Counseling Skills in Ethical Framework Counseling entails talking therapy that enables an individual to discuss their problems or feelings in appropriate situation and confidential manner. One of the key counseling skills is empathy. Empathy puts the counselor in the situation of the client. Empathy enables the counselor to address the negative thoughts and feelings of the client. In some cases, counseling illustrates the general talking therapies; however, counseling can be considered a unique therapy type (Taylor, 2000). Examples of other therapies are; relationship therapy, psychotherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Counseling entails the process where an individual temporarily occupies the counselor responsibility and provides time, respect and focus to another individual in the temporary role of the client.
Counseling provides the client with the chance to explore approaches of living resourcefully for improved well-being (Brackett, 2005). Empathy entails the ability of recognizing emotions of another individual. For sympathy and compassion to be realized and individual must adequately empathize with the concerned individual. Empathy enables the counselor to understand the condition and position of the client. There are several issues that relate to empathy.
The counselor must understand the private world of the client, and be comfortable with it. The counselor must temporarily put him/herself in the life of the client. The counselor must not judge the behavior or opinion of the client. The counselor must be able to communicate the situation of the client appropriately. During the counseling session the counselor should temporarily ignore his or her views, so as to fully concentrate on the situation of the client (Simon, 2009). Ethics is applied in counseling in several ways. Ethical diversity is analyzed through principles, moral values and finally principles.
Ethics in counseling illustrates the accepted or appropriate standards of behavior in the society as counseling practitioners. In the counseling practice, there are five ethics sources; utilitarian, rights, virtue, common and fairness approaches (Banyard, 2002). Utilitarian approach illustrates that ethical behavior provides the least harm and greatest good. Increasing good, entails assisting clients overcome their life challenges and problems. Rights approach explains that ethical behavior protects the moral rights of individuals. Human beings need adequate levels of dignity, fairness and freedom in their lives.
For example, clients during counseling sessions require confidentiality to be observed. This ensures enough protection of their human dignity (Cleckly, 2001). The client s and counselors must also observe privacy during counseling sessions. This is to ensure that no third party disrupts the session. Greek philosophers have championed the idea that individuals must always be treated equally; this ensures fairness standards are observed during counseling sessions. In a counseling facility, the procedures must be followed equally, to ensure justice for all clients. Common good improves the welfare or conditions of everyone (Rich, 2001).
This may be through enacting laws that favor all members of the society. a good example is enactment of laws that enhance counseling services in correctional facilities. This ensures that inmates understand the acceptable behaviors in the society. The inmates will apply the appropriate behavior after leaving the correction facility. Virtue approach illustrate that ethical behavior is in line with ideal virtues existing in the society. The virtues enable people to achieve greater character potential through honesty, love, fairness and tolerance. There are two major types of empathy in counseling; affective or emotional empathy, and cognitive empathy.
Affective empathy entails the capability of responding through proper emotions to the situation of others. This is very important for counselors, as it ensures effective understanding of the problem faced by the client. Cognitive empathy entails ability to understand perspectives of others. This enables the counselor to know the thoughts and opinion of the clients (Brackett, 2005). This creates an understanding counseling environment. Affective empathy is further classified into two; empathic concern and personal distress.
Empathic concern illustrates compassion to other individuals due to level of suffering. Personal distress means self centered anxiety because of suffering of other people. Cognitive empathy is also divided into two; fantasy and perspective taking. Fantasy involves understanding fictional characters; while perspective taking enables understanding of psychological perspectives (Vendemiati, 2004). The major ethical principles in counseling are justice and self respect. Self respect means that the practitioner must seek care and knowledge. This ensures his/her professional advancement. Justice entails ensuring fairness to all individuals seeking help, though observing human rights (Guy, 2014).
The moral qualities needed by practitioners are competence, humility and integrity. Competence means using appropriate skills and experience to address the problems of clients. Humility means understanding the weaknesses and knowledge of self. Integrity ensures the counselor is moral in all aspects of the counseling process. The counseling values include; protecting human rights, enhancing integrity and appreciating human experience (Lafollette, 2014). Counseling helps the clients to overcome factors that results in pain or suffering. It provides safe environment for discussing difficult situations. The responsibility of the counselor is to respect and support the behavior and opinions of the clients.
The practitioners assist the clients to get an understanding of their problems, and most appropriate solutions. Bibliography Banyard, P. (2002). Psychology in practice: Health. London, England: Hodder & Stoughton Educational. Brackett, W. (2005). “Emotional Intelligence and Relationship Quality. ” Personal Relationships. Cleckly, H. (2001). The Mask of Sanity: an attempt to reinterpret the So-Called Psychopathic Personality. St. Louis, MO: Mosby. Guy, C. (2014). The Ethics of Art. Valiz: Amsterdam. Lafollette, H. (2014). Ethics in Practice: An Anthology. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell. Rich, D. (2001). The Hare Psychopath Checklist.
Toronto: Multi Health Systems. Simon, B. (2009). "Autism: The Empathizing–Systemizing (E-S) Theory". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Taylor, S. (2000). “Health psychology. ” American Psychologist. Vendemiati, A. (2004). In the First Person, an Outline of General Ethics. Rome, Urbaniana University Press.
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