While social work practice makes extensive use of behavioral and social science theory, Weinberg (2016) and Corey, Corey, and Corey (2019) raise questions around the ethics of using deficit-based diagnostic and treatment modalities, which may pathologize clients and diminish the true complexity of their lives and circumstances. On your own, do some brief reflexive writing on the following question: How would you go about getting to know a client during your initial contact?
Your response should consider, but is not limited to the following elements: your own theoretical stance; use of diagnostic and assessment tools (i.e., tests); formulating treatment goals (aka “the contract”); organizational policy and procedures; and external payment/reimbursement requirements. Relevant examples from your own experience may be helpful to consider as well.
summarize your reflection
in the helping professions,10e
Issues &Ethics
Gerald Corey
California State University, Fullerton
Diplomate in Counseling Psychology
American Board of Professional Psychology
Marianne Schneider Corey
Cindy Corey
Licensed Clinical Psychologist in private practice
Multicultural Consultant
Australia • Brazil • Mexico • Singapore • United Kingdom • United States
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Cindy Corey
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in memory of our lifelong friend and colleague,
patrick Callanan.
patrick was a generous, honest, witty, and
adventurous man who left his mark on the world
through his roles as priest, father, uncle, teacher,
counselor, author, mentor, and friend.
We will always remember him, as he is impossible
to forget!
About the Authors
Gerald Corey is Professor Emeritus of Human Services and
Counseling at California State University at Fullerton. He re-
ceived his doctorate in counseling from the University of South-
ern California. He is a Diplomate in Counseling Psychology,
American Board of Professional Psychology; a licensed psychol-
ogist; and a National Certified Counselor. He is a Fellow of the
American Psychological Association (Division 17, Counseling
Psychology, and also Division 49, Group Psychotherapy); a Fel-
low of the American Counseling Association; and a Fellow of the
Association for Specialists in Group Work. He also holds mem-
berships in the American Group Psychotherapy Association; the
American Mental Health Counselors Association; the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and
Religious Values in Counseling; the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision;
and the Western Association of Counselor Education and Supervision. Both Jerry and Mar-
ianne Corey received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Mental Health
Counselors Association in 2011, and both of them received the Eminent Career Award from
ASGW in 2001. Jerry was given the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award from Cali-
fornia State University at Fullerton in 1991. He regularly teaches both undergraduate and
graduate courses in group counseling and ethics in counseling. He is the author or coauthor
of 15 textbooks in counseling currently in print, along with more than 60 journal articles
and book chapters. Several of his books have been translated into other languages. Theory
and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy has been translated into Arabic, Indonesian,
Portuguese, Turkish, Korean, and Chinese. Theory and Practice of Group Counseling has been
translated into Korean, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian.
During the past 40 years Jerry and Marianne Corey have conducted group counseling
training workshops for mental health professionals at many universities in the United States as
well as in Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Germany, Belgium, Scotland, England,
and Ireland. In his leisure time, Jerry likes to travel, hike and bicycle in the mountains and the
desert, and drive his grandchildren in his 1931 Model A Ford. Marianne and Jerry have been
married since 1964. They have two adult daughters (Heidi and Cindy), two granddaughters
(Kyla and Keegan), and one grandson (Corey).
