In today’s society more and more people are experiencing life struggles when it comes to family. These issues can range from problems in a marriage, challenges with children and the understating of self as it correlates to the role one plays. Families are social systems that are always undergoing growth, change and turning points. However, it is the family system and the components that help stabilize them so that if families can’t adjust to change, the capability of the family and its individual members can be compromised. As family structure is critical to the development of an individual and their behavior.
In couple and family therapy/counseling there are so many different types of techniques that are out there but should be used and looked upon not a cure, but a system to help organize the family. As a therapist we must be aware of ethical issues for example confidentiality, be aware of dual relationship situation and respect differences in beliefs and ethnicity. For the counseling profession to be ethical and hold professional recognition, there are many features that need to be studied and outlined to make sure all counselors and practitioners are functioning at the highest level and withholding their duties required by the counseling profession. Every approach or theory introduces ethical concerns that need to be taken into consideration by the entire counseling community and how each can positively and negatively affect client.
According to Oxford dictionary confidentiality is defined as “a set of rules or a promise that limits access or places restrictions on certain types of information”. When working with a couple, therapist must be very careful if one of the couple admits to an affair without their spouse’s knowledge. But also, the therapist must be vigilant not to cause any harm by keeping the client’s spouse in the dark about the affair. It is important to consider: your responsibilities to both the couple and the individuals when defining who the client is, whether to hold individual sessions with everyone involved in couple therapy, and what actions to take if one member of a couple discloses information that the other partner does not know. Building a relationship between a therapist and client is very important in effective therapy.
Another ethical issue is dual relationship. First, not all dual relationship is unethical for example inescapable contact with clients at a restaurant or at the groceries store these encounters are brief and passing and do not pose any significant ethical challenge. However, “Some boundary issues raise serious and troubling ethical questions. The most egregious circumstances involve exploitation of clients, for example, when a therapist becomes sexually involved with a client.” (Reamer 2012). It is significant to restate that not all dual relationships are unethical. The task is to use good judgment, consistent with current ethical standards, to distinguish between the two.
Accomplishing a satisfying union between the client and the therapies is depends upon the ability to connect and understanding not only the client feeling but also their beliefs and ethnicity. When the clients have different belief and ethnicity, that can may raise a conflict between both the client and the therapist due to lack of considerate and mindfulness of the therapist towards client’s ethnicity and beliefs association. Belief and ethnicity can influence a client’s experience of self and others in a variety of ways. A client’s personal belief and ethnicity can influence the experience within the context of therapy through the set of beliefs into the section. Specially, if the client’s beliefs or ethnicity does not usually seek therapy for their problems, or even believe in therapist. A responsible of a will take this into consideration. The therapist must practice these skills to build on the therapeutic relationship. Successful joining with the client begins with making the client feel understood, respected and cared for by attending to what the client is saying, acknowledging what is being said and to put that into consideration.
To one, culture and community may seem that they are very similar. Yes, there are some similarities between the two, but if you further interpret them, they become more diverse. “Culture is defined as the shared traditions, beliefs, customs, history, folklore, and institutions of a group of people. Culture is shared by people of the same ethnicity, language, nationality, or religion. It’s a system of rules that are the base of what we are and affect how we express ourselves as part of a group and as individuals”. Community is what people experience on a personal level. Culture is about the whole environment, and the community is about the people within the culture, and their personal relationships. In other for a therapist to have an understanding of client’s culture and community, “An effective therapist must be respectful of other people’s ways of doing things without giving up the right to question what appears to be counterproductive.” (Nichol, 2012) and learning to respect diversity and developing sensitivity to some of the issues faced by members of other cultures and community groups. And mostly importantly a therapist should not assume they know all about the client culture and community or everything is a norm.