Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tennessee Religious Freedom Bill Unnecessary/Counselors Should Be Able to Deny Service

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill into law that allows counselors to deny service to LGBT people. There will likely be a lot of outrage and anger over this legislation, as it is yet another Religious Freedom bills being pushed through the states.  As there rightly should be. 

However, it would actually be unethical for any counselor who has any personal or professional issues with any client to provide services if that counselor is incapable of providing the client those services within the standard of care. 

This law, therefore, is unnecessary. It is simply unethical for a counselor that is incapable of working with homosexual clients to do so. It is harmful to the client and to the counseling profession. These kinds of laws only confuse and further alienate GLBT youth and adults that need all the support they need. Support that these people may not be receiving from their families, from their communities, or from their churches.
The ethical duty of any counselor would be to refer the client to another counselor, either within that clinic or to another counselor elsewhere, after receiving consultation and/or supervision. 

You would believe that most counselors would be more open-minded, but counselors cannot be expected to handle every conceivable client. 

+Amazing World
For example, some counselors cannot provide the standard of care to convicted child molesters because of personal issues that they may have regarding the trauma associated with child molestation. That does not mean that child molesters should not receive treatment. A counselor must understand how their own personal values may interweave with clients. 

Consulting colleagues and seeking supervision is helpful in working through any concerns that may develop. Counselors are human beings.

No comments:

Post a Comment