As mental health services become more mainstream the individuals seeking those services become more diverse. The need for culturally competent counselors is on the rise. The following will highlight a scenario in which I am morally opposed to homosexuality and find myself working with a client who discloses he is homosexual and is having problems in his romantic relationship with another man. How I would handle this situation, ways in which my own moral standards in the context of this therapeutic relationship would be maintained, ways in which my moral stance might impact therapy, ways in which disclosure of my moral values may come into play, and considerations for how to address clashes between my own values and client values in the future will be the topics of discussion.
Regardless of what issues a client presents in session a counselor should first identify if the client’s issue will cause an issue for them. For example, if a counselor is in recovery from alcoholism and a client needs to address their own addiction issues this may be too close to home for the counselor to handle in an unbiased and professional way. Therefore a counselor should always ask themselves, ‘will this be an issue for me’ when presented with a client issue. Secondarily as counselor should identify if they are competent in their abilities to address the client’s issue. Is the topic something the counselor is comfortable with, educated on, or has experience with? It is unprofessional, unethical, and potentially harmful to the client to agree to address issues that one is not competent to address. If a counselor finds that they are competent and the client’s issue does not cause an issue for the them than the counselor can proceed to identifying new goals and changing treatment as needed to include this new issue. To summarize, I would handle this situation by determining if I am comfortable with the issue, competent at the topic, and determine any changes in treatment or goals.
For the purpose of this paper, the client’s homosexuality is not an issue for me, but is something I morally disagree with. I find that I can work with the client, but will need to maintain my own moral standards at the same time. The first step to maintaining my own moral standards in the context of this therapeutic relationship is to first be aware of my feelings and opinions regarding my client’s sexual orientation. Once I am aware, I need to be accepting of my feelings and opinions. Acceptance does not suggest I am right and the client is wrong, but rather that I am comfortable with my values and accept them as they are. It is not wise to ignore or deny these feelings as they will likely come out in unexpected ways.
Once I have become aware of and accepted my morals, next I need to identify if they are coming into play with this client in a negative way. If my morals are coming into play there are several ways this impact the therapy I am doing with this client. The ways in which impact...