Case Scenario A: Safety of Records Obtained During Counselling
Adherence to the legal and ethical standards is critical for one to deliver quality outcomes in counselling (Bhola & Raguram 2016, p.199). The Data Protection Act (DPA) 2003 provides that data shall be used for the purposes for which they were obtained. Brian can be informed that the law further requires that the acquired data shall not be kept longer than necessary and the client has the right to request for deletion of the data and the data handler is expected to erase it within forty days upon receiving the request (Data Protection Commission, 2018).
Data storage is a mechanism through which data collected is preserved to facilitate the achievement of the goal for which it was received (Kumar & Son, 2012, p.3). The data collector is legally obligated to come up with security safeguards to protect clients' data from unauthorised access, usage or destruction (Data Protection Commission, 2018). In context, the counsellor needs to assure Brian that necessary security safeguards have been instituted to protect his data against illegal access or use.
Besides the legal safeguards, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) requires counsellors to be trustworthy in handling their clients. Upholding trust entails having a mutual understanding of the obligations, expectations, and roles of the counsellor and the client (Holland, 2000, p.246). Thus, it is the responsibility of the counsellor in Brian's case to assure him that his data would be protected based on the relational trust between the two parties.
Case Scenario B: Equality and Anti-discrimination Practice
The Equality Act 2010 protects people from discrimination in the workplace based on their gender, race, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation or any other form of categorisation(Great Britain Parliament, 2010, pp.4-7). However, it is important to note that these provisions extend to protection of individual rights in other settings.
An organisation with a diverse workforce, for instance, can also attract intangible benefits of a good corporate image. The public and investors tend to view firms that have embraced employee diversity favorably (Waymer & Vanslette, 2013, pp.372-73; Saxena, 2014).In an era where equality is being emphasized all over the world, adoption of equality and non-discriminative policies would portray Sharon's organisation positively before would-be clients thereby acting as a marketing tool.
BACP requires practitioners to uphold justice while working as counsellors. Justice is considered to be the practice of exercising equality and fairness in dealing with individuals of different characteristics (Butler, 2015, pp.24-26). All counsellors expected to be fair and offer impartial treatment to all clients. Providing just counselling services has the potential to rectify social structures that discriminate against specific individuals or groups in society by dismantling institutions that promote inequality and social injustice (Palmer & Parish, 2013, p.279). Adopting the mentioned method may enhance quality outcomes and market Sharon's institution as an accomplished counselling destination.
Case Scenario C: Mental Health and Counselling
The Mental Health Act 2015 proposes measures for dealing with mentally disturbed patients. The Act requires that health and social workers assess the risks and support needs of their patients before any therapeutic intervention is implemented. The risks that need to be evaluated relate to the vulnerability of the patient to harm. The process includes diagnosis to ascertain the actual mental condition making the patient feel disturbed (UK Department of Health, 2015). For John, he should first seek the intervention of medical professionals to ascertain the condition of the client before commencing counselling services. Taking such action would enable him to understand the needs of the client and devise the appropriate counselling programs.
BACP 2017 guidelines require counsellors to exhibit beneficence while handling clients. The principle underscores the need for counsellors' actions to promote the overall well-being of the client. Promotion of well-being implies providing patients with the information that would help them avoid harm (Jenkins, 2017; Kwan, 2003, pp.2-3). Avoidance of harm does not necessarily mean that the counsellor provides the solution sought by the clients. Rather, it involves exploring even alternatives to come up with the best outcomes possible in the context of the client's condition, including seeking the opinion of physicians (Smith, Michero, & Fineran, 2014, p.16). Such steps allow the counsellor to approach each case depending on its therapy needs.
Case Scenario D: Confidentiality and Service Delivery
Susan may inform her client that BACP recommends that confidentiality is upheld in counselling services. The supervisory body requires that practising counsellors honour the trust that has been bestowed upon them by clients. Honouring the trust entails keeping the information that has been revealed to her as private as possible except when there is consent to do otherwise (BACP, 2018; Jenkins, 2007).
At the same time, Susan should inform Jason that DPA provides that client information is stored in a form that maintains the highest degree of confidentiality. Upholding confidentiality entails exercising reasonable care in the dissemination of the data by instituting restrictions on access and sharing of individual information. Confidentiality relates to both protection of data against unauthorised access and non-interference of the data by the persons keeping it (UK National Counselling Society 2018; Faria & Cordeiro 2014, pp.124-25). However, Susan needs to clarify that these provisions are limited in some circumstances.
