me, that the relationship is sacred until the day I leave this Earth. I believe in the sanctity of marriage in the truest sense and believe it is something that requires constant attention, dedication and work. With this being said, I am completely open to the fact that others may not employ these same commitments to marriage, or that their circumstances may be so different that alternative decisions need to be explored. I am comfortable working with people who are exploring divorce or who have already made the decision to divorce their spouse. I do not believe that my personal feelings would interfere as I believe each individual’s situation is unique and a reflection of their reality.

In terms of the ethical principle of autonomy, the client who is looking to divorce her spouse has the right to determine her path with respect to her marriage. It is her life, her situation and the manner in which she addresses the challenge or break in her marriage is ultimately her decision. As a counselor, I need to respect that. It is proper to explore the feelings and decision-making but not in a judgmental or biased manner. Corey et al. define nonmaleficence “ as means of avoiding doing harm, which includes refraining from actions that risk hurting clients” (Corey, p. 20, 2011). In this specific situation, it would be harmful to impose my beliefs or demean the client in any way by judging her actions or thought process regarding the divorce. It is beneficence that should be practiced with our clients in order to protect them, respect them and advocate for their well-being. And with respect to fidelity, it correlates to the informed consent that I would dissect with the client so as to thoroughly address the relationship, anticipated goals, and necessary specifics to fully educate the client and function in a clearly defined relationship. In doing so, it is essential to earn the client’s trust and provide the necessary environment for the client to thrive and achieve their goals.

Doing It My Way

When approaching this young lady, it is important to listen to where she is coming from and get more information regarding her current state of mind regarding her parents. There is obviously more to the story and it is being lost in her anger, frustration and flippant remarks. As her counselor, I would not internalize or personalize the disrespectful manner in which she is discussing her