Assignment 1: Discussionâ€”Providing Faith-based Services
Faith-based services are those that incorporate elements of spirituality. In the field of counseling, those who provide faith-based services have traditionally been referred to as â€œpastoral counselors.â€
For clients with strong religious convictions or the desire to explore their own spirituality further, particularly as it relates to a mental health issue, faith-based services may be the best choice. If a provider has strong religious convictions, it is important that the provider abide by the ethical guidelines of the profession. This is particularly relevant when the providerâ€™s own convictions are in opposition to the clientâ€™s values, beliefs, behaviors, or issues.
In 2012, the State of Michigan passed the â€œJulea Ward Freedom of Conscienceâ€ bill into law. Julea Ward is a former counseling student who was dismissed from her program after refusing (for religious reasons) to provide psychotherapy to a homosexual client in the counseling programâ€™s training clinic. She chose to refer the client to another counselor-in-training. To read the law, visit this site:
Do you agree with the legislators, or do you think all counseling students should learn to accept any cases?
What do the following codes of ethics state regarding a counselorâ€™s right to refuse treatment to a client for religious reasons? What are the ethical guidelines regarding whom may be referred or why a counselor can ethically refer a client to another counselor?
In a minimum of 350 words, respond to the following:
- Do you agree with the legislators, or do you think all counseling students should learn to accept any cases? Provide reasons and cite sources to support your position.
- How might her refusal violate the ethics code for counselors? Address the three main ethical issues involved: discrimination, imposing values, and transfer of clients. Identify the relevant code(s) or standard(s) related to those issues from the following associationsâ€™ ethics codes:
Respond to the following in your review:
- Discuss how counselors can remain true to their own values, while practicing ethically and professionally.
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