Ethical Reasoning | Critical Thinking

Strive to discover all the available facts before proceeding. As Rogerson et al. (2012) remind us, sound ethical decisions are unlikely if we have incomplete or inaccurate information. The authors point out that, for example, the fundamental attribution error (attributing the behavior of others to their stable personality characteristic rather than to any situational variables while judging ourselves based on a given situation) may lead to misinterpretations. Or, we may make pre-judgments and fail to consider disconfirming data that might have provided a more accurate assessment.

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01/08/2015 · This document is designed as an introduction to thinking ethically

This document is designed as an introduction to thinking ethically

A potential negative aspect to an overly strict adherence to a risk management, perspective however, is that clients who urgently need help can be shut out. Hazard-averse therapists might choose to avoid high-risk clients, even when they are trained to competently treat them. Individuals with borderline personalities (especially if accompanied by substance abuse, impulsive acting-out, or paranoid thinking), or who have a history of dangerous behavior or suicide attempts would have a difficult time finding appropriate help should all therapists ascribe to a rigid risk-management style. Clients who develop rapid and intense transferences may frighten some therapists, causing them to refer the client elsewhere or terminate treatment, a decision not based on sound clinical judgment but on the fear of ethical or legal entanglements.

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Conflicting Ethical Principles. When making ethical decisions, a thorny dilemma arises when one moral principle conflicts with another. Which one takes precedence? The values listed at the beginning of this course, are not prioritized. Clashes between ethical principles occur more regularly than you might think. For example, you might consider holding back a truthful response because the client would likely be upset or harmed by it. Or the divulging of information to help one person may involve breaking another’s confidence.

Thinking Critically About Ethical Issues invites readers to apply ethical principles to issues that exemplify the kinds of moral challenges encountered in everyday life.

"What Should I Do?" - Ethical Risks, Making Decisions, …

12. If the colleague becomes abusive or threatening, attempt to steer the person to a more constructive state. Although many people need a chance to vent feelings, they may settle down if the confronting person remains steady and refrains from becoming emotional or defensive in return. It is important that the person feels that he or she has been heard. If a negative reaction continues, it may be appropriate to say something calming, such as, “I see you are very upset right now. I would like you to think about what I have presented and, if you would consider talking more about it, please contact me within a week.” If a return call does not follow, consider other forms of action. This could involve including another appropriate person or pressing formal charges. It would probably prove wise to have another consultation with a trusted colleague at this point. You should inform the suspected offender, in person or in a formal note, of your next step if you plan to take more formal action.

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Regardless of the nature of the actual or impending emergency, therapists are in the unenviable position of having to make a number of delicate decisions at a time when they, themselves, may feel anxious. Do both ethical and legal perspectives require maintaining confidentiality? If a disclosure appears warranted or mandated, who should be drawn into the matter? A client’s family? A state agency or emergency response team? The police? What details can one appropriately disclose? What is an acceptable variation in the degree of acceptable involvement with a client during a crisis?

01/08/2015 · How, exactly, should we think through an ethical issue? Some moral issues create controversies simply because we do not bother to check the facts.

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Your own life may feel out of control (e.g., messy divorce, severe economic downturn, or addiction). Confusion, pressure, frustration, anxiety, conflicting loyalties, insufficient information, and the tendency to rationalize are common responses to ethical challenges at these times. Such reactions complicate matters and greatly elevate the chances of errors in decision-making. Intense stressors can result in an inability to make sound judgments (Advisory Committee on Colleague Assistance, 2014).

Aug 23, 2015 · Is the Kobayashi Maru a good test of leadership, and of the ethical decision-making that’s a part of it

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Knapp, S. & VandeCreek, L. (2007). When values of different cultures conflict: Ethical Decision making in a multicultural context. Professional Psychology, 38, 660-666.

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Houser, R., Wilczenski, F. L., & Ham, M. A. (2006). Culturally relevant ethical decision-making in counseling. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.