Professional organisational issues in counseling

Professional Organisational Issues in Counselling

  1. Explain the Use of Psychological Assessment Tools in Counselling.

Psychological assessment involves the collection, assimilation and analysis of

information to understand an individual’s conduct and capabilities, to recognise possible problems with reasoning, emotional sensitivity as well as making commendations for treatment. Such information is acquired through several techniques and processes. The method used to obtain information is determined by the purpose of the assessment. Several tools are used to access psychological disorders. They include: clinical interviews, behavioural observation, questionnaires, rating scales as well as checklists.

One of the most utilised tools of psychological assessment is clinical interviews. Clinical interviews are personal relations between the therapist and the patient which aim at collecting info about the patient’s thoughts as well as how they feel about their problems (Bornstein, 2017). These interviews can be organised, semi-organised, or unorganised; however, their objective stays constant: to gain an understanding of the client. An organised interview necessitates that similar queries be asked of every patient in an identical style while an unstructured interview lets the counsellor determine the queries and subjects they are going to cover in the course of the interview. A semi-organised interview incorporates both of these formats.

When a therapist talks to a patient about the latter’s worries as well as their past, the former gets a chance to have an insight into how the patient reasons and relates with other persons. Psychoanalysis interviews can aid a therapist in creating a relationship with their clients and in the process gather information about the cause of the latter’s distress. To build trust with clients, therapists should make them feel valued and understood. This makes patients freely open up about their feelings and encounters which can, in turn, disclose the issues that had led to their disorder. Allowing a client to talk without disruption and guiding their answers with open-ended queries enables the therapist to make a diagnosis. Counsellors should retain diagnostic rationality as they carry out clinical interviews. A clinical interview enables a psychologist to make a correct diagnosis of different mental disorders. Interviews can also be carried out between a counsellor and close associates of the client, such as family members, workmates or friends. In some circumstances, particularly when operating with children, a counsellor may decide to interview a client’s family members. Interviewing family members provides additional understanding of the client’s condition (Bornstein, 2017). It also helps the family to understand what the client is going through.

Behavioural observation is another assessment tool. It involves direct observation of the patient’s conduct when they are in their natural settings like a home, classroom or playing area. This enables a therapist to assess how a patient acts when carrying out a task and how their intellectual and communicative capabilities affect their performance. Observations carried at home enable a systematic examination of the functional relations amongst the patient’s conduct and family surroundings. The key areas for observation are the degree to which household members pay attention to each other’s opinions, reach a decision about a problem and create solutions or, on the contrary, how they intrude on each other, disapprove and deter problem resolving. Observations aid in uncovering clues to a client’s condition. Unusual behaviours can be revealed impulsively when a patient is in their natural environment (Bornstein, 2017). Noting a client’s attitude, expressions and deeds when in their normal setting develops an understanding of their condition, adding information to what they communicate. To utilise behavioural observation effectively, therapists are advised to carefully observe patients with a specialised, unbiased demeanour.

Questionnaires are a disorder-specific type of psychological evaluation tool. They go into deeper detail in regards to a precise disorder and its seriousness. When screening test outcomes indicate the probable for a specific disorder, questionnaires are used to aid with gathering additional data. An example of a disorder-specific assessment instrument is the Global Mental Health Assessment Tool (GMHAT) which can screen and evaluate different mental health problems. The GMHAT is an electronic medical assessment device established to assess and detect a varied range of psychological health issues in primary medical care. It produces a computerised diagnosis, a symptom rating, a self-harm threat valuation and a recommendation letter.

A checklist is also another instrument used in psychological evaluation. It provides information, needed for the understanding of a client’s mental well-being. A targeted listing can be a fast and effective way to supplement information. The ICD-10, a reference directory to illnesses for mental health physicians, contains records that help in identifying and categorising client symptoms. A checklist can be a proper tool when utilised in combination with other valuation approaches. Finally, rating scales offer numerical statistics and help patients categorise puzzling feelings and sentiments into direct responses. They can be useful when working with clients who struggle to communicate about their complaints or when determining the gravity of symptoms at a certain point. Rating scales present patients with queries and ask them to choose an answer from several selections.

