BESC2051 Social, Legal and Ethical Issues

Bachelor Course Unit

BESC2051 Social, Legal and Ethical Issues

Level: 2nd year

Credit points: 3

Prerequisites: Counselling Skills 2


Unit description

This unit is considered a central and integrative part of the course presenting a focussed and intensive analysis of ethics within a counselling context. The unit provides an awareness and understanding of social, legal and ethical issues critical to the effective practice of counselling. It offers a knowledge base for understanding the social, legal and ethical needs and issues of people with cultural differences, people with disabilities and individuals affected by physical and emotional abuse.

Students will reflect on their values and beliefs and be encouraged to think critically and ethically. They will also acquire the skills to apply awareness, personal responsibility and ethical decision-making to work with clients. Students are expected to understand the effect of values, labelling, and stereotyping for their practice as counsellors. Emphasis is placed on the counsellor's need to recognise clients as individuals regardless of their gender, disability and/or social and cultural background.

Unit outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to: 

  • analyse ethics, law, codes, values and principles in relation to decision-making
  • describe, identify and critique ethical and legal responsibilities inherent in providing counselling services to clients and apply these standards to practice
  • evaluate complex ethical, legal and sociological issues in relation to culture, gender, age and disability
  • analyse how power and influence impact upon professional relationships
  • examine personal awareness in relation to ethical values, beliefs and behaviour
  • apply safety measures where appropriate for clients and others, for example in circumstances of self-harm, suicide, domestic violence, discrimination and victimisation, and develop appropriate ethical interventions

Unit content

  • The Foundations of Ethics, Law and Ethical Practice
  • Legal Implications for Counselling, Counselling and Management
  • Client Confidentiality and Privacy Issues
  • Ethical Decision-Making
  • Ethical Practice and Multicultural Consideration
  • Boundaries, Multiple Relationships and Client Welfare
  • Issues of Touch, Sexuality and Sexual Contact
  • Awareness of the Needs of Diverse Communities
  • Power and Influence with Relation to Client Safety and Autonomy
  • Unique Responsibilities when Working with Children, Families and Couples
  • Vicarious Traumatisation and Compassion Fatigue
  • Clinical Supervision

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9.75 hours per week.

Assignment summary

Regular Term

Flexible Delivery students:

Type

Weighting

Word count

Week

Practice Session

Reflective Essay

20%

20%

N/A

1500

6

6

Case Study

40%

  2000

9

Three best Discussion forum postings and integrative statement

               20%

300 (Integrative statement) and three best discussion forum postings

11

 

On-campus students:

Type

Weighting

Word count

Week

Practice session

Reflective Essay

20%

20%

20 mins AV recording

1500

6

6

Case study

40%

2000

9

Presentation of research in pairs

20%

10 mins

11

Summer School (2014)

Type

Weighting

Word count

Week

Case study; short answer questions

40%

1000

End of on campus week.

Case study

60%

1500

10 days after assignment 1

Graduate attributes

The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:

  • Knowledge of the framework of counselling theory, and a foundational understanding of the major theories of counselling
  • Understanding of and the appropriate application of counselling skills in a range of contexts and circumstances
  • Understanding what constitutes ethical practice in counselling interactions
  • The ability to effectively and appropriately apply the micro and macro skills of counselling
  • The ability to recognise major transition points in human development and major forms of mental illness and know when and how to appropriately refer clients

Recommended text

Freegard, H., & Isted, L. (2012). Ethical practice for health professionals (2nd ed.). Melbourne, Australia: Thompson Learning.

Relevant journals

Academy of Management Proceedings
Academy of Management Review
Australian Journal of Social Issues
Business Ethics Quarterly
Counseling and Values
Counselling Psychology Quarterly
Ethics
Ethics and Behavior
International Journal of Ethics
Journal of Business Ethics
Journal of Counseling and Development
Journal of Humanistic Education and Development
Journal of Organizational Excellence
Journal of Social Issues
New Scientist
Personnel Psychology
Professional Psychology: Research and Practice
Psychotherapy

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer tohttp://currentstudents.acap.edu.au/assets/Managing-My-Course/A-Z-Policies/Academic-Misconduct-Policy.pdf for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.

Disclaimer

This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of the semester.