Ethics and Counseling: a Case Study

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Ethical Issues in Counseling: A Case Study
Michael Cronin
Capella University
COUN5217 – Ethical and Legal Issues in Professional Counseling
Professors Kornegay and Young
September 9, 2012


Abstract
In this paper, the author will examine a case study through the lens of ethical decision-making in counseling. The case study involves a 41 year old Native American male who is in counseling for alcohol and substance abuse issues. The client is also HIV-infected. The study presents at least two potential client-related ethical issues that the counselor must navigate by utilizing an ethical decision-making heuristic. Several ethical decision-making paradigms are examined, including Corey, Corey, & Callanan’s Rational Model; Kitchener’s Principle-Ethics Model; Cottone’s Social Constructivist Model; Davis’s Collaborative Model; Tarvydas’s Integrative Model; and Garcia, Cartwright, Winston, and Borzuchowska’s Transcultural Integrative Model. The ethical issues outlined in the case scenario are examined using the Garcia, et al., heuristic. Finally, the author’s own understanding of the impact of his personal values and beliefs relative to the case scenario are presented, along with a brief discussion of the impact of cultural awareness on the critical issue of ethics in counseling.

Case Scenario

Bobby is a 41-year-old man who has been seeing you for counseling to address issues with alcohol and marijuana abuse. Bobby's mother is Native American and he spent his childhood living on a reservation in Arizona. Both he and his mother were physically abused by his father; at the age of 12 they left the reservation and relocated to live with relatives in a large city. His mother passed away last year.

Bobby is HIV-positive due to use of intravenous (IV) drugs in his early 20s. He has not used IV drugs for over 15 years and has been working closely with a physician to maintain his health and monitor any symptoms that emerge. He has not disclosed his HIV...

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