Text messages are considered a part of the client record, and should be kept in the client file. If not, counselors should disclose to clients the fact that the software is not encrypted and therefore is not confidential. Chat Rooms: Counselors should not include chat rooms, because these may imply that a counselor is able to intervene in the event that a crisis is mentioned. Local resources may be law enforcement, health care or EMT services, and someone trusted by the client to be available during distance counseling sessions should it become necessary to have someone close by in the event of an emergency.
AMHCA Code of Ethics Revised 11 ii Counselors should have a written policy that prohibits both the therapist and the client from recording a treatment session without the written consent of the other. If a recording of the treatment session has been authorized, the counselor,should either erase or destroy the recording as soon as it has fulfilled its intended purpose e. The counselor has a responsibility to make it clear that the blog or website does not create a therapeutic relationship, therefore, professional blogs and websites should be non-interactive in nature ii Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus and other social media should be professional profiles that are kept separate from personal profiles.
Counselors should not establish connections or engage with clients through social media. In addition, counselors need to have appropriate privacy settings so that clients cannot contact them on these professional social media sites, or access a site in any way. Clients have the right: a To expect quality service provided by concerned, trained, professional and competent staff. AMHCA Code of Ethics Revised 13 i To refuse any recommended services, techniques or approaches and to be advised of the consequences of this action.
End-of-Life Care for Terminally Ill Clients a Mental health counselors ensure that clients receive quality end-of-life care for their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. When mental health counselors assess that they are unable to work with clients on the exploration of end-of-life options, they make appropriate referrals to ensure clients receive appropriate help. Counselor Responsibility and Integrity 1. Competence The maintenance of high standards of professional competence is a responsibility shared by all mental health counselors in the best interests of the client, the public, and the profession.
Mental health counselors: a Recognize the boundaries of their particular competencies and the limitations of their expertise. Should their involvement in any activity, or any mental, emotional, or physical health problem, compromise sound professional judgment and competency, they seek capable professional assistance to determine whether to limit, suspend, or terminate services to their clients. Non-discrimination a Mental health counselors do not condone or engage in any discrimination based on ability, age, color, culture, disability, ethnic group, gender, gender identity, race, religion, national AMHCA Code of Ethics Revised 16 origin, politic beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, or socioeconomic status.
Conflict of Interest Mental health counselors are aware of possible conflicts of interests that may arise between the counselor and the client, the employer, consultant and other professionals. Mental health counselors may choose to consult with any other professionally competent person about a client assuring that no conflict of interest exists. When conflicts occur, mental health counselors clarify the nature of the conflict and inform all parties of the nature and direction of their loyalties and responsibilities, and keep all parties informed of their commitments.
Assessment and Diagnosis 1.
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Interpretation and Reporting Mental health counselors respect the rights and dignity of the client in assessment, interpretation, and diagnosis of mental disorders and make every effort to assure that the client receives the appropriate treatment. Mental health counselors should obtain information regarding validity of computerized test interpretation before utilizing such an approach.
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A subpoena is insufficient to release a report. In such a case, the counselor must inform his or her client of the situation.
Competence Mental health counselors employ only those diagnostic tools and assessment instruments they are trained to use by education, or supervised training and clinical experience. Forensic Activity Mental health counselors who are requested or required to perform forensic functions, such as assessments, interviews, consultations, report writing, responding to subpoenas, or offering expert testimony, comply with all provisions of this Ethics Code and act in accordance with applicable state law.
They must be cognizant of the difference between an expert and fact witness b When conducting interviews, writing reports, or offering testimony mental health counselors objectively offer their findings without bias, personal opinion or investment in the ultimate outcome.
One error in their report or testimony could make the difference between acceptance or disqualification. The forensic mental health evaluator expert pays close attention to only using assessments relative to each case. AMHCA Code of Ethics Revised 20 e Mental health counselors do not provide written conclusions or forensic testimony regarding any individual without reliable information adequate to support any statements or conclusions offered in the forensic setting.
The forensic mental health evaluator expert does not diagnose anyone that was not seen during the evaluation process. They describe fairly the basis for their professional judgment, conclusions, and testimony.
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Counselors remain cognizant of the social responsibility they bear. In addition, mental health counselors do not counsel individuals they are currently evaluating, or have evaluated in the past, for forensic purposes. Recordkeeping, Fee Arrangements, and Bartering 1.
Recordkeeping Mental health counselors create and maintain accurate and adequate clinical and financial records. Fee Arrangements, Bartering, and Gifts Mental health counselors are cognizant of cultural norms in relation to fee arrangements, bartering, and gifts. Mental health counselors clearly explain to clients, early in the counseling relationship, all financial arrangements related to counseling. If the usual fees create undue hardship for the client, the counselor may adjust fees or assist the client to locate comparable, affordable services.
However, bartering may occur if the client requests it, there is no exploitation, and the cultural implications and other concerns of such practice are discussed with the client and agreed upon in writing. Other Roles 1. AMHCA Code of Ethics Revised 22 b Mental health counselors develop an understanding of the problem presented by the client and secure an agreement with the client, specifying the terms and nature of the consulting relationship.
Mental health counselors remain sensitive to the potential personal and cultural impact on clients of their advocacy efforts. Mental health counselors remain aware of the potential dangers of becoming overly involved as an advocate. Commitment to Other Professionals A. Relationship with Colleagues Mental health counselors act with due regard for the needs and feelings of their colleagues in counseling and other professions. Mental health counselors respect the rights and obligations of the institutions or organizations with which they associate.
Mental health counselors understand how related professions complement their work and make full use of other professional, technical, and administrative resources that best serve the interests of clients. Mental health counselors treat professional colleagues with the same dignity and respect afforded to clients. Professional discourse should be free of personal attacks.
Mental health counselors respect the viability, reputation, and proprietary rights of organizations that they serve. Credit is assigned to those who have contributed to a publication, in proportion to their contribution. Mental health counselors do not accept or offer referral fees from other professionals. When mental health counselors have knowledge of the impairment, incompetence, or unethical conduct of a mental health professional, they are obliged to attempt to rectify the situation.
Clinical Consultation Mental health counselors may offer or seek clinical consultation from another mental health professional. In clinical consulting mental health counselors provide critical and supportive feedback. Clinical consultation does not imply hierarchy or responsibility for client outcome. Relationship with Students, Interns and Employees Mental health counselors have an ethical concern for the integrity and welfare of supervisees, students, and employees. These relationships typically include an evaluative component and therefore need to be maintained on a professional and confidential basis.
Mental health counselors recognize the influential position they have with regard to both current and former supervisees, students and employees, and avoid exploiting their trust and dependency. Mental health counselors do not engage in ongoing counseling relationships with current supervisees, students or employees. All forms of sexual behavior with supervisees, students or employees are unethical. Mental health counselors do not engage in any form of harassment of supervisees, students, employees or colleagues. Mental health counselor supervisors advise their supervisees, students and employees against holding themselves out to be competent to engage in professional services beyond their training, experience, or credentials.
In the informed consent statement, students and employees notify the client they are in supervision and AMHCA Code of Ethics Revised 25 provide their clients with the name and credentials of their supervisor.
Students and employees have the same ethical obligations to clients as those required of mental health counselors. I do think it is important, however, for counselors to think through all of the ramifications before going down that road. Rob Reinhardt , a licensed professional counselor supervisor, is a private practice and business consultant who helps counselors create and maintain efficient, successful private practices.
Before becoming a professional counselor, he worked as a software developer and director of information technology. Contact him at rob tameyourpractice. Thanks, Rob, for writing about an important ethical issue for counselors. Certainly it can be a real dilemma that poses significant ethical concerns. I just like the caring information you provide to your articles. I will bookmark your blog and take a look at again right here frequently.
Thanks for posting something worth reading. Great work.watch
Ethical Framework for the Use of Social Media by Mental Health Professionals
Practitioners understand that this may compromise client privacy and they make clients aware of this potential exposure. For instance, career counselors who have no training in mental health issues generally do not provide psychotherapy services. Certain states dictate what a practitioner can be called due to the implementation of Title laws. Practice laws may prevent a licensed practitioner from interpreting certain personality tests in one state, yet the same practice may be accepted under Practice law in another state.
Competence: Practitioners understand that knowledge and facility in social media does not exempt one from obtaining training and supervision in specialized care, such as providing telemental health services. Formal Training: Practitioners seek out sufficient formal training whenever possible through college, university or private settings. Informal Training: Practitioners seek out continuing education and professional development and conferences, conventions and workshops. Books: Practitioners read books written by the general public and professionals.
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