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Applied Ethics and Decision Making in Mental Health

Applied Ethics and Decision Making in Mental Health

July 2016 | 464 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
“Moyer and Crews move beyond simply presenting and explaining the ethical code. In this book, they challenge counselors-in-training to grapple with their own values and understand how ethical decision-making is influenced by the lens through which they see the world as much as it is influenced by the actual code.”

–Kristi Gibbs, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Applied Ethics and Decision Making in Mental Health covers professional issues and ethical decision making related to the codes of ethics of the American Counseling Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy in an easy-to-read format, connecting ethical standards to real-life scenarios.  This book not only focuses on the various aspects of legal issues and codes of ethics, but also includes ethical decision making models and exploration into the philosophy behind ethical decision making.  By challenging readers to understand their own morals, values, and beliefs, this in-depth guide encourages critical thinking, real world application, and classroom discussion using case illustrations, exercises, and examples of real dialogue in every chapter.

Chapter One: Introduction to Ethics
Defining Ethics

Codes of Ethics

Principle Ethics

Ethics as Philosophy

Chapter Two: The Counselor as a Person and Professional Identity
Counselor Self-Awareness

Stress in Counseling

Wellness Model

Counselor Credentialing

Professional Associations

Chapter Three: Ethical Decision Making
Overview of Ethical Decision Making

Ethical Decision Making Models

Summary of Decision Making Models

Legal Decision Making

Avoiding Ethical Problems

Chapter Four: Ethics and Diversity
Multicultural Competence and Understanding Diversity

Diversity Considerations in the Counseling Relationship

Diversity Considerations in Diagnosis and Assessment

Diversity Considerations in Counselor Education and Supervision

Chapter Five: Clients’ Rights and Counselors’ Responsibilities
Client Rights

Counselor Responsibilities

Chapter Six: Confidentiality and Privileged Communication

Duty to Protect

Duty to Warn

End of Life Decisions

Contagious, Life-threatening Diseases

Court Ordered Disclosures

Sharing Information with Subordinates, Interdisciplinary Teams, and Third Party Payers


Confidentiality vs. Privacy

Storage and Disposal Records

Waiting Rooms

Credit Card Billing

Phone Calls

Public Encounters

Mandatory Reporting (Protecting Children and Vulnerable Adults)

Chapter Seven: Ethics in Theory, Practice, and Professional Relationships
Theory and Techniques


Professional Relationships


Fees and Billing



Chapter Eight: Appropriate Boundaries and Multiple Relationships
Maintaining Boundaries with Clients

Social Relationships with Clients

Sexual Attraction to Clients

Receiving Gifts


Chapter Nine: Ethics and Technology
Informed Consent

Security Standards

Social Media

Records Storage

Web Maintenance

Multicultural and Disability Considerations

Chapter Ten: Ethics in Group Work, Couples, and Families
Ethics in Group Work

Counseling Couples and Families

Chapter Eleven: Ethics in School Counseling
Informed Consent


Clear and Foreseeable Harm

Confidentiality and Sharing Information with Parents and School Personnel

Responsibilities to the School

Student Records

Chapter Twelve: Ethics in Counselor Education
Responsibilities of Counselor Education Programs


Responsibilities of Counselor Educators

Roles and Relationships between Counselor Educators and Students

Chapter Thirteen: Ethics in Supervision
Supervisor Competency

Informed Consent

Responsibilities of Supervisors

Relationships between Supervisors and Supervisees

Chapter Fourteen: Ethics in Research and Publications
Researcher Responsibilities

Rights of Research Participants

Researcher and Participant Relationships

Reporting Results



“This text is unique in that it provides a comprehensive look at the importance of decision-making models when preparing students to face real-world ethical dilemmas.”

Julie M. Koch
Oklahoma State University

“Moyer and Crews move beyond simply presenting and explaining the ethical code. In this book, they challenge counselors-in-training to grapple with their own values and understand how ethical decision-making is influenced by the lens through which they see the world as much as it is influenced by the actual code.”

Kristi Gibbs
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

  “This text offers examination of the current ethical code with emphasis on practical application.  It challenges counselors-in-training to examine their personal value systems and the influence this has on becoming and being an ethical counselor.”

Susan A. Adams
Texas Woman’s University

“This text uses extensive case illustrations of ethical dilemmas with in-depth discussions regarding how they might be handled. It clearly demonstrates the use of ethical decision making processes which will be a real asset to graduate students in understanding how to maintain an ethical practice. Students will enjoy this text because it is clear, concise, relevant and practical.”

Susan L. Williams
National University
Key features


  • Ethical dilemmas within each chapter relate to every ethical standard showing students how and when specific ethical standards may apply.
  • Each chapter has multiple ethical dilemmas providing an application-based analysis rather than theory based.
  • Case illustrations demonstrate critical examination of ethical guidelines and interpret standards in ways that best provide for the client.
  • APA and AAMFT ethical codes have been infused alongside the ACA code of ethics to provide multiple perspectives applicable to a range of mental health professionals. 

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