Ethical Legal and Diversity Issues in Group Counseling

This research paper gives a critical analysis and discussion of the key ethical, legal and diversity components in counseling in relation to a counseling case study of Beth M. The impact of the abilities of the counselor on the diversity and counseling process is also discussed in addition to self evaluation of personal abilities in practicing culturally compliant counseling. Components of Ethical, Legal and Diversity in Group Counseling Within group counseling, a counselor is mandated to respect the rights of the group members (Clinical Law Review, 2010). The adherence to these rights by the counselor includes his or her legal obligations of practice. Therefore the rights for orientation, informed consent and screening must be prioritized by the counselor during group counseling or therapy (Clinical Law Review, 2010). Orientation means that each and every member of the group regardless of the economic, social, political, cultural or racial orientation must be introduced to other group members and the group counseling program in general (Furr Barret, 2008). Furthermore, each and every member of the group must be screened by the counselor with a view of understanding the nature of the problem which warrants their decision to seek counseling. More importantly, counselors must acquire informed consent from every member of the group regardless of their age or gender. Furthermore, the ethics of group counseling mandates counselors to have undivided respect for the needs and rights of every member of the group in spite of their differences or diversity. More specifically, the counselor must recognize that the participation of the group members is voluntary. Therefore it would be against the legal and ethical practice of counseling to pressure or force members of the group to contribute into the discussion. Case study of Beth M The case of Beth M. presents a counseling scenario which reveals aspects of legal, ethical and diversity within a counseling session. The fact that Beth M is an American-Indian woman reflects the diversity which would be expressed in a group. This diversity includes gender, nationality, culture, age and ethnicity (Clinical Law Review, 2010). The social cultural diversity within a counseling group implicates on counseling session because the counselor must value the culture and beliefs of each client for effectiveness in his or her practice. The cultural implications in counseling also reflect that counselors must be able to include the values of each and every client into the therapy session. Ethical considerations in counseling must be nondiscriminatory in regards to the differences which exist among members of a group counseling session (Dandrea Heckman, 2008). Beth M. provides the counselor with private information about her drug problem. The ethics of practice in counseling mandates the counselors to keep the information of the clients confidential and treat such information as privileged. The ethics of professional practice in counseling also directs counselors to play their roles effectively (Weinrach Thomas, 2006). In the case of Beth M. the counselor failed to play the role of exploring the psychological risk that the patient had in relation to her suicidal tendencies. Legal implications would easily emanate from counseling and they include failure of a