Identify the ethical violations in the scenario by the professional.

Ethical decision making is essential to the safety and professional delivery of services to individuals seeking treatment. In making ethical decisions, reflect on your personal values and how your values affect your work with clients. Consider the personal values you reveal through your professional work. In addition, there are state and federal laws, as well as specific codes of ethics, that guide the integrity of the therapeutic relationship between professional and client. In developing and/or modifying strategies to make ethical decisions, consider ethical decision-making models to address ethical dilemmas.

Read the scenario of a counselor’s ethical dilemma, then complete the following:

Identify the ethical violations in the scenario by the professional.
Discuss three strategies that promote ethical decision making. Maintain the integrity of the therapeutic process with the client and the professional by applying each of the applicable codes of ethics for two of the following: APA, ACA, or NAADAC.
Modify two out of your three strategies that demonstrate ethical decisions in the scenario.
Scenario: Client Keri

Keri is a 26-year-old female with a history of an alcohol use disorder and anxiety. Keri’s alcohol use started when she was 15 and has continued to the present day. Initially, Keri would sneak alcohol from her father’s liquor cabinet when she was in high school. Keri was exposed to domestic violence during her childhood. Keri recalls her father was an alcoholic who was physically and mentally abusive towards her mother. Keri reports that alcohol helps with her anxiety. Keri grew up with both parents until the age of 17, when her parents divorced. Afterward, Keri resided with her mother, with whom she still lives.

Keri rarely has contact with her father. Her mother has informed Keri that her father went into treatment and maintains 4 years of sobriety. Keri’s father has made several attempts to talk with Keri, but Keri does not have an interest in having a relationship with her father at this time due to the past trauma of witnessing the violence between her parents.

Keri spends her time hanging out with friends and going to bars. She recently broke up with her boyfriend who is a heavy drinker and who has been verbally abusive towards Keri. She works part-time at a convenience store and recently dropped out of cosmetology school. Keri entered into an intensive outpatient program and has weekly sessions with her addiction counselor, Mr. Kelly. Keri has been sober for 2 weeks. Keri attributes her sobriety to her determination, her desire for a healthier lifestyle, and the efforts of her addiction counselor Mr. Kelly.

As time passes, Keri grows to enjoy her sessions with Mr. Kelly, and she begins to develop romantic feelings for him. After their counseling session, Keri initiates conversations with her addiction counselor on personal topics. Mr. Kelly has engaged in personal conversations with Keri. She has subtly asked him out for coffee and extended an invitation to go to dinner after he is off work. Each time Keri makes advances, Mr. Kelly declines her invitations, although he does not make any attempts to stop further advances. Keri continues to flirt with her addiction counselor for the next several weeks. During that time, Mr. Kelly begins to develop a personal connection with Keri and responds by flirting back with Keri.

As the personal connection strengthens, Keri begins to develop anxiety about her relationship with Mr. Kelly, which has increased her cravings to start drinking alcohol again. Mr. Kelly is not sure if he should continue to meet with Kerri or end the professional relationship. Mr. Kelly reaches an impasse and is not sure where his professional relationship with Keri ends and their personal relationship begins.

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