Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in Counseling Practice

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HDC 3600-01 Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in Counseling Practice
Course Syllabus: Spring 2014 Wednesdays 4:10-7:00pm
107 Home Economics Building
William L. Turner, Ph.D. Betts Professor of Education and Human Development Professor of Human Development Counseling Professor of Community Research and Action Associate Chair, HOD Department Email: [email protected] Phone: 615-343-8715 (office) Office: Mayborn 208 Office Hours: By appointment
George T. Davis, Ph.D. J.D. Adjunct Professor of Human Development Counseling Phone: 615-498-1014 E-mail: [email protected] Office Hours: Wednesday 7:00-8:00
I. Course Description: This course is designed to provide the prospective counselor with the knowledge of the professions' ethical and legal standards, as well as the social/community aspect of the profession. The course will explore the evolution of those standards, methods of change and applications to various professional activities.
II. Required Text: Pope, K.S. & Vasquez, M.J. (2011). Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling, 4nd Edition San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
You will refer to the ACA Ethical Guidelines and will benefit from familiarizing yourself with the searchable Revised ACA Ethical Guidelines online at: (Revisions Effective March 1, 2013)
III. Objectives and Anticipated Learning Outcomes:  Enhancing understanding of the legal and professional context within which ethical
decision-making occurs.  Learning how mental health practice is "regulated" through the passage and enforcement of
licensing statues by state legislatures and the development of voluntary ethical codes and credentialing and accreditation procedures by professional organizations.

 Becoming familiar with the current Ethics Codes of the American Counseling Association, The Association of State and Provincial Licensing Boards, and the Laws governing the state of Tennessee.
 To apply professional ethical standards in practical situations.  To explain the relationship between professional preparation standards and current
professional roles and functions.  Learning “how public policies on the local, state and national levels affect the quality and
accessibility of mental health services,” (CMHC Program Standards for Ethics E6.), and  Appreciating the “importance of advocating for policies, programs and services that are
equitable and responsive to the unique needs of clients.” (CMHC Program Standards for Ethics, F2.)  Increasing awareness of your own "ordinary moral sense" (i.e., personal values, attitudes, beliefs, and biases that effect your ethical decision making).  Stimulating understanding of widely accepted ethical concepts, principles, and theories as they apply to the counseling practitioner.  Developing an ethical decision-making model that you will use systematically and consistently in analyzing and responding to ethical issues.
IV. Method of Instruction:  Traditional experiences - class will be structured in a seminar/discussion format.  Clinical experiences – group presentations: student is responsible for the presentation of two topics during the course of the semester in the form of a research paper and presentation of that paper to the class. That responsibility includes, but is not limited to finding journal articles, or legal rulings about the topic, or finding examples of ethical dilemmas posed by various aspects of the topic.  This class will be most beneficial to those who are fully engaged; therefore, the use of electronics of any kind are Prohibited in this class (computers, I-pads, I-pods, cell phones, and any other electronic device).
IV. Evaluation and Grading of Assignments:
 The student will submit a disclosure statement (5 points)  Quizzes (50 points: 5 quizzes at 10 points each)  Mid-term exam (20 points)  Advocacy Assignment (5 points)  The student will participate in two group presentations on a portion of the ACA code. (10
points)  Case conceptualization Paper (10 points)  Optional Final exam (20 points to replace 2 lowest quiz grades [note: replacement is
mandatory if taken])  Optional assignment on dealing with Difficult Clients (10 points to replace one quiz grade)