  1. Evaluate the Importance of Suicide Risk Assessment

Risk assessment encompasses an establishment of the possibility in which a particular event might happen. This is of significance to specialists who are concerned with their patient’s psychological wellbeing in regards to the subject of suicide. The assessment of suicidal threats is fundamental to ensuring safe and efficient care to patients. An effective suicide risk assessment should incorporate aspects of psychological, present mental status and social aspects, relationship issues or occupation status as part of an inclusive assessment of the client to record their care requirements and measure their threat of injury to themselves or other individuals. It enables a specialist to determine the level of suicide intention and planning, as well as estimate the prevailing threat as low, moderate or high to determine the appropriate treatment or actions to be taken. Evaluating suicide risk is regarded as a fundamental competency of psychological healthcare. This procedure of risk rating and treatment for suicide is best recognised as organised assessment, intervention and ensuing re-examination of a client’s probability to attempt suicide. It is a comprehensive and detailed procedure of information collection that requires a therapist to be well-informed in communication methods that are direct as well as deliberate, combined with active attending. Being capable of speaking to patients about suicide is tremendously important since it provides a safe place for them to explore their emotional state and gauge how the client feels about the suicidal attempt during the assessment. This evaluation determines whether an individual should be moved to a more specialised care setting, discharged from the medical centre, or requires a highly restrictive degree of care depending on the level of risk.

2.1. Evaluate the Need for an Ethical Framework for Counselling and Psychotherapy

Ethical frameworks are systematic tools that are intended to help counsellors and other involved medical care personnel in multifaceted ethical decision-making circumstances. They provide detailed moral direction as to what would establish an ethically suitable resolution. It is a collection of moral codes that offer guidelines for executing tasks in the workplace people – in this setting, the therapist’s relationship with patients. Working in the profession of psychotherapy, standards and moral duties are challenged every day. For efficient counselling to take place, it is significant for counsellors to be aware of how their morals may affect the patient. The ethical framework provides procedures within which all therapists must work to offer effective treatment. This ensures uniformity in service provision across the practice. An ethical framework contains flexible rules which enable counsellors to respond to the different requirements of different patients. It ensures honesty, discretion and accountability from the counsellor’s side. Additionally, it acts as a benchmark during an inquiry of any grievances from patients against counsellors or the institution in general.

2.2      Explain the Main Elements of One Recognised Ethical Framework for Counselling and Psychotherapy

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) is an ethical structure aims to assist counselling specialists in providing patients with a secure environment in which they can interact. It is written in simple and plain English, which makes it available to both therapists and the general public. It is the ethical code for therapists, trainers and managers within the psychotherapy profession. BACP’s moral framework is also utilised for counselling exploration and the management of therapy amenities within companies and agencies. The framework builds a shared structure for psychoanalysis experts while remaining adequately wide to enable practitioners to adjust to the requirements of dissimilar client clusters (Adeusi, 2018). The framework contains three major sections which include an obligation to clients, ethics and good practice.

Commitment to patients mandates that the therapist should uphold a moral relationship with the client. Patients need to be able to contribute liberally as they work with psychotherapists towards their sought-after objectives. This necessitates patients to be able to believe their counsellor with their health as well as delicate individual info. For this to happen, therapists should respect patients, foster an appropriate connection with patients and maintain integrity. Counsellors should view each patient as a distinct individual and not compare them with other patients. They are also expected to maintain discretion about the client’s information. Additionally, therapists are expected to maintain a proper relationship with a patient in respecting the limits amongst their work with patients and their personal lives. This framework creates a joint understanding of the duties and accountabilities of both the client and counsellor.

