Frank and Judy have experienced conflicts in their marriage for the past few years. They have tried many attempts to resolve their marital problems on their own without success, and they are now ready to seek the help of a professional marriage counselor (Corey, Schneider-Corey, & Callahan, 2011, 2007). Issues that may confront me as a counselor while counseling Frank and Judy in therapy sessions would be that of Counselor A in the case study from chapter 11 of our text.
I am in agreement with this particular counselor, as I believe that bringing my values and beliefs pertaining o family and marriage would seem rather persuasive in helping Frank and Judy to decide whether or not to stay together or get a divorce. Like this counselor, my main concern would be to help the couple discover what they think is best for them individually and as a couple (Corey, Schneider-Corey, & Callahan, 2011, 2007). Trying to persuade the couple with my beliefs is definitely unethical and in no way helps the couple to resolve their problems on their own.
The best way to resolve this ethical lemma is to let the couple know that my Job and my goal are to help them reach their own best decision and solution. I would keep to myself what my biases and beliefs are concerning marriage and divorce because I believe that exposing them could be construed as a subtle subliminal message that could sway the couple’s decision and taint the therapy counseling sessions. As noted in section 1. 8 of the code of ethics of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (MAMBA), the ethical counselor grants the client autonomy in decision making.
The code of ethics states that therapists are to “respect the rights of clients to make decisions and help them to understand the consequences of these decisions” (MAMBA Code of Ethics , 2012). As a counselor or therapist, the ethical thing to do in this case is to follow the code of ethics and advise the couple that they have the sole responsibility of making the decision regarding whether they want to divorce, to reconcile their marriage, or if they think that it I best to separate for a period of time (MAMBA Code of Ethics , 2012).