Individuals shape their decisions and lives upon cultural and personal values or ethics. Ethics are major influences in one??™s life. It refers to what is right and wrong in what humans ought to do in society. I believe ethics are essential in creating ones moral fiber and values. They assist and provide guidance. In mental health counseling, counselors will often face ethical dilemmenas and is for this reason it is essential that one must know and understand the Codes of Ethics that will guide me as when I become a Mental Health Counselor. Many ethical issues may arise, as I become a professional counselor. A counselor??™s personal life will come into ethical issues that may come into affect client-counselor relationship. Countertransference is an ethical issue that concerns me. Countertransference can be considered, in the broad sense, any projections by therapists that distort the way they perceive and react to a client. (Corey, Corey, and Callanan, 2011). I am concerned about counter transference, as it relates to being overprotective, seeing myself in clients and giving advice and how it will play a role in my effectiveness as a Mental Health Counselor.
The need to be overprotective with a client is an area I must explore. My nature is to protect others, especially those who appear to need protecting, apper to need some type of help or less fortunate. I was raised this way and in the course of my life have always stepped in and protected those who I perceived as needing help wanted or unwanted. My ethical concern lies in handling clients who I deem as needing protection. Whether it is from themselves, others, or in
life. My role as a counselor will be to assist clients in making effective goals. If I am seeing a
client who I want to guard from pain or hurt, because I assume they cannot take it. I may try to present ideas, or help them set a goal I feel ???safe??? for them. I must become aware on how I react to those I want to be overprotective with and explore within myself the need to do this. I will have to personal and ethical checks and balances to keep myself in line and ethical.
Another form of countertransference I see as an ethical problem is seeing myself in others. As an African American woman, a recovering addict, and over comer of childhood sexual abuse, I find seeing myself in clients as an ongoing issue. What concerns me, is can I be objective Can I separate my feelings When a client who is seeking treatment for childhood abuse and their progression is moving slow. The question arises can I remain ethical in wanting them to deal with their issues at their pace or the pace I feel is better. When it comes to working with clients in recovery. Will I come down hard or soft on a client in recovery if they relapse If I sense they are not taking their recovery too serious, can I remain professional Or get overly concerned these are all concerns of mine. In order to keep myself professional I will have to continually work with my personal issues with recovery and overcoming childhood sexual abuse.
Giving advice can and happen with anyone who has an opinion. Giving advice to clients can result into becoming the one with all the answers and the best advice. I have to question does
giving advice to clients make me feel wanted and needed If I give my advice instead of letting the client make his or her own decision, am I am fulfilling my role as a counselor. If a client
My advice on a subject that I feel strongly against, can I keep my personal feelings in check and remain neutral What if during my advice giving I go into self-disclosure, and this changes the dynamics of the client- counselor relationship. To keep myself ethical, I will have to explore and take personal inventory if I am being therapeutic, or just giving advice.
In conclusion, counter transference becomes problematic when it is not recognized, monitored, and managed. Destructive or harmful counter transference occurs when a counselor??™s own needs or unresolved personal conflicts become entangled in the therapeutic relationship, obstructing or destroying a sense of objectivity. (Corey et al 2011). In order to avoid this in my personal and professional life I must continually work on my personal issues. I also must learn as the code of ethics for a Mental Health Counselor, and do self-appraisal on a regular basis.
Corey, G, Corey, M, Callanan, P. (2011) Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions