Value Neutrality Essay

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Values Neutrality Charlotte Brady Grand Canyon University March 20, 2012 Can a Counselor remain value neutral? It has been argued that counselors should not express their values concerning subjects that would be considered sensitive or critical of their client’s behaviors. There are others who contend that articulating moral judgment is not only appropriate but necessary. The writer will examine both viewpoints in this paper. The argument given for not expressing values is based in the concept of “first do no harm” found in the ACA Ethics Code (2005). The proponents for this argument believe a counselor must not appear to judge the client. A counselor with strong values can inadvertently project those values and the client will perceive it negatively. Because values are so a part of the human identity and the way we view the world it is possible to assume that everyone holds the same basic assumptions and worldview as pointed out in the Ethics in Counseling lecture notes (2012). Consciously or unconsciously imposing one’s own values or rejecting a client’s values constitutes an ethical issue in counseling. . The orthodox view, that the counselor is a blank screen upon which the client projects his or her values, beliefs, and attitudes has been challenged in recent years (Patterson, 2000). The challenging view is that it is necessary and appropriate to make moral judgments. This view contends that being value free is not helpful or desirable in counseling. The argument is that values free counseling does not exist. All counselors impart their values into therapy in some degrees no matter how hard they try not to. Some counselors support direct instruction of the client. After all, if the counselor is a whole person and has achieved a degree of peace and stability why not instruct the client in a direction that affords him or her the
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