Responding to Ethical and Legal Issues Example 2

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Responding to Ethical and Legal Issues Example 2


Mental health counselors face situations that require them to put into use their decision-making ability. These counselors face complex issues influenced by personal and professional values as well as culture. It is a daunting task for counselors to make appropriate decisions when under a difficult ethical dilemma. Practicing counselors must adhere to certain foundational principles that are the pillars of ethical decision-making. The first critical step in making ethical decision-making is to identify and define the problem and picking out what the dilemma is. The case of Simone is an excellent example of a scenario that calls for a counselor to keenly engage their ethical decision-making ability to find a solution by applying the intercultural and fidelity decision-making model.

Analysis of Intercultural and Fidelity Decision-making Model

           The world has witnessed a major shift in demographic patterns forcing professional counselors to consider cultural backgrounds when dealing with their clients. To deal with these shifts, psychologists have developed numerous models of counseling to guide counselors in offering professional counseling to make ethical decisions. The intercultural and Fidelity decision-making model is one of the modern counseling models used to offer professional counseling services to customers. The term intercultural counseling refers to professionally offering to counsel to people from diverse cultural backgrounds. This model argues that all human beings are cultural beings meaning that all interactions take a cultural approach (Alegria et al, 2018).

Concerning fidelity, professional counselors must establish trust with their clients or the people they work with. Fidelity includes faithfulness, loyalty, and a commitment to honor professional obligations. Some of the legal and ethical challenges that counselors face in their professional duties include confidentiality, reporting incidences of child abuse, and the duty to warn. Counselors may sometimes have to breach the clause of client confidentiality when it becomes necessary to protect a client from harm.

The intercultural and fidelity decision-making model examines the cultural background to apply relevant solutions. Many years back, counseling models did not take into consideration the cultural background of people receiving counseling services. This factor meant that there were a lot of failures in diagnosing and creating proper treatment plans for non-white clients. The intercultural and fidelity decision-making model solved this problem by analyzing the cultural backgrounds of each client before creating an effective treatment plan (Gundel et al., 2020). This model of decision-making in counseling asserts that people are impacted by intercultural issues that affect their psychological, emotional, and social well-being.

Merits of Intercultural and Fidelity decision-making Model

Intercultural and Fidelity decision-making models impact human behavior and psychological development. The biggest advantage of the intercultural fidelity model is that it treats culture as a critical component vital to psychological functioning. Earlier psychological decision-making models operated on the assumption that only biological, ecological, and physical variables matter in psychological functioning. However, psychologists, have discovered that cultural factors are equally important for effective psychological functioning (Shapiro, 2020). Human beings live in societies with cultures that affect and shape behavior and psychological development. This point means that human development is shaped by numerous factors including biological, social, ecological, and cultural factors.

Culture plays a critical role in the growth and development of children. The growth and development of children is an interactive process meaning that a lot of things they get from their surrounding environment. These things shape how children behave and think based on the specific inputs they receive from their cultures. Thinking and behavior are two critical factors in a child’s development derived that are shaped by their surrounding cultures (Ling et al., 2020). The interaction of children with their parents is the archetype of how they behave and interact with others in society. Children who grow in happy environments grow up with positive energies and high self-esteem while those with troubled childhood developmental problems grow.

Impact of Cultural and Developmental Factors

The intercultural and fidelity model uses cultural information to develop a critical treatment plan for patients. As mentioned earlier, culture affects how people behave and think meaning it plays a critical role in the psychological growth and development of human beings. The interaction between human beings is important because it determines how people perceive their environment and how they deal with each other (Foulkes, 2018). The way parents deal with their children determines their perception of the world, and how they interact with other people. For example, in the case study provided, Simone comes from an abusive family where the father is a habitual drunk and the mother has the bipolar condition. The chaotic childhood upbringing has impacted Simone who at 18 years of age has become pregnant and dropped out of school. The problems Simone goes through are the result of the cultural setup where she up.

Using Simone’s cultural background, the counselor can develop the appropriate treatment plan based on her circumstances. Many of the problems faced by Simone stems from her childhood upbringing/environment. Her counselor is tasked with creating an intuitive and ethically-based decision that minimizes subjectivity. There are many factors that the counselor has to factor in her treatment plan. It would be a big mistake if the counselor neglected cultural consideration because specific populations have specific problems that require specialized attention and a treatment plan.

Impact of Counselor Values and Strategies to Address Them

Values are critical in counseling because they help counselors to focus on the goals and objectives of their roles. By understanding their values and beliefs, counselors can understand better the persons they are dealing with before developing an appropriate treatment plan for their patients (Barth, 2018). Values and beliefs affect the relationship between people and define how they interact.

Concerning Simone’s case, one of the major ethical dilemmas is reporting Simone’s abuse by her parents. While North Carolina considers Simone an adult at 18 years, the counselor must consider reporting the widespread abuse that Simone went through at the hands of her parents. One of the biggest problems for Simone is the steady income to take care of herself and her baby. Secondly, the counselor must treat the anxiety and sleeplessness experienced by Simone.


Counselors face numerous legal and ethical challenges in the course of their professional duties. Some of the legal and ethical challenges that counselors have to deal with include: confidentiality, reporting incidences of child abuse, and the duty to warn. Sometimes, counselors have to breach the clause of client confidentiality when it becomes necessary to protect a client from harm or report issues that breach the law.

The Intercultural and fidelity decision-making model is one of the numerous counseling techniques. This model considers the cultural background of patients in developing a treatment plan. Culture plays a critical role in the psychological development of children. The Intercultural and fidelity model focuses on ecological issues that impact negatively on the mental health of patients. Different cultures require specific counseling interventions due to their cultural practices.


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