In addition to Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions, Tenth Edition (2019, with Mari-
anne Schneider Corey and Cindy Corey), which has been translated into Japanese, Chinese, and
Korean, other recent publications by Gerald Corey, all with Cengage Learning, include:
• Groups: Process and Practice, Tenth Edition (2018, with Marianne Schneider Corey and
Cindy Corey)
• I Never Knew I Had a Choice, Eleventh Edition (2018, with Marianne Schneider Corey and
Michelle Muratori)
• Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy, Tenth Edition (and Student Manual)
• Theory and Practice of Group Counseling, Ninth Edition (and Student Manual) (2016)
• Becoming a Helper, Seventh Edition (2016, with Marianne Schneider Corey)
• Group Techniques, Fourth Edition (2015, with Marianne Schneider Corey, Patrick Callanan,
and J. Michael Russell)
About the Authors / v
• Case Approach to Counseling and Psychotherapy, Eighth Edition (2013)
• The Art of Integrative Counseling, Third Edition (2013)
Jerry Corey is coauthor (with Barbara Herlihy) of Boundary Issues in Counseling: Multi-
ple Roles and Responsibilities, Third Edition (2015) and ACA Ethical Standards Casebook, Sev-
enth Edition (2015); he is coauthor (with Michelle Muratori, Jude Austin, and Julius Austin) of
Counselor Self-Care (2018); he is coauthor (with Robert Haynes, Patrice Moulton, and Michelle
Muratori) of Clinical Supervision in the Helping Professions: A Practical Guide, Second Edition
(2010); he is the author of Creating Your Professional Path: Lessons From My Journey (2010). All
five of these books are published by the American Counseling Association.
He has also made several educational DVD programs on various aspects of counseling
practice: (1) Ethics in Action: DVD and Workbook (2015, with Marianne Schneider Corey
and Robert Haynes); (2) Groups in Action: Evolution and Challenges DVD and Workbook
(2014, with Marianne Schneider Corey and Robert Haynes); (3) DVD for Theory and Prac-
tice of Counseling and Psychotherapy: The Case of Stan and Lecturettes (2013); (4) DVD for
Integrative Counseling: The Case of Ruth and Lecturettes (2013, with Robert Haynes); and
(5) DVD for Theory and Practice of Group Counseling (2012). All of these programs are avail-
able through Cengage Learning.
Marianne Schneider Corey is a licensed marriage and family
therapist in California and is a National Certified Counselor. She
received her master’s degree in marriage, family, and child coun-
seling from Chapman College. She is a Fellow of the Associa-
tion for Specialists in Group Work and was the recipient of this
organization’s Eminent Career Award in 2001. She received the
Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Mental Health
Counselors Association in 2011 and is a member of the Ameri-
can Mental Health Counselors Association. She also holds mem-
berships in the American Counseling Association, the American
Group Psychotherapy Association, the Association for Specialists
in Group Work, the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, the Associ-
ation for Counselor Education and Supervision, and the Western Association of Counselor
Education and Supervision.
Marianne has been involved in leading groups for different populations, providing training
and supervision workshops in group process, facilitating self-exploration groups for graduate
students in counseling, and cofacilitating training groups for group counselors and weeklong
residential workshops in personal growth. Both Marianne and Jerry Corey have conducted
training workshops, continuing education seminars, and personal-growth groups in the United
States, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, Mexico, Hong Kong, China, and Korea.
In addition to Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions, Tenth Edition (2019, with Gerald
Corey and Cindy Corey), which has been translated into Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, Mari-
anne has coauthored the following books with Cengage Learning:
• Groups: Process and Practice, Tenth Edition (2018, with Gerald Corey and Cindy Corey),
which has been translated into Korean, Chinese, and Polish
• I Never Knew I Had a Choice, Eleventh Edition (2018, with Gerald Corey and Michelle
Muratori), which has been translated into Chinese
• Becoming a Helper, Seventh Edition (2016, with Gerald Corey), which has been translated
into Korean and Japanese
• Group Techniques, Fourth Edition (2015, with Gerald Corey, Patrick Callanan, and Michael
Russell), which has been translated into Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, and Czech
vi / About the Authors
Marianne has made educational video programs (with accompanying student workbooks)
for Cengage Learning: Groups in Action: Evolution and Challenges DVD and Workbook (2014,
with Gerald Corey and Robert Haynes); and Ethics in Action: DVD and Workbook (2015, with
Gerald Corey and Robert Haynes).
Marianne and Jerry have been married since 1964. They have two adult daughters, Heidi
and Cindy, two granddaughters (Kyla and Keegan), and one grandson (Corey). Marianne grew
up in Germany and has kept in close contact with her family and friends there. In her free time,
she enjoys traveling, reading, visiting with friends, bike riding, and hiking.