Ethics centres on integrating values, principles as well as individual moral qualities in the psychotherapy profession. The concept aims at helping therapists in understanding the underlying approach to how they must work with patients. The ethics are founded on values and principles of trustworthiness, respecting the trust according to the counsellor, autonomy, honouring the client’s desire to be self-sufficient. It also gives a patient the right to choose whether or not they wish to participate in a certain kind of activity, beneficence, an obligation to ensuring that clients are truly benefiting from the counselling, non-maleficence, a responsibility to ensuring that patients do not harm themselves or people around them. The final aspect is justice, which emphasises that counsellors should treat all the patients equally, without any biases and ensure that services are provided adequately (Adeusi, 2018). 

Good practice reflects the realism of putting in action the ethics it has outlined. It expounds what is required of every member and registrant of BACP, including supervisors, instructors or academics of any feature of the psychotherapy occupation. Significantly, BACP acknowledges that ethical predicaments are bound to emerge. In such an instance, it emphasises that a patient’s desires will come first; however, counsellors are expected to take the necessary measures to stop any harm. In regards to good practice, therapists are required to own their choices by being accountable for acting in a certain way when an ethical dilemma surfaces and explaining why they took that decision.

2.3      Analyse the Similarities and Differences between their Chosen Ethical Framework and the Requirements of at Least one other Professional Body or Employing Organization.

This part will concentrate on the comparison between BACP and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) moral frameworks. Both frameworks acknowledge breach of privacy in certain circumstances. This refers to the sharing of detailed confidential information about a client without their approval. Circumstances when a breach of confidentially can occur include: when the patients presents a danger to themselves or others and when the counsellor has received a court’s directive to do so. In addition, both BACP and BASW are centred on morals and ethical codes. The codes contain declarations on how ethical values should be implemented in practice.

In addition, both BACP and BASW emphasise career development. All registered members must recognise their areas of the profession that require improvement or would benefit from career advancement since being more informed also contributes to patient safety. Practitioners are encouraged to take up any learning experiences that may be used for development and increase in proficiency, knowledge and expertise to make sure that a counsellor can operate safely efficiently and lawfully within the changing dynamics of the profession must be undertaken (Adeusi, 2018).

A key dissimilarity between the frameworks is in regards to the issue of client-professional relations. The BASW framework acknowledges that the social worker has the right to make resolutions on behalf of the clients, such as children, who might not possess the ability to make choices for themselves. It recognises that a client’s desires should be considered as much as possible however it gives social workers the power to force a client to follow or make a certain decision. On the other hand, BACP supports the client’s self-governance whereby the patient has the power to make decisions concerning the counselling. It also views the client and the therapist as equals; therefore, clients should be highly respected. BACP stresses on one-on-one type of counselling while BASW recognises a wider setting of therapy where social workers operate in a broader social network.

2.4. Using Examples Analyse Potential Conflicts between the Requirements of Organizational and other Codes of Professional Practice and their Chosen Ethical Framework for Counselling and Psychotherapy

At times, conflicts emerge when a therapist is working within two diverse moral values of the practice. For example, in the United Kingdom the General Medical Council (GMC), the ethical organisation for medics, asserts that one should notify the law enforcement quickly when a patient arrives with a gun blast lesion, a wound from a knife stab or any other sharp-edged object. A therapist operating under the BACP ethical framework has no limitation and might keep the patient’s discretion. The conflict on whether to uphold the GMC standards or keep the client’s confidentiality becomes a challenge to the counsellor. In such a scenario, the interests of the patients get protected at the expense of their safety or that of other members of the public.

Counselling in the workspace, or taking up work for Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), frequently creates conflicts as there can be an undeclared goal for the employee to go back to work as quickly as possible. For example, in the process of psychoanalysis, the counsellor may realise that the employee has been involved in drug abuse. Some organisations require therapists to inform them if an employee is using drugs; they have dissimilar policies on limits to privacy. Writing the final report about the session can present a challenge to the therapist. They must honour the client’s privacy as well as the company’s responsibility to notify the employer of any danger an employee may be involved in.

