Reflective Ethical Autobiography Assignment

In the Final Project for this course, you are to develop a reflective Ethical Autobiography, intended to define your ethical perspective as an emerging counselor in training.

In order to understand clearly where you are headed, you must also evaluate where you have been and what has influenced you along the way. It is important to reflect critically upon your own values (and sense of personal/professional ethics) and how you developed these perspectives in order to develop an ethical framework. To help accomplish this goal, the Final Project for this course is an Ethical Autobiography in which you will explore various elements of your life experiences that might influence your future ethical framework.

As you reflect on your journey through this class, some of the course readings may have informed your Ethical Autobiography. You can also make use of outside resources, but much of the paper will be exploring what you bring to the profession and events that may have influenced your ethical lens. This reflective autobiography should have personal meaning to you and should help you understand what being an ethical practitioner means. In this sense, you are writing an intellectual and Ethical Autobiography, that is, who you are as the virtue of what you believe, what you do, and what you have read. Think broadly—there are no wrong answers; you are exploring your own world.

You may find the following article helpful, as you begin conceptualizing your Final Project:

  • Bashe, A., Anderson, S. K., Handelsman, M. M., & Klevansky, R. (2007). An acculturation model for ethics training: The ethics autobiography and beyond. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 38(1), 60–67.

For Your Consideration: (The points outlined below are intended as prompts for developing the essential elements of your Final Project).

Some examples of questions/issues that you can address:

  • You may share how you developed a sense of right and wrong.
  • Who/what influenced your moral and ethical development?
  • What experiences contributed to your personal and professional beliefs? Are your personal and professional beliefs congruent?
  • What is your idea of right and wrong? Are there absolutes or are there shades of gray? Do the same guidelines apply in all circumstances?
  • What are some of your basic values that guide your work and your life? What experiences have potentially influenced your decision making?
  • What aspects of your personality and work ethic are most compatible with the counseling field? Which aspects are the least compatible?
  • Was there a time, in your personal or professional life, when you felt that your confidentiality was violated, that you were involved in a dual relationship in which you felt uncomfortable, or perhaps an issue resonated unexpectedly with you (e.g., transference)?

Essential Elements (You must address the points outlined below in your Final Project.):

  • Select four counseling issues, describe these issues, and explain potential ethical challenges for addressing these issues in your professional practice.
  • Explain state or region laws or statutes that might apply to these ethical challenges.
  • Reference specific codes of ethics that you ascribe to for your practice and how adhering to ethics and law present challenges for addressing these issues you selected.
  • Explain why this Assignment is meaningful to you.
  • Describe how adhering to ethics and law for professional counseling practice might influence social change.
  • Finally, explain how you have changed because of your work in this class. Describe personal and ethical values you have reexamined because of your work in this course.

You should present your Final Project as a 12- to 15-page (including cover page, abstract, and references—therefore, approximately 10–12 pages of text), double-spaced, APA-formatted paper. Papers can be longer if the purpose of the paper is served, but the quality of ideas and conciseness of the writing should justify the extra length. Also, please proofread your papers to make sure that grammar, punctuation, and other mistakes do not hinder the communication of your ideas.

Your Instructor will evaluate your Final Project according to all four indicators in the  Final Project Rubric, located in the Course Information area.

Furthermore, you will be evaluated on your ability to:

  • Develop your ability to think about, use, and integrate what you have read. You should go beyond just a summary of what you have read. You should also be well balanced in your arguments, and go beyond the obvious (e.g., “we should be aware of ethical issues and follow the ACA Code”) into specifics, gray areas, and more subtle questions.
  • Demonstrate that you have learned something from this course on ethical decision making.
  • Clearly communicate your reflective thinking.

You can find information on scholarly writing in the APA Publication Manual and at the Walden Writing Center website.

Required Resources

Readings

    • Remley, T. P., Jr., & Herlihy, B. (2016). Ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
      • Chapter 13, “Professional Relationships, Private Practice, and Health Care Plans” (pp. 311-337)
  • Hendricks, B., Bradley, L. J., Brogan, W. C., III, & Brogan, C. (2009). Shelly: A case study focusing on ethics and counselor wellness. The Family Journal, 17(4), 355–359. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Neukrug, E., Milliken, T., & Walden, S. (2001). Ethical complaints made against credentialed counselors: An updated survey of state licensing boards. Counselor Education & Supervision, 41(1), 57–70. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Wilcoxon, S. A., & Magnuson, S. (2002). Concurrent academic and pre-licensure supervision: When supervision is not just supervision. Clinical Supervisor, 21(2), 55–66. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Wilkerson, K. (2006). Impaired students: Applying the therapeutic process model to graduate training programs. Counselor Education & Supervision, 45(3), 207–217. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Document: Case Study Analysis Worksheet
  • Document: Formatted Template for Final Project (Word Document)
  • Herlihy, B., & Corey, G. (2015). ACA ethical standards casebook (7th ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
    • “Case Study 2: A Minor (?) Client” (pp. 150-153)
    • “Case Study 20: An Imposition of Values” (pp. 268-271)

Optional Resources

  • Magnuson, S., Black, L. L., & Norem, K. (2004). Supervising school counselors and interns: Resources for site supervisors. Journal of Professional Counseling, Practice, Theory, & Research, 32(2), 4–15. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Welfel, E. R. (2005). Accepting fallibility: A model for personal responsibility for nonegregious ethics infractions. Counseling & Values, 49(2), 120–131. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Wilcoxon, S. A., Norem, K., & Magnuson, S. (2005). Supervisees’ contributions to lousy supervision outcomes. Journal of Professional Counseling, Practice, Theory, & Research, 33(2), 31–49. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
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