The necessity to protect the safety and security of Jason or other members of the public can create the ground for Susan to reveal Jason's personal information. Moreover, information relating to issues such as sexual abuse to minors must be disclosed because the laws make it mandatory for some abuses to be reported to the relevant authorities (Bond & Mitchels, 2014; Fisher, 2013, p.22). In this respect, Susan should sensitise Jason that a court order can obligate her to reveal his private information to third parties.
Case Scenario E: Fitness to Practice as a Counsellor
BACP emphasize the principle of self-respect in practice. Self-respect involves caring for oneself as a practitioner to attain the right physical and mental state necessary to work effectively as counsellor without jeopardizing personal well-being and that of the clients. It also entails acquiring knowledge relating to one's fitness to practice (BACP, 2018).Counselling as a profession can be stressful as counsellors seek to meet the expectations of clients and the standards of the industry (Bor & Palmer, 2008, p.209). By going for chemotherapy, Wendy creates the opportunity to acquire the mental and physical strength needed for one to offer effective counselling services.
The health of the counsellor is critical for him/ her to deliver quality services to their clients. For this reason, employers' organisational practices accords employees time-offs to seek medical services. This is meant to prevent the possibility of the medical conditions of the counsellor from spilling over to the patients. For instance, a sick counsellor may suffer from depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and reduced personal accomplishment (Morse et al., 2012, p.341). As such, it is important for Wendy to take a break from his profession to undergo chemotherapy as it will help her rejuvenate and serve her clients better.
Case Scenario F: Conselling and Client Preferences
Referring clients to other counsellors requires that the referring counsellors interrogate the reason for the client's decision to seek for referrals. In this situation, it is essential that the counsellor facilitate the desire of the client regarding access to the preferred counsellor (Rao, 2002, p.111). Given this, Susan should do all that is necessary to facilitate Dominic's access to a counsellor of same sexual orientation. According to Rao (2002), such step would ensure that clients' conditions are not compounded by perceived feelings of stigma.
According to the BACP regulations, clients must be accorded autonomy in matters relating to counselling. The principle of autonomy obligates counsellors to respect the client's right to self-governing and personal preferences. Granting clients the freedom to decide on who offers the counselling and at what time or place. This enhances the possibility of better outcomes due to increased willingness to share information to people who have similar characteristics or interests (Feltham, & Horton, 2017). Therefore, Susan should consider the overall interests of the client as he has the right dispute the treatment programs that have designed by her based on his best assessment of the potential benefits of receiving services from a different counsellor.
Scenario G: Appointment
Conducting counselling in a mental facility can be an involving undertaking. This is an environment in which some patients could pose a threat to the counsellors. Given the hostile environment, the practitioner's self-knowledge about the restrictive nature of patients in this facility is crucial for effective service delivery as supervision in this environment is closely done to avoid harm to the counsellor and the clients (UK Department of Health, 2015). In respect to the case scenario, there would be the need for Dominic to seek for awareness on the restrictions imposed on clients due to their vulnerability to harm. The restrictions are enforced in the form of special rules and procedures on hospital supervision.
The BACP require that beneficence is upheld in circumstances when offering counselling in a facility with clients with mental challenges. All practitioners are expected to commit themselves to promote the client's well-being, including detentions on clients in facilities with mentally impaired persons for the sake of their safety (BACP, 2018). So, Dominic would need to seek help to cope with volatile nature of a mental health facility and the support offered should aim at reducing the risk that he faces in the mental hospital as an internee and also that of other patients.
Scenario H: Ethical Principles and Moral Qualities
The development of an unproductive relationship between clients and counsellors is a regular occurrence in the counselling profession. Often, clients develop attitudes that are negative to counsellors depending on their perceptions about the previous experiences (Rao, 2002). In the case of Dawn, Christine can address the issues raised by Dawn by applying principles of justice, trustworthiness, and autonomy. Justice implies a display of fairness to the client's needs without any prejudicial treatment predicated on his disability. As Jun (2017) explains, the need for justice in counselling obligates counsellors to treat each client equally as well as avail resources to clients regardless of who they are regarding physical appearance.
Being trustworthy in any social setting is indispensable for a healthy relationship to grow between two or more individuals. The BACP prescribes that the practitioner must honour all that has entrusted to him/her by the clients. For instance, trust determines the extent to which the client can be willing to share information with the counsellor (Jenkins, 2007). Hence, Christine must demonstrate to Dawn that what is discussed in counselling sessions is restricted to the client-patient 'territories.' This would convince Dawn that Christine is genuinely interested in solving his psychological needs.
Autonomy is the ma...
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