2.5. Summarise how these Conflicts could be Resolved

Ethical struggles can be solved through cautious contracting; counsellors need to carefully assess the organisation’s policies and detect if there any conflicting procedures. Some companies have diverse policies when it comes to limits on privacy. The therapist can decline to work in organisations that do not support ethical frameworks or can try and request the organisation to change its policies (Jenkins, 2017). Moreover, if a counsellor ends up operating within two contradictory rules, the resolution is to design a contract with the patient. The contract should cover all the essential exemptions to discretion. At that point, a patient can make a knowledgeable choice if they desire to continue with the counselling or not.

When making moral choices, a predicament arises when one ethical code conflicts with another. Since professional moral codes are broad prescriptive rules that do not comprehensively inform counsellors on how to resolve specific ethical conflicts, it is advised that all psychological specialists should internalise an analysing strategy to help in handling ethical conflicts as they emerge. Taking such a step will maximise the probabilities of an ethically sound outcome.

Counsellors should be vigilant to and evade conflicts of interest that obstruct the application of professional secrecy and unbiased judgment. They should notify patients when an actual or possible conflict of interest emerges and take rational actions to resolve the matter in a way that makes the patient’s wellbeing key and defends the patient’s interests to the utmost degree possible. In some instances, shielding the patient’s interests may entail the dissolution of the professional relationship with the appropriate transfer of the patient. Client referral should follow the right steps to enable a systematic responsibility handover (Jenkins, 2017). Therapists should take adequate safety measures to protect patient privacy in the event of contract termination.

3.1 Using One Example for Each, Analyse the Key Issues Surrounding the Following:

a.         Professional Conduct

One of the key issues that impacts professional conduct is the act of behaving unprofessionally. This issue comes up when mental health professionals are not up to date. In most cases, they do not have time to do further research or maintain their knowledge. Oftentimes, they end up acting under the influence of drugs which is unprofessional. Both prescribed and over-the-counter drugs should not be used when treating patients due to some negative side effects.

b.         Ethical Issues

Maintaining boundaries is a primary ethical issue. In most cases, it is difficult for counsellors to maintain boundaries because they are still human beings and can get emotionally affected by their clients. It is a significant issue because clients cannot hold their feelings depending on how they are treated by the therapists.

c.         Confidentiality

Medical professions are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of their patients. One issue surrounding this concept is sharing of personal information (Watson et al., 2017). Sometimes counsellors are tempted to share their client personal information with colleagues, family members or friends. Poor storage of client information can also lead to data leakage to a third party.

d.         Boundaries

They are limitations of what is appropriate in a given situation. There are some boundaries that should exist between the clients and their counsellors. One issue that affects boundaries is the counsellor’s online presence. Clients are likely to gather more information boundaries is the counsellor’s online presence. Clients are likely to gather more information about their counsellors from social media platforms, resulting in the development of some relationships.

e.         Legal Responsibility

It entails giving considerations to the law and the legal requirements in relation to the counselling profession. One issue that impacts legal responsibility is data leakage. This issue is under the general data protection act that state how client information is supposed to be stored and accessed. Sometimes there are electronic issues, and client information is leaked to a third party.

f.          Negligence

One example of negligence is inviting clients to a business deal. Some of the counsellors have other businesses, and they might end up marketing those businesses to their clients. It is negligence because such conduct is unprofessional.

3.2 Using Examples, Evaluate an Appropriate Working Environment and Contract Which Attends to the Following Needs of Both the Client and Counsellor:

a.         Physical

Both clients and counsellors need to work in an environment where physical needs are catered for. Some of these needs include: food, shelter, and physical movement. A good example of an environment that can cater for all these is a hospital that has a counselling department.

b.         Emotional

Emotional needs are feelings that both counsellors and clients need. They need to feel happy, at peace and fulfilled. An appropriate working environment that can attend to this need is at a retreat centre. It is an example of a place where people go to relax, and they feel safe.

c.         Psychological

Psychological needs drive human behaviours. An example of a working environment and contract that attend to this need includes friends and family members. Having the presence of other colleagues for a counsellor can be effective in their operations. Clients, on the other hand, needs the presence of people who are close to them, like relatives or friends.