Cindy Corey is a licensed clinical psychologist in private prac-
tice in San Diego, California. She worked for over a decade as a
full-time visiting professor in the Department of Counseling and
School Psychology at San Diego State University in both the
Community-Based Block and Marriage and Family Therapy pro-
grams. She received her master’s degree in Marriage and Family
Therapy from the University of San Diego and her Doctorate (PsyD)
in Multicultural Community Clinical Psychology at the California
School of Professional Psychology in Alhambra, California. She is a
member of the American Counseling Association, the Association
for Specialists in Group Work, the American Psychological Asso-
ciation, and the San Diego Psychological Association (SDPA). She served as the chair of the
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Committee for the SDPA and has been a member of
the Multicultural Committee and Women’s Committee.
Cindy has focused much of her work in the area of counselor education, specializing in
multicultural training, social justice, and community outreach. In addition to teaching at San
Diego State University, she taught part time in the PsyD program at Alliant International Uni-
versity in Alhambra. Cindy has also worked as a Contracted Clinician for Survivors of Torture
International, focusing primarily on helping Sudanese refugee youth adjust to life in the United
States, gain employment, and attend colleges and universities.
Cindy works as a multicultural consultant and has created clinical intervention programs,
training manuals, and diversity sensitive curriculum for a variety of schools, businesses, and
organizations in the San Diego area. Her private practice focuses on working with women,
couples, counselors, and graduate students in counseling programs.
Cindy is coauthor, with Marianne Corey and Gerald Corey of Groups: Process and Practice,
Tenth Edition (2018).
Preface xiii
1 Introduction to Professional Ethics 1
The Focus of This Book 2
Some Suggestions for Using This Book 3
Professional Codes of Ethics 4
Ethical Decision Making 11
Steps in Making Ethical Decisions 19
Self-Assessment: An Inventory of Your Attitudes and Beliefs
About Ethical and Professional Issues 24
Chapter Summary 34
Suggested Activities 35
2 The Counselor as a Person and as a Professional 37
Self-Inventory 38
Introduction 39
Self-Awareness and the Influence of the Therapist’s
Personality and Needs 39
Personal Therapy for Counselors 42
Transference and Countertransference 47
Client Dependence 54
Stress in the Counseling Profession 57
Counselor Burnout and Impairment 60
Maintaining Vitality Through Self-Care 63
Chapter Summary 64
Suggested Activities 65
3 Values and the Helping Relationship 67
Self-Inventory 68
Introduction 69
Controversies Regarding Integrating Personal Values
With a Professional Identity 69
Clarifying Your Values and Their Role in Your Work 71
viii / Contents
The Ethics of Imposing Your Values on Clients 73
The Legal Framework Regarding Values Discrimination 77
Values Conflicts Regarding Sexual Attitudes and Behavior 82
Value Conflicts Pertaining to Abortion 85
Case Study of Other Possible Value Conflicts 87
The Role of Spiritual and Religious Values in Counseling 88
Value Conflicts Regarding End-of-Life Decisions 94
Chapter Summary 101
Suggested Activities 101
4 Multicultural Perspectives and Diversity Issues 105
Self-Inventory 106
Introduction 107
The Problem of Cultural Tunnel Vision 110
The Challenges of Reaching Diverse Client Populations 112
Ethics Codes From a Diversity Perspective 113
Cultural Values and Assumptions in Therapy 114
Addressing Sexual Orientation 122
The Culture of Disability 129
Matching Client and Counselor 133
Multicultural Training for Mental Health Workers 137
Chapter Summary 144
Suggested Activities 145
5 Client Rights and Counselor Responsibilities 148
Self-Inventory 149
Introduction 150
The Client’s Right to Give Informed Consent 152
The Content of Informed Consent 157
The Professional’s Responsibilities in Record Keeping 166
Ethical Issues in Online Counseling 175
Working With Children and Adolescents 182
Contents / ix
Dealing With Suspected Unethical Behavior of Colleagues 189
Malpractice Liability in the Helping Professions 191
Chapter Summary 202
Suggested Activities 202
6 Confidentiality: Ethical and Legal Issues 204
