Ethics in Group Therapy

2993 Words12 Pages
Abstract The purpose of this paper is to show how ethics play a significant role in the success of group therapy. Group therapy sessions can be very beneficial and can also have different results than individual therapy due to the dynamics of what goes on in a group including things like exercises. A group an work off each others ideas and socialize in ways that are similar to role play. The ethical boundaries established by the leader early on in the beginning stages of the group will set the tone for how the group runs, processes, and respects each other. Expectations of issues like confidentiality must ethically be addressed so the clients understand the severity of the information they are being asked to keep private. Given the leader addresses all ethical concerns are and re-addresses them if necessary, the group stands to have a very successful outcome. Ethical concerns effect many professions including Human Services. Group counseling is no exception. Many issues can arise that potentially effect one or all of a group if their leader does not follow proper ethical guidelines. Issues such as boundaries, confidentiality, cohesiveness, personal growth, dual relationships, proper knowledge, exercises used during groups, group therapy verses individual therapy, and informing group members about group specifics can all play a part in how effective the group will be on a long term basis. Ethical boundaries are there for very specific purposes. According to the National Ethics Committee, ethics "define the professional relationship as fundamentally respectful and protective of the patient and as dedicated to the patient’s well being and best interests" (National Assoc. of Social Workers, 2003). In a group setting this could include having dual relationships with a member, or members. A relationship in which the therapeutic has more than
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