3.3 Using Examples, Analyse the Importance of Multi-Professional Working and Co-Operation

There are several importance of multi-professional working and co-operation. One of the benefits is a reduction of unproductive competition. Co-operation encourages professionals to work together to benefit the clients and the organisation as a whole (Gharaveis et al., 2018). In other words, it limits the desires that counsellors might have when competing against each other. A good example that reduces unproductive competition is when counsellors are working in teams to solve an issue. They are all given equal chances, which implies that there is no need for competition.

Another crucial aspect is that through co-operation, professionals can build trust because there is a strong relationship that develops with time. The more people work together, the more they learn about each other, and positive relationships are developed. Trust leads to a brilliant flow of ideas since the counsellors are open to each other (Gharaveis et al., 2018). For example, trust is enhanced because the counsellors who work together tend to share their personal needs as they have confidence in their colleagues.

4.1 Explain Why Both Casework and Managerial Supervision Are Important for a Trainee and a Qualified Counsellor

Casework is a direct service that the community service providers offer to those individuals in need of professional assistance in solving social and emotional problems. It is essential for both trainee and qualified counsellors since they get to learn how to deal with complex individuals and families. Additionally, it is through casework that they get exposed to some of the social issues that impact human well-being (Rani, 2020). Both trainees and qualified counsellors learn some of the strategies that are effective in problem-solving when serving their clients. Managerial supervision, on the other hand is important since it enables both trainees and qualified counsellors to be well disciplined. Where there is supervision, employees tend to do a better job to avoid being punished or fined. Another thing is that it enables professionals to participate in group activities (Kozachuk and Conley, 2020). It implies that there is sharing of knowledge to improve the output.

4.2 Using Examples, Evaluate the Possible Impact of Effective and Less Effective Casework Supervision on the:

a.         Service Provided for Users:

An effective casework supervision impacts on the service provided for users by making sure they are satisfied with the services offered to them. It is because casework supervision is well designed to protect clients and improve the ability of counsellors to provide care. A less effective casework supervision will lead to poor services since the counsellors will be less concerned about their client’s well-being.

b.         Professional Development of a Counsellor:

An effective casework supervision will impact on the professional development of a counsellor by allowing them to receive any support needed from the supervisors. It will enable the counsellor to gain more confidence and enhance knowledge in some areas (Lietz, 2018). Less effective casework will affect professional development of a counsellor in a negative way since there will be less cooperation with the supervisors. At the end, there will be poor decision-making due to lack of assistance from the supervisors.

 4.3 Evaluate the Possible Impact of Effective and Less Effective Managerial Supervision on the:

a.         Service Provided for Users:

An effective managerial supervision will impact on service provided for users in a positive way. Managerial supervision entails internal training which implies that the counsellors are up to date and have the required skills for their takes (Kozachuk and Conley, 2020). Hence, they will provide the best services to the clients. A less effective managerial supervision will result to some disciplinary issues such as lateness at work. It will impact of the services provided for users since they will spend more time waiting to be attended to by the counsellors.

b.         Professional Development of a Counsellor:

When it comes to professional development, an effective managerial supervision will ensure that counsellors focus on their goals. Less effective managerial supervision will affect their work productivity because less effort will be put on acquiring new skills.

5.1 Explain the symptoms of three common mental health issues.

Clinical depression, anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder will be discussed. All mental health problems have in common that they all affect emotion, thought, and conduct (World Health Organisation, 2017). Melancholy with suicide ideation, modifications in everyday experiences, and a prolonged sensation of severe despondency and dejection are signs and symptoms of clinical depression. People who have this mental illness may experience mood swings, despondency, remorse, tension, and uneasiness (Glue et al., 2017). Social exclusion, continuous sobbing, impatience, and intolerance are all possible sensory receptors. They may feel generalised symptoms, including gastrointestinal discomfort, exhaustion, and a decreased appetite. Lack of response, sluggishness in activities, weight gain or loss, and boredom are all indicators of clinical depression. These elements may produce changes in personality, such as altered connectivity of specific cortical structures of the brain (Glue et al., 2017). As a result, it is critical to get medical help if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above.

