Ethical counselor behavior refers to the way of promoting respect within an organization to ensure certain important moral principles prevail such as fairness treatment, promoting equality, honesty, diversity, promotion of dignity and protection of individual rights. In the counseling profession, if certain moral principles are not present it leads to unethical behavior thus undermining the American Counseling Association (ACA) code of ethics outlined in section B.6. The unethical behavior in discussion includes storing of clients records in a file cabinet which is not locked (Neukrug & Milliken, 2011). The unsecured location can be a personal computer with information about the clients. A good example of unethical behavior arises from the case of Vanessa who is a professional counselor. Vanessa goes to Margie office to offer an assistance thereby leaving own office not locked. One of Vanessa client pays a visit for a session where the client goes directly to Vanessa office thus gaining access to Vanessa clinical case notes left open on a computer screen.
Secure records keeping is essential to an individual or organization thus helping to maintain the moral principles highlighted by ACA code of ethics. Counselors should understand the need to ensure authorized persons do not access any records. It is important to ensure any record or information created, modified, stored, and accessed is safe and confidential. When counselors fail to ensure data protection of records in cabinets or personal computers, they undermine the client’s confidentiality (Remley & Herlihy, 2007). To avoid such an issue in future, the counselor should ensure they do not keep records open whether in the office or outside for few minutes. They should also ensure their personal computers requests for authentication measures when the computers are not in use by use of passwords so that when outside the office no one can access client records. Lastly, there is need to implement security measures while using the computer within a network such that others cannot gain access to client records. Passing Grades
Neukrug, E. and Milliken, T. (2011). Counselors’ Perceptions of Ethical Behaviors. Journal of Counseling & Development, pp.206-216.
Remley, T. P., & Herlihy, B. (2007). Ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling. Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.