The question of whether ethical theory or empirical evidence is moreapplicable in clinical counseling has been a contentious issuethroughout the lifespan of the profession. This is mainly becausetheories have the likelihood of producing different outcomes.However, according to the article by Harold, therapists can usedifferent theoretical approaches but have the same opinions of anideal therapy (Harold, 1992). Thus, the basic characteristic of agood orientation is the one that results into a point of view that issupported by practical evidence. According to the American CounselorsAssociation (ACA, 2014) Code of Ethics, service providers have aresponsibility of using “techniques, procedures, (and) modalitiesthat are grounded in theory and/or have empirical or scientificfoundation”. However, theory plays an important role in practice.For example, the nature of the client’s problem as well as thedesired goals of the interventions is based on a particular theory. Despite this, matching the interventions within a specific case aswell as aligning it to the evidence based practices has huge impactson the effectiveness of the therapy (Harold, 1992).
There are several factors that have an influence on the developmentof my theoretical orientation to clinical medicine as a counselor.Most importantly are my personal values and principles in life. Someof my guiding values include commitment to serving others, sympathy,striving for excellence, honesty, and trustworthiness. These areessential in building a working relationship with my colleagues aswell as my clients.
Secondly, I am guided by professional codes of conduct and ethics.Counselors, especially those dealing with mentally ill patients arebound by very strict ethical standards. As a member of the AmericanCounselors Association, abiding by their code is paramount. Theprofessional ethical principles cover all aspects of the practice,taking into consideration scientific evidences and theories. This isessential in resolving ethical dilemmas and challenges that faceindividuals on their daily practices, as well as protecting thewelfare of the patient.
ACA (2014). Code of Ethics,http://www.counseling.org/docs/ethics/2014-aca-code-of-ethics.pdf.
Harold, H. (1992). Differentiating between counseling theory andprocess, Eric Digest, ED347485.