Ethical Issues In Guidance and Counselling

Counselling profession involves ethics, but the fact that school counsellors are working with minors and during crucial stages in their emotional and mental development makes being aware of ethical standards for school counsellors even more important.

1)School counsellors need to develop trusting relationships with students, and an understanding of confidentiality in communications and discussions helps build that trust. However, school counsellors are sometimes obligated to break that confidentiality under circumstances where the law or professional ethics require it.

2)Since students are minors who may not always understand relationship boundaries, the burden is on counsellors to act professionally, and according to a school counsellor code of ethics to explain those boundaries where necessary.

3)School counsellors need to be aware of their own cultural biases and values to avoid imposing them on their students. They should develop an understanding of how social and economic inequalities as well as gender, cultural and racial biases impact students and their families.

4)School counsellors should ensure that each student in their charge has equal access to the counseling services they need, which can be an ethics challenge for school counsellors.

5)School counsellors should be mindful of relationships that could compromise their objectivity and impair their ability to serve students fairly such as counseling children of close friends or romantic partners.

6) General ethical standards for school counsellors would advise that this situation be avoided if possible. If such relationships are unavoidable, counsellors should take extra steps to maintain their objectivity.