‘Review what you have learned during this course, reflecting on the principal theoretical and ethical issues which form the basis of the ‘counselling approach’.
From the outset, counsellor/client relationship confidentially must be discussed as this lays down the boundaries to the relationship of trust, respect and the comfort of privacy. Confidentiality is paramount to the relationship with the counsellor becoming the guardian of trust within the relationship.
The working relationship between a counsellor and their client has to be governed ethically. The relationship should be respectful with, counsellors respecting diversity and differences between people.
A formal arrangement has to put in place to protect the safety of the client and counsellor. In this way integrity and credibility is validated. We live in times of constant litigation and cheap no win no fee lawyers! However this should not be a barrier but a consideration to bear in mind.
A contract should be discussed and preferably signed from the onset of the working relationship. It should be noted that verbal and written contracts are binding under Scots law. A contract will help to instil the professionalism of the relation and reemphasise the training and value of the counsellor.
This may be difficult to approach initially if the client is in emotional distress such as bereavement.
Conditions, methods of practice and the extent to confidentially should be made clear. The timescale of the counselling should also be discussed including possible limitations.
Exceptionally a counsellor may disclose information obtained during the working relationship with their client in the interests of safety of the client or others. e.g. If the client stated that they were going to kill themselves or others.
Where there is reluctance by the client to engage with the counsellor this should be addressed as there may be third parties involved. E.g. A client might have been referred by the court...