What do you do when your values conflict with those held by clients? According to the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics (2014), counselors avoid imposing their own values (A.4.b.). Yet, in reality, this is not an easy task. Counselors inadvertently convey their values to clients through nonverbal responses, microagressions, and selective attention to client disclosures (Francis & Dugger, 2014). Because counselors understand the harm that can come from inadvertently imposing values, values-based referrals are common practice (Cormier & Nurius, 2003).
At first glance, these referrals are aligned with the ethical mandate that clinicians stop counseling when they may harm clients or clients will not benefit from services (A.11.b.). However, language added to the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics clarifies that counselors need to be careful when referring clients based upon a values conflict. In these situations, counselors are encouraged to “use a credible model of decision making that can bear public scrutiny of its application” (ACA, 2014, Preamble).
Despite this guidance, few of these ethical decision-making models have been empirically validated (Levitt & Hartwig-Moorhead, 2014) and little research exists on how professional counselors actually use ethical decision-making models in real-life practice. Literature and experience reveal that professionals tend to rely more on gut reactions and brief consultations with others than they do on decision-making models.
In this 2-hour continuing education web conference, Stephanie Dailey, EdD will discuss practical, real-life strategies for addressing or reconciling values conflicts. Based on a thorough review of professional literature, extensive clinical and supervisory experience, and theoretically grounded models of ethical decision-making, participants will explore common values-laden ethical dilemmas and the parameters around client referrals. Participants will also learn how to identify a values conflict and strategies to navigate these challenging ethical dilemmas.
This introductory instructional level web conference is designed to help clinicians:
Statement of program material's accuracy, utility, and risks: The contents of this program are based primarily on the ethics codes of these professional organizations: AAMFT, ACA, ASCA, APA, NASW, and NBCC. Contents are also guided by commonalities in state law and commonalities across various professional counseling settings in the United States. Some interpretation and analysis presented is made by the presenter, in consultation with knowledgeable colleagues and expert consultants. Statements about approval or denial of services and ethical parameters regarding liability and malpractice are according to presenter’s understanding of ethical guidelines, generalized clinical policies, and state regulations at the time of the program. The presenter may not know how to apply all principles discussed to every situation or person. This program discusses strategies for complying with ethical responsibilities for documentation and advocacy according to the above listed ethics codes. It may not include information on all applicable state laws. Misapplication of the materials, or errors in the materials, could result in denial of payment, denial of mental health services, or non-compliance with applicable laws or ethics codes.
Declaration of conflicts of interest and commercial support: None
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2 CE contact hours will be provided by GoodTherapy for attending this web conference in its entirety.
GoodTherapy is an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within Legal, Ethical, and Professional Development.
GoodTherapy is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.
GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 3/30/2022 – 3/30/2025. Social workers completing this course receive 2 ethics continuing education credits.
GoodTherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
GoodTherapy, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
GoodTherapy, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.
To receive CE credit hours for an archived event, you will need to complete a survey as well as a 12 or 15-question exam, verifying that you listened to or watched the event in its entirety. Archived CE events generally are considered "homestudy" by licensing boards.
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Dr. Stephanie F. Dailey is an Assistant Professor in the Counseling and Development Program at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia, a National Certified Counselor, and an Approved Clinical Supervisor.
Dr. Dailey is a past-president of the Association for Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Values in Counseling (2016-2017); past-president of the Maryland Counseling Association (2015-2016); and former co-chair of the ACA Ethics Committee (2015-2016). She has also served on the ACA Ethics Appeals Committee, the ASERVIC Ethics Committee (2008-2013), and as a member and chair of a university Institutional Review Board (2012-2017).
In addition to teaching ethics to masters and doctoral students, Dr. Dailey has published and presented extensively on topics such as the ethical integration of spirituality and religion in counseling, managing counselor/client values conflicts, ethics in counseling leadership, ethical decision-making, and clinical assessment.