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Introduction to Values and Ethics

A brief summary of highlights

November 14, 2006.
• Why bother
• Values, morals, ethics, laws and best
• Ethical decision making process
• Model for Professional Practice
• Last but not least
Why bother
• We are all different so as our values hence
our behaviors
• We are in the people’s business, the
helping profession
• We need a deep working knowledge of
values and ethics in order to work well
with our clients and live up to our
professional identity
• Reflect who we are and our belief system
• Are elaborated through relationships
• Are shaped by our nature-nurture
• Determined within a broad context of a
culture or society
• Refer to as our personal belief system and
how this affects our interactions with
others in all aspects of our life
• Orientates our own behaviour and helps to
interpret the behaviour of others
• Refer to conduct judged as good or right
for counsellors as a professional group
• Refer to our professional behavior and
• Represent the ideal standards expected by
the profession
• Are the agreed-on rules of a society that set
forth the basic principles for living
together as a group
• Dictate minimum standards of behavior
that society will tolerate
Best Practices
• Are the very best a counsellor could be
expected to do
Ethical Decision Making
• Identify and define the problem
• Consider the moral principles
• Tune in to your feelings
• Consult with colleagues or experts
• Involve your client in the decision-making
• Identify desired outcomes
• Consider possible outcomes
• Choose and act on your choice
Model for Professional Practice
* Consultation * Laws
* Supervision * Codes of ethics
* Continuing * System policies

*The courage of your conviction, *Decision making skills

*Knowledge of ethics & laws, *Moral principles of the helping profession
Last but not least
• Counsellors must know how to recognise
legal issues and know how to obtain legal
• Counsellors must respect values that are
different from our own and must avoid
imposing our values on clients
Thank you
Philosophical viewpoints
Ethical relativism
Ethical absolutism If a culture believe an action is morally right,
There are some absolute
moral standards that then it is morally right to perform
are universal that act in that culture

Greatest good for the greatest number Deontology
What makes the action right
is the principle that guides it

Egoism Altruism
Actions taken out of self-interest Actions taken to benefit others
Ethical Decision Making
Principle ethics – What Virtue ethics – Who should
should I do? I be?
systematically evaluate examine your ideals and
what you should do when define the kind of person
trying to resolve an you aspire to be
ethical dilemma
• Respect for autonomy • Integrity
• Nonmaleficence • Discernment
• Beneficence • Acceptance of emotion
• Justice • Self-awareness
• Fidelity • Interdependence with the
• Veracity community