318: Professional Ethics
Outline of KUPFER and KLATT Essay
PART I: EMPOWERMENT AND AUTONOMY
The basic issue is the common conflict of valuing both integrity and autonomy.
Clients’ claims/requests often conflict with those commitments
Specifically, when the client’s values differ from the professional’s values, client empowerment may reduce professional integrity
But changing behaviors is normally tied to a change in attitudes and values.
But why is autonomy valuable?
COUNSELING ASSUMES THAT
People should function as autonomously as is realistically possible.
This list of abilities and attitudes recognizes both external and internal barriers to problem solving.
Additional COMPETING VALUES embraced by counselors:
PART II: CONFLICTS
Three sources of conflict between professional and client:
The move to SECOND ORDER AUTONOMY: accept/reject those values on the basis of explicit understanding of them: one is more autonomous because one has now chosen one’s own values.
HOWEVER, there are two kinds of second order autonomy.
Should the counselor engage in values-clarification, or in justification?
Justification is not a problem if the client is already bothered by her/his existing values.
Justification may be necessary if the client is restricted by authoritarian values (e.g., military and religious values of obedience applied to non-military and non-religious situations)
THESIS OF THIS ESSAY: Values-clarification is not a problem if the client CANNOT solve immediate problems without engaging in it, or if the client invites discussion of them. But justification is too much to ask of clients; this can only be done if the client wants it.
But WHAT if the gap between client and professional causes the professional to become incapable of helping the client? In this case, the professional must engage in second order-autonomy, to determine whether their difference in values is, in fact, a barrier to client empowerment.
In short, values-clarification is required of all counselors, and it should be typical for all professionals. However, the strong version cannot be imposed on clients.
Last updated Feb. 17, 2009