Home » Counselor Intern » LCDC Exam 2014 » 8 Practice Domains » 8. Professional and Ethical Responsibilities

8. Professional and Ethical Responsibilities

Professional and ethical responsibilities are the obligations of an addiction counselor to adopt ethical and behavioral standards of conduct and continuing professional development. Our competencies in this area, are:

1. To adhere to established professional codes of ethics that define the professional context within which the counselor works to maintain professional standards and protect the client.

Knowledge, skills, and attitudes:

  • Federal, State, agency, and professional codes of ethics.
  • Clients’ rights and responsibilities.
  • Professional standards and scope of practice.
  • Boundary issues between client and counselor.
  • Difference between the role of the professional counselor and that of a peer
  • counselor or sponsor.
  • Consequences of violating codes of ethics.
  • Means for addressing alleged ethical violations.
  • Nondiscriminatory practices.
  • Mandatory reporting requirements.
  • Openness to changing personal behaviors and attitudes that may conflict with ethical guidelines.
  • Willingness to participate in self, peer, and supervisory assessment of clinical skills and practice.
  • Respect for professional standards.

2. To adhere to Federal and State laws and agency regulations regarding the treatment of substance use disorders.

Knowledge, skills, and attitudes:

  • Federal, State, and agency regulations that apply to addiction counseling.
  • Confidentiality rules and regulations.
  • Clients’ rights and responsibilities.
  • Legal ramifications of noncompliance with confidentiality rules and regulations.
  • Legal ramifications of violating clients’ rights.
  • Grievance processes.

3. To interpret and apply information from current counseling and psychoactive substance use research literature to improve client care and enhance professional growth.

Knowledge, skills, and attitudes:

  • Professional literature on substance use disorders.
  • Information on current trends in addiction and related fields.
  • Professional associations.
  • Resources to promote professional growth and competency.
  • Read and interpret current professional and research-based literature.
  • Apply professional knowledge to client-specific situations.
  • Apply research findings to clinical practice.
  • Apply new skills in clinically appropriate ways.
  • Commitment to life-long learning and professional growth and development.
  • Willingness to adjust clinical practice to reflect advances in the field.

4. To recognize the importance of individual differences that influence client behavior, and apply this understanding to clinical practice.

Knowledge, skills, and attitudes:

  • Differences found in diverse populations.
  • How individual differences affect assessment and response to treatment.
  • Personality, culture, lifestyle, and other factors influencing client behavior.
  • Culturally sensitive counseling methods.
  • Dynamics of family systems in diverse cultures and lifestyles.
  • Client advocacy needs specific to diverse cultures and lifestyles.
  • Signs, symptoms, and patterns of violence against persons.
  • Risk factors that relate to potential harm to self or others.
  • Hierarchy of needs and motivation.
  • Assess and interpret culturally specific client behaviors and lifestyles.
  • Convey respect for cultural and lifestyle diversity in the therapeutic process.
  • Adapt therapeutic strategies to client needs.
  • Willingness to appreciate the life experiences of individuals.
  • Appreciation for diverse populations and lifestyles.
  • Recognition of one’s biases toward other cultures and lifestyles.

5. To use a range of supervisory options to process personal feelings and concerns about clients.

Knowledge, skills, and attitudes:

  • The role of supervision.
  • Models of supervision.
  • Potential barriers in the counselor–client relationship.
  • Transference and countertransference.
  • Resources for exploration of professional concerns.
  • Problem-solving methods.
  • Conflict resolution.
  • The process and effect of client reassignment.
  • The process and effect of termination of the counseling relationship.
  • Phases of treatment and client responses.
  • Willingness to accept feedback.
  • Acceptance of responsibility for personal and professional growth.
  • Awareness that one’s personal recovery issues have an effect on job performance and interactions with clients.

6. To conduct self-evaluations of professional performance applying ethical, legal, and professional standards to enhance self-awareness and performance.

Knowledge, skills, and attitudes:

  • Personal and professional strengths and limitations.
  • Legal, ethical, and professional standards affecting addiction counseling.
  • Consequences of failure to comply with professional standards.
  • Self-evaluation methods.
  • Regulatory guidelines and restrictions.

7. To develop and use strategies to maintain one’s physical and mental health.

Knowledge, skills, and attitudes;

  • Rationale for periodic self-assessment regarding physical health, mental health, and recovery from substance use disorders.
  • Available resources for maintaining physical health, mental health, and recovery from substance use disorders.
  • Consequences of failing to maintain physical health, mental health, and recovery from substance use disorders.
  • Relationship between physical health and mental health.
  • Health promotion strategies.
  • Carry out regular self-assessment with regard to physical health, mental health, and recovery from substance use disorders.
  • Use prevention measures to guard against burnout.
  • Employ stress-reduction strategies.
  • Locate and access resources to achieve physical health, mental health, and recovery from substance use disorders.
  • Model self-care as an effective treatment tool.
  • Recognition that counselors serve as role models.
  • Appreciation that maintaining a healthy lifestyle enhances the counselor’s effectiveness.

TAP 21

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3 Comments

  1. […] 8. Professional and Ethical Responsibilities (lcdcexamreview.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Mary Abdullah says:

    Good to get back to the basics and assess counselor ethics. This is timely for the end of 2012/ beginning of 2013. Thanks.

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