Self-Inventory 205
Introduction 206
Confidentiality, Privileged Communication, and Privacy 206
Privacy Issues With Telecommunication Devices 220
Implications of HIPAA for Mental Health Providers 222
The Duty to Warn and to Protect 224
Protecting Children, the Elderly, and Dependent Adults From Harm 244
Confidentiality and HIV/AIDS-Related Issues 248
Chapter Summary 252
Suggested Activities 253
7 Managing Boundaries and Multiple Relationships 254
Self-Inventory 255
Introduction 256
The Ethics of Multiple Relationships 257
Perspectives on Boundary Issues 266
Managing Multiple Relationships in a Small Community 268
Bartering for Professional Services 272
Giving or Receiving Gifts 278
Social Relationships With Clients 281
Sexual Attractions in the Client–Therapist Relationship 283
Sexual Relationships in Therapy: Ethical and Legal Issues 287
Sexual Relationships With Former Clients 292
A Special Case: Nonerotic Touching With Clients 294
Chapter Summary 297
Suggested Activities 298
x / Contents
8 Professional Competence and Training 301
Self-Inventory 302
Introduction 303
Therapist Competence: Ethical and Legal Aspects 303
Ethical Issues in Training Therapists 309
Evaluating Knowledge, Skills, and Personal Functioning 313
Gatekeeper Role of Faculty in Promoting Competence 320
Dismissing Students for Nonacademic Reasons 323
Professional Licensing and Certification 326
Continuing Professional Education and Demonstration of Competence 328
Review, Consultation, and Supervision by Peers 330
Chapter Summary 331
Suggested Activities 331
9 Ethical Issues in Supervision 334
Self-Inventory 335
Introduction 336
Ethical Issues in Clinical Supervision 337
The Supervisor’s Roles and Responsibilities 339
Ethical and Effective Practices of Clinical Supervisors 341
Competence of Supervisors 342
Legal Aspects of Supervision 344
Ethical Issues for Online Supervision 347
Special Issues in Supervision for School Counselors 348
Multicultural and Diversity Issues in Supervision 349
Multiple Roles and Relationships in the Supervisory Process 352
Chapter Summary 362
Suggested Activities 362
10 Issues in Theory and Practice 365
Self-Inventory 366
Introduction 367
Developing a Counseling Style 367
The Division of Responsibility in Therapy 369
Contents / xi
Deciding on the Goals of Counseling 370
The Use of Techniques in Counseling 372
Assessment and Diagnosis as Professional Issues 373
Using Tests in Counseling 386
Evidence-Based Therapy Practice 388
Chapter Summary 393
Suggested Activities 394
11 Ethical Issues in Couples and Family Therapy 395
Self-Inventory 396
Introduction 397
The Systems Theory Perspective 397
Ethical Standards in Couples and Family Therapy 398
Special Ethical Considerations in Working With Couples and Families 401
Informed Consent in Couples and Family Therapy 402
Contemporary Professional Issues 403
Values in Couples and Family Therapy 406
Gender-Sensitive Couples and Family Therapy 410
Responsibilities of Couples and Family Therapists 414
Confidentiality in Couples and Family Therapy 416
Chapter Summary 420
Suggested Activities 420
12 Ethical Issues in Group Work 422
Self-Inventory 423
Introduction 424
Ethical Issues in Training and Supervision of Group Leaders 424
Ethical Issues in the Diversity Training of Group Workers 427
Ethical Considerations in Coleadership 432
Ethical Issues in Forming and Managing Groups 433
Confidentiality in Groups 440
Social Media in Group Work: Confidentiality and Privacy
Considerations 443
Ethical Issues Concerning Termination 445
xii / Contents
How to Determine What Works in a Group 447
Chapter Summary 449
Suggested Activities 450
13 Community and Social Justice Perspectives 451
Self-Inventory 452
Introduction 453
Why a Community Perspective Is a Concern for Counselors 455
Ethical Practice in Community Work 456
The Community Mental Health Orientation 458
Social Justice Perspective 460
Advocacy Competencies 464
Roles of Helpers Working in the Community 465
Promoting Change in the Community 468
Working Within a System 470
Chapter Summary 475
Suggested Activities 475
Authors’ Concluding Commentary 477
References and Suggested Readings 478
Name Index 507
Subject Index 515
Our friend and colleague, Patrick Callanan, died on March 17, 2017 (St. Patrick’s
Day). He was a coauthor with us on the previous editions of Issues and Ethics in
