Ethical Implications


Before you begin your Assignment, watch a brief video introduction to Juan Ramierez and a new client.   Copy and paste this link:   Use the Internet and the Kaplan Library to investigate the ethical implications of this scenario. In a 3–5-page paper, respond to the following questions:   1. Identify the various ethical dilemmas presented in this scenario.   2. Discuss each of the problematic decisions Juan made in this case.   3. Identify the specific NOHS Standards that would apply in this situation. Discuss both the specific standard and how it applies to the case.   4. What alternative choices might Juan have made had he consulted the NOHS Standards in this case?   5. Based on your research, describe the potential effects of such a relationship on all parties involved: Jenny Potter, the helping relationship, Juan Ramirez, and Jenny’s brother Jon.   6. Finally, discuss strategies to minimize the likelihood of these ethical issues arising in your practice.     Please be sure to introduce the specifics of the case study in your paper, which should reflect your understanding and research of these issues.   As you can see, there are 6 issues to address. number each but dont repeat the question. Instead, convert each question into a very short sub-heading that succinctly captures what is being asked. e.g, the first subheading should be something like this: “Ethical Dilemmas Presented in The Scenario”, and so on.   Your Unit 4 Assignment should:   Be presented in the form of a well-written university level document Use an essay format, 12-point font, and double spacing Include a title page and reference page   Be 3–5 pages in length, not including the title and reference pages Include at least two references in support of your observations and conclusions using proper APA citation and reference formatting   *Again, an introduction paragraph and a conclusion paragraph are required.


Ethical Implications


Introduction. 2

Ethical Dilemmas Presented in the Scenario. 2

Problematic Decisions Made by Juan. 3

Specific NOHS Standards That Would Apply in the Situation. 3

The Various Choices Juan Might Have Made Had He Consulted the Two NOHS standards. 4

Potential Impact of Such a Relationship on the Involved Parties. 4

Strategies for Minimizing the Likelihood of the Emergence of These Ethical Issues. 5

Conclusion. 5

References. 6


            Without the professional services of counselors, the number of cases of mental disorders amongst other psychological issues reported or noticeable in the society would skyrocket. Productivity and progress would also stall as people would become self-absorbed with their psychological issues. As such, counseling is a vital profession that empowers people, families, and institutions to accomplish wellness, mental health, family life, education, and career objectives. Like other professions, counseling is guided by a set of rules and regulations which if not honored would bring about ethical issues and dilemmas. In this paper, the researcher will seek to identify the ethical dilemmas that would arise from Juan Ramierez’s case.


Ethical Dilemmas Presented in the Scenario

            The ethical dilemma involved in this scenario revolves around Juan’s past relationship with the new client. A major question is whether Juan should provide psychotherapy to his former high school sweetheart, who now has a new friendship with the client’s brother. Therefore, a related question is about whether it is ethical to be in a close relationship with the client’s relative. Looking at the situation, both dilemmas have positive and negative repercussions for Juan’s professional practice. Whenever two people enter into romantic relationships or engage in sexual intercourse, the dynamics of their interaction tend to be altered forever. For instance, in this case, Juan seems to rekindle the memories on their relationship which may in turn hinder his objectivity and even desire to terminate the client-therapist relationship.


Problematic Decisions Made by Juan

            The main problematic decision Juan must make is whether to enter into a client-therapy relationship with his ex-girlfriend. He must also decide on whether to continue with the relationship which rekindles romantic memories that may cloud his professional judgment. A related issue is whether to join the client’s brother in playing golf.

Specific NOHS Standards That Would Apply in the Situation

            The National Organization for Human Services (n.d.) adopted a set of ethical standards for human service professionals that seek to promote client wellbeing and enhance the professional growth of human services providers. Two NOHS standards would apply in the present scenario, and they include standards 5 and 6. Standard 5 states that multiple relationships may increase client exploitation or risk of harming them or impair their professional judgment.

The American Psychological Association (2010) describes multiple role relationships as scenarios in which a therapist already professionally engaged with a person serves another role with the same individual, or is currently in a relationship with a person who is closely associated with the client or who promises to have a close relationship with the said client or client’s close associate in future. In this situation, Juan’s close relationship or friendship with Jenny’s brother amounts to multiple role relationships, just the same way his past close association (relationship) with Jenny does.

Standard 6 of the NOHS (n.d) prohibits romantic or sexual relationships between the client and the therapist. Though the standard focuses more on after-therapy relationships, the same standard applies to prior relationships as they may blur the therapist’s judgment or objectivity in his/her favor, thus harming the client. In this scenario, their past relationships constitute a violation of this standard.


The Various Choices Juan Might Have Made Had He Consulted the Two NOHS standards

            If Juan was well aware of the professional requirements stipulated in the NOHS standards, he could have discussed at length with the client on the ethical issues that may arise if he was to offer professional help bearing in mind their past relationship. Had he chosen to go ahead and offer therapeutic services, he could have observed the client-therapist boundaries by avoiding the client’s brother. He could have politely declined her request and suggest the need to refer the case to another counselor.

Potential Impact of Such a Relationship on the Involved Parties

            several effects are bound to arise on the part of all the involved parties because of the existence of these relationships. For the therapist, Juan could awake his interest in the client, thus blurring his professional judgment or objectivity. For instance, he could tend to side or sympathize with the client and paint a bad picture on the client’s ex-husband. Similarly, he could even unnecessarily extend the duration of their encounters or delay the termination of the relationship. For the client, she could become too comfortable with the therapist and seek to rekindle their love or may be exploited by Juan to his advantage due to power differential especially if their expectations are incongruent. For the client’s brother, he may become confused and distrust the professional services being rendered to his sister.

Strategies for Minimizing the Likelihood of the Emergence of These Ethical Issues

            To minimize the chances of the occurrence of these ethical issues, one can seek to comprehend what amounts to a multiple relationships and by trying to evaluate whose needs are being met. Should the counselor realize that his/her needs are being met as opposed to those of the client and that the relationship could impair professional performance, then the counselor should consult. Another strategy would be referring the client early on to another therapist or sharing the progress of the therapy with another therapist for further guidance.


            Like other professions, the counseling profession is guided by a set of standards and practices that if ignored would result in ethical issues. Like in Juan Ramierez’ case, counselors may find themselves in complicated situations. As such, they need to look out for anticipated conflicts and discuss them frankly with their clients and colleagues to avoid hurt feelings, sticky situations and misunderstandings that may lead to endless lawsuits or revocation of professional membership or licenses (Smith, 2013). As such, counselors need to avert ethical dilemmas that may arise from similar circumstances. Professional conduct should be the guiding principle to avoid boundary confusion and reversal of roles.


American Psychological Association (2010). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of         Conduct. Web.

National Organization for Human Services. (n.d). Ethical Standards for Human Service     Professionals. Web

Smith, D. (2013). 10 ways to avoid frequent ethical pitfalls. American Psychological         Association, 34(1). Web.

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