BESC5021 Social, Legal and Ethical Issues

Graduate Diploma Level Unit

BESC5021 Social, Legal and Ethical Issues

Level: higher

Credit points: 3

Prerequisites: Counselling Skills 2


Unit description

This unit is considered a central and integrative part of the course presenting a focused 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.

Learning 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/Helping Professions
  • Client Confidentiality and Privacy Issues
  • Ethical Decision-Making
  • Multicultural Considerations and Ethical Practice
  • 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 assignment:

Type

Weighting

Word count

Week

Practice Session

Reflective Essay

20%

20%

25 mins AV recording

2000

7

7

Case Study

40%

  2500

10

Integrative statement, and three best Discussion Forum postings

               20%

300 words for Integrative statement and three best discussion forum postings

11

On-campus assignment:

Type

Weighting

Word count

Week

Practice Session

Reflective Essay

20%

20%

25 mins AV recording

2500

6

6

Case Study

40%

  2500

9

Presentation of research in pairs

               20%

10 mins.

11

Summer School (2014)

Flexible Delivery assignment:

Type

Weighting

Word count

Week

Short Answer Questions

40%

900 - 1500

3

Case Study

60%

  2000

5

On-campus assignment:

Type

Weighting

Word count

Week

Short Answer Questions

40%

900 - 1500

End of on campus week

Case Study

60%

 2000

10 Days after Assignment 1

Graduate attributes

The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:

  • Creative self-expression
  • Reasoned criticism
  • Multiple research methodologies
  • Complex data acquisition techniques and analysis
  • Written expression and reasoned argument from empirical data
  • Evaluating possible outcomes of alternative courses of action

Recommended text

Welfel, E. R. (2013). Ethics in counseling and psychotherapy: Standards, research and emerging issues (5th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

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.