the Helping Professions. For many years we enjoyed working with Patrick on vari-
ous projects, and we will miss his companionship and professional involvement
with us. Patrick devoted much of his life to the counseling profession as a practi-
tioner and made a significant difference in the lives of many clients, students, and
Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions is written for both graduate and
undergraduate students in the helping professions. This book is suitable for
courses in counseling, mental health counseling, human services, couples and
family therapy, counseling and clinical psychology, school counseling, and social
work. It can be used as a core textbook in courses such as practicum, fieldwork,
internship, and ethical and professional issues or as a supplementary text in
courses dealing with skills or theory. Because the issues we discuss are likely to
be encountered throughout one’s professional career, we strive to use language
and concepts that will be meaningful both to students doing their fieldwork and
to professionals interested in keeping abreast of developments in ethical, profes-
sional, and legal matters pertaining to therapeutic practice.
In this book, we want to involve our readers in learning to deal with the eth-
ical and professional issues that most affect the actual practice of counseling and
related helping professions. We address such questions as: How aware are you of how
your values and life experiences affect your professional work? What are the rights
and responsibilities of both the client and the counselor? How can you determine
your level of competence? How can you achieve and maintain your competence?
How can you provide quality services for culturally diverse populations? In what
ways could you involve yourself in social justice and advocacy work? How can you
go outside of the office and make a difference in the community? What major ethical
issues might you encounter in couples and family therapy? in group work? in com-
munity agencies? in a school setting? in private practice? Our goal is both to pro-
vide a body of information and to teach a process for thinking about and resolving
the basic issues counselors will face throughout their career. For most of the issues
we raise, we present various viewpoints to stimulate discussion and reflection. We
also present our personal views and commentaries, when appropriate, and chal-
lenge you to develop your own position.
The ethics codes of various professional associations offer some guidance for
practice. However, these guidelines leave many questions unanswered. We be-
lieve that as a student or a professional you will ultimately struggle with the issues
of responsible practice, deciding how accepted ethical principles apply in the spe-
cific cases you encounter.
Throughout this book, we aim to involve you in an active and meaning-
ful way. We provide many opportunities for you to respond to our discussions.
xiv / Preface
Each chapter begins with Learning Objectives to guide your reading and a Self-
Inventory designed to help you focus on the key topics to be discussed in the chap-
ter. Within the chapters we frequently ask you to think about how the issues apply
to you. Open-ended cases and situations are designed to stimulate thought and
discussion, and we encourage you to apply the codes of ethics of the various men-
tal health professions to the case illustrations. Reflecting on the questions follow-
ing each case example will help you determine which of the therapist responses
are ethically sound and which are not. We offer our commentaries after each case
to guide you in the process of determining sound ethical decisions. We also cite
related literature when exploring ethical, legal, professional, and clinical issues.
Instructors will find an abundance of material and suggested activities, surely
more than can be covered in a single course.
An Instructor’s Resource Manual is available that contains chapter outlines, sug-
gestions for teaching an ethics course, additional exercises and activities, a list of
PowerPoint slides, and study guide questions. A Test Bank for each chapter and
online quizzes are available to instructors. An electronic version of the Instructor’s
Resource Manual is available for all platforms.
Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions comes with MindTap®. MindTap,
a digital teaching and learning solution, helps students be more successful and
confident in the course—and in their work with clients. MindTap guides stu-
dents through the course by combining the complete textbook with interactive
multimedia, activities, assessments, and learning tools. Readings and activities
engage students in learning core concepts, practicing needed skills, reflecting
on their attitudes and opinions, and applying what they learn. Videos of client
sessions illustrate skills and concepts in action, and case studies ask students
to make decisions and think critically about the types of situations they will
encounter on the job. Helper Studio activities put students in the role of the
helper, allowing them to build and practice skills in a nonthreatening environ-
ment by responding via video to a virtual client. Instructors can rearrange and
add content to personalize their MindTap course and easily track students’
progress with real-time analytics. MindTap integrates seamlessly with any
learning management system.
An integrated learning package titled Ethics in Action: DVD and Workbook
(third edition, 2015) is available to enhance the 10th edition of Issues and Ethics
in the Helping Professions. The Ethics in Action DVD is designed to bring to life the
ethical issues and dilemmas counselors often encounter and to provide ample
opportunity for discussion, self-exploration, and problem solving of these issues
and dilemmas. The vignettes on the DVD are based on a weekend workshop cofa-
cilitated by Marianne Schneider Corey and Gerald Corey for a group of counseling
students, which included challenging questions and lively discussion, role plays
to bring the issues to life, and comments from the students and the Coreys. Addi-
tional material on the DVD program is designed to provide a self-study guide for
students who are also reading this book. This educational program is divided into
three segments: ethical decision making, values and the helping relationship, and
boundary issues and multiple relationships in counseling. At the end of several
chapters in this book are suggested activities and guidelines for integrating the
Ethics in Action video program with this textbook.
Preface / xv
What’s new in the 10th edition
of Issues and Ethics
For the 10th edition, each chapter has been carefully reviewed and updated to
present the current thinking, research, and trends in practice. The following
chapter-by-chapter list of highlights outlines some sample material that has been
added, updated, expanded, and revised for the 10th edition.
Chapter 1 introduction to professional ethics
• Citation of updated ethics codes whenever available
• Inclusion of themes common to most codes of ethics
• Increased emphasis on positive ethics rather than rule-based ethics
Chapter 2 the Counselor as a person and as a professional
• Updated literature on personal therapy for trainees and for practitioners
• Updated material on sources of stress in the helping professions
• Expanded discussion of self-compassion and self-care strategies for
• Updated discussions of burnout, practitioner impairment, and maintaining
Chapter 3 Values and the helping relationship
• A new section on controversies regarding integrating personal values with a
professional identity
• Increased attention to the responsibility of counselor education programs in
being clear with students about managing personal values
• Increased attention to the necessity for graduate students in counseling to
learn how to work within the framework of the client’s value system
• More focus on avoiding value imposition by ethical bracketing
• Implications of several court cases in dismissing students unwilling to keep
their personal values separate from counseling clients with a different set of
• New section on state legislation to protect religious freedom
• New literature on the ethics of values-based referrals and discriminatory
• New material on the role of spirituality and religion in counseling
• New section on ethical and clinical issues with nonreligious clients
• Description of an ethical decision-making model to determine whether
religious or spiritual beliefs may be clinically salient
Chapter 4 Multicultural perspectives and Diversity issues
• Increased coverage of cultural pluralism and cultural competence
• Updated section on ethical issues regarding sexual orientation
• Increased and updated coverage of ethical issues and competencies required
in counseling lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender clients
xvi / Preface
• Introduction to how a social justice orientation relates to a multicultural
• Updated discussion regarding acquiring and maintaining cultural competence
• Presentation of authors’ views on multicultural training
Chapter 5 Client rights and Counselor responsibilities
• Updated and expanded section on content of informed consent process
• Updating of all of the ethics codes on the topic of client rights and counselor
• More attention to cultural factors related to the informed consent process
• Revised discussions of informed consent and confidentiality as it pertains to
managed care
• Added literature on addressing risks of diagnosis in the informed consent
• Expanded treatment of clinical record keeping
• Revised guidelines for keeping …

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