Anxiety disorders are a type of mental illness characterised by extreme uneasiness, panic, trepidation, and tension (Glue et al., 2017). Anxiety disorders cause physical symptoms by distorting how a person perceives feelings and performs. Anxiety disorders have three types of symptoms: interpersonal, psychological, and whole-body health problems. Somatic symptoms, aggressiveness, and disorientation are social signs (Glue et al., 2017). Lack of response, frantic concepts, and unpleasant ideas are all perceptual signs. Tiredness and dampness are two characteristics that affect the entire internal organs. Additionally, social phobia, distress, terror, drowsiness, sickness, tremors, and shaking may occur.

Bipolar disorder is characterised by hormonal changes that range from gloomy lows to euphoric highs. The specific etiology of bipolar illness is unknown; however, it is thought to be caused by a genetic predisposition, circumstances, brain anatomy, and scientific changes (Grande et al., 2016). Warning signs of bouts of depression include enormous energy, a significantly reduced need for a wink, and deterioration of contact with society. Low frequency, decreased morale, and a loss of interest and pleasure are signs of anxiety. Individuals may suffer abused prescriptions, such as dissatisfaction, tension, intoxication, and lack of connection (Grande et al., 2016). Contingency behaviours, an excessive yearning for intimacy, narcissism, chaotic behaviour, and impatience are all possible behavioural indicators.

Excessive sleep quality, hysteria, monologue tension, deceit, anticipatory anxiety, and a massive sense of entitlement are all common symptoms of bipolar disorder. Depressive symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several months, and they can be linked to psychological distress (Cross and Cross, 2015). Many people with these conditions can now concentrate, conduct research, and enjoy living a happy and successful life thanks to therapy.

5.2 Describe ways in which these issues could be addressed within a counselling environment.

Counselling can help people manage their mental disorders by reducing symptoms and equipping them with the tools they need to manage them. Counselling environments can range from obnoxious and frustrating to universalism and cheap looking, welcoming and pleasant. It is critical to create a mildly flavoured and accommodating counselling environment for clients (Balon et al., 2015).

Within the context of counselling, these concerns can be handled in a variety of ways. Anxiety disorder is typically treated with medication, talk therapy, or a combination of the two. Counselling treatments help to restore depression-related brain abnormalities (Cross and Cross, 2015). Issues can be addressed in a counselling setting using cognitive behavioural therapy, psychological treatment, and hypnotherapy. Mindfulness meditation aims to change weird sentiments, actions, and affective responses that are linked to discomfort. A good counselling atmosphere allows the counsellor to investigate and comprehend the client’s behaviour. Various artistic paintings, colours, lighting, and space among other features in the counselling environment can help identify different moods and cognitive behaviours in different patients (Cross and Cross, 2015). Behavioural counselling therapy is a therapy focused on modifying harmful behaviours associated with psychological distress. Strict measurements and punishments for destructive behaviour in counselling can help solve and change dangerous behaviours (Balon et al., 2015). Counselling sessions can warn the patients and educate them on the consequences of engaging themselves with toxic behaviour.

Reminders and posters in the counselling environment can pass messages to the clients to remind them of the guidelines to which they must adhere. In a counselling environment, various people and staff can help the patients and especially remind them about their medications and the importance of taking the medicines. Multiple support groups and various individuals attend counselling sessions and face similar mental challenges (Balon et al., 2015). Talking with such people or seeing such people or those with worse mental conditions can help the patients exchange various experiences they have had or episodes and periods of depression through which they have been (Balon et al., 2015). This acts as a motivation and a guiding step for other patients to get through with their disorders.

Finally, attending counselling sessions and having open talks with the counsellor can help identify and treat mental disorders. Guardians and parents need to observe the symptoms mentioned above to prevent their children from suffering from a mental illness. Most of the symptoms may not differ from each other as much. Therefore, it is crucial to seek medical attention once any mental health disorder is noticed in any individual.


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