V. Assignments
1. Disclosure statement: Each student will be required to prepare a disclosure statement similar to one you would give a client in a clinical setting. Examples will be provided. This is an opportunity for you to apply ethical thinking to your clinical practice. (5 points)
2. Quizzes: Five times during the semester, a quiz on the weekly reading assignment will be given. The dates of the quizzes will not be announced; hence it is important that all reading assignments be completed at the beginning of class. (50 points)
3. The mid-term will be a clinical scenario and will test your knowledge and understanding of the ethical issues presented as well as your ability to apply them practically.(20 points)
4. Group presentations: Students will be divided into three groups of three or four members and each group will present two times during the semester. The presentations will consist of sections of the of the ACA code. Presentations should take about thirty to forty minutes and include some method of evaluating the content learned. Presentation of relevant research, case law or new clinical thinking is expected (10 points). The groups comprise the following: Group 1A: Client Welfare ACA Sec A1-4, A11 Group 2A: Boundaries ACA Sec A5-8 Group 3A: Confidentiality ACA Sec B Group 1B: Competence ACA Sec C Group 2B: Supervision ACA Sec F Group 3B: Resolving Ethical Issues ACA Sec H
5. Case conceptualization: Each student will write a paper regarding a particular case and incorporating a discussion of the application of the ethical decision making model. This assignment will be scored not only as a class assignment but as a key assignment (10 points).
6. Advocacy Paper: The advocacy paper will be a 2 to 3 page discussion of the types of advocacy in which the student anticipates they may be likely to engage in their chosen area of counseling. This paper will include the possible scenario that might necessitate advocacy, possible courses of action and potential ethical considerations that might arise in the course of advocating for clients (5 points).
7. The final exam will be a short answer essay exam covering textbook, content papers and class lecture material. The final exam is optional and will be worth 20 points to replace 2 lowest quiz grades [note: replacement is mandatory if taken])
8. Optional assignment on dealing with Difficult Clients (10 points to replace one quiz grade)
VI. Policy on Instructional Modification:
Students who have a disability or condition, which may impair their ability to complete assignments or otherwise satisfy course criteria, are encouraged to meet with the course instructor

to identify, discuss and document any feasible instructional modifications or accommodations. The student should notify the instructor no later than the end of the second week of the semester/term in which the course is offered or no later than the end of the second week latter such a disability or condition is diagnosed, whichever occurs earliest.

VII. Grading Scale
A = 94-100 A- = 90-93

B+ = 88-89 B = 84-87 B- = 80-83

C+ = 78-79 C = 74-77 C- = 70-73

VIII. Students with Disabilities: If you have a learning or physical disability, or if you learn best utilizing a particular method, please discuss with me how I can best accommodate your learning needs. We are committed to creating an effective learning environment for all learning styles. However, we can only do this successfully if you discuss your needs with us in advance of the quizzes, papers, and notebooks. We will maintain the confidentiality of your learning needs. If appropriate, you should contact the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department to get more information on accommodating disabilities.
IX. VANDERBILT’S HONOR CODE: Vanderbilt Honor Code governs all work in this course (e.g. tests, papers, homework, assignments, and evaluation forms). Refer to the Student Handbook. Each student is required to write and sign the following honor pledge on all graded assignments: “I pledge my honor that I have neither given nor received aid on this examination/paper.”

X. Tentative Weekly Schedule Each week the class schedule will follow the following format:
 4-5:30PM Review of the textbook with open discussion, role playing (William Turner)  5:45-7PM Review of additional content papers and readings that will be provided with class
discussion (George Davis)




4-5:30pm William Turner, Ph.D.

5:30-7pm George Davis, Ph.D.

1/8/13 1/15/13 1/22/13 1/29/13

Ethics and Critical Thinking
TechnologyRelated Issues Record keeping, Diagnosis

2/5/13 Informed Consent

Codes and 2/12/13 Complaints

2/19/13 Confidentiality

2/26/13 3/5/13


3/12/13 Duty to Warn

3/19/13 Boundaries

3/26/13 Crisis

4/2/13 Minors

4/9/13 Child/Minor

4/16/13 4/23/13

Syllabus and Introduction
Chaps 1 & 2 Chaps 3 & 11

Board Rules for LPC, TCA code LPCs

Chap. 5

AMA guidelines; E-risk guidelines

Chap. 15, TBD
Chap. 14 Chap. 9 & 10

HIPPA, Minor’s records, Shaw v Shaw Kirchner v Mitsui, Sample Disclosure Papers
Statistics/freq of violations Disclosure paper

Chap. 19 Midterm*

Jaffee Releasing Adolescent records SPRING BREAK

Chap. 16, 17
Group 1A/Chap. 29
Group 2A
Group 1B Case conceptualization Paper Due Group 2B

Tarasoff, Turner v Jordan Therapist Sexual Misconduct Act Suicide; Suicide prevention Group 3A; custody reports, PAS Minor decision tree, Minor Sexuality; Child abuse
Group 3B/Difficult Clients


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Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in Counseling Practice