Many people use counselling skills during their working lives. For example a good nurse will listen to the concerns and worries of a sick patient or a college lecturer might have to give one to one tutorials where a students social/home life may be discussed if it is affecting their studies.
â€˜Psychotherapy is concerned with personality change whereas counselling is concerned with helping an individual change his or her own coping resourcesâ€™ (Tyler 1967).
Carl Rogers used the term counselling when he was prevented from calling himself a psychotherapist in the USA in the 1920â€™s (Bond and Shea, 2000). A counsellor will have trained for a minimum of three years to gain a ...view middle of the document...
Practitioners of counselling should respect their clientsâ€™ autonomy by open and honest information about what is being offered. The counselling process should at all times be in the best interests of the client, based on the professional assessment of the practitioner. The practitioner will be committed to beneficence, to this end will receive ongoing supervision, and continued professional development. It is important that practitioners know their own limits of competence and provide services that they are trained or experienced to supply.
The professional practitioner will be committed to non-malfeasance, avoiding harm to the client, avoiding any form of exploitation, incompetence, or malpractice. To this end counselling should not be provided if the practitioner is unfit due to personal circumstances and, where appropriate challenge any malpractice or client exploitation. (Ashcroft et al, BACP 2009).
Services should be distributed fairly to all clients impartially. Practitioners have a duty to appreciate the difference between people and provide accessible and appropriate services. The BACP framework uses the term â€˜justiceâ€™ to describe this.
The BACP gives value to self-respect, stating that practitioners seek opportunities for personal development such as counselling, training, and professional development. It states that there is an â€˜ethical responsibility to use supervision for appropriate personal and professional supportâ€™ (Ashcroft et al, BACP 2009).
Most professional codes of conduct share similar themes such as â€˜providing a high standard of practice and care, keep your skills and knowledge to dateâ€™, (Nursing and Midwifery Council Code of Practice)
The BACP code differs from this with its emphasis on confidentiality. The NMC code whilst stating that confidentially should be respected it goes on to state that information must be shared with colleagues. Whilst this is sensible in a nursing situation, working as a team, however if a counsellorâ€™s client suspected that information was being shared the counselling process would be damaged.
One definition of confidential is being entrusted with another's confidence or secret affairs, making confidentiality essential for a counsellor to allow clients to be open and frank during sessions. Dryden describes confidentiality as â€˜one of the defining aspects of the counselling relationshipâ€™ (2006). Clients must understand that counselling is a confidential process, however limits to what can be kept confidential do exist and those limits should be negotiated within the form of a contract between the client and practitioner. Bond (2000) discusses in depth confidentiality in counselling and the difficulties faced by counsellors choosing between confidentiality and other ethical, moral, or legal choices. He suggests that the safest way to resolve these dilemmas is to involve the client with the decision making process, whilst acknowledging...