Singapore University of Social Sciences

Ethics in Counselling (COU208)

Synopsis

The course aims at transforming students into professional counsellors who are ethical, therapeutically effective and multiculturally sensitive. The course content will cover professional ethics, the counsellor as a person and as a professional, professional issues in counselling, values and the counselling relationship, multicultural perspectives and diversity issues, as well as client rights and counsellor responsibilities.

Level: 2
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every semester
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.

Topics

  • Introduction to Professional Ethics
  • Ethical Decision-making
  • The Counsellor as a Person
  • The Counsellor as a Professional
  • Values and the Professional Counsellor
  • Values Clarification for Counsellors
  • The Ethics of Imposing Values on Clients
  • Values Conflict: To Refer or Not
  • Client-counsellor Relationship
  • Multiple Relationships
  • Boundary Issues
  • Multiculturalism: Definitions and Terminology
  • The Need for Multicultural Emphasis
  • Cultural Values and Assumptions in Counselling
  • Cultural Tunnel Vision and Culturally-encapsulated Counsellors
  • Informed Consent
  • Legal Aspects
  • Educating Clients about Informed Consent
  • The Content of Informed Consent
  • Counsellor Responsibility in Record-keeping
  • Division of Responsibility in Counselling

Learning Outcome

  • Present an overview of the counsellor's ethical responsibilities
  • Explain the importance of and need for self-awareness and self-monitoring, in minimising countertransference issues in counselling
  • Recognise the importance of values and multicultural perspectives in counselling
  • Differentiate between boundary crossing and boundary violation
  • Interpret the ethical guidelines reagrding confidentiality, and its limitations
  • Examine the place of informed consent int he cousnellor-client relationship
  • Key Skills
  • Apply the Code of Ethics to guide counselling practices
  • Demonstrate ethical thinking and ethical decision-making abilities in counselling
  • Recognise transference and countertransference in counselling, and deal with these appropriately
  • Analyse value conflicts in counselling, and handle these effectively
  • Develop skills in managing multiple relationships and professional boundaries in counselling
  • Examine the clinical implications of record-keeping
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