Professional, Ethical & Legal Studies PSY551 .Professional, Ethical & Legal Studies PSY551 Fall,

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  • Professional, Ethical & Legal Studies PSY551

    Fall, 2017 p. 1

    Javier Sierra, Psy.D., LMHC, LMFT

    Adjunct Professor

    Phone: (407) 401-1991


    Class Time: Sept. 8 - 9; Oct. 13 14; Nov. 3 4; Nov. 17 18; Friday 3:00 7:00 PM; Saturday

    8:30 3:00 PM

    Mission of the Seminary

    The mission of Reformed Theological Seminary is to serve the Church by preparing its lead-

    ers, through a program of graduate theological education, based upon the authority of the

    inerrant Word of God, and committed to the Reformed Faith.

    Definition of Counseling

    Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and

    groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals. (20/20: A Vision

    for the Future of Counseling; as cited in Counseling Today, June 2010, p. 36).

    Course Description

    This course focuses on professional issues, both legal and ethical, that surround the counsel-

    ing field. Attention is given to the development of professional identity, the standard of pro-

    fessional conduct, relevant codes of ethics, current statutes and the requirements for licen-


    Students completing the course will develop a sensitivity to the ethical and legal aspects of

    the counseling process, better appreciate ethical constrains under which a counselor works,

    and develop skills to critically examine how they conduct themselves as counselors.


    Blessings to each one of you!!

    On behalf of the area of the MAC Program, I want to officially welcome you to Professional,

    Ethical & Legal Studies PSY551. I am Javier Sierra, and I have the privilege of facilitating this

    course, which promises to be an exciting journey into one of the most relevant subjects in

    the practice of counseling.

    As we start this process I want you to know that I can be reached through phone and email.

    Email is my preferred means of communication, as I check it regularly. Please do not hesi-

    tate to contact me with your questions and comments.

    Student Learning Outcomes and CACREP Standards Covered in PSY551 (

    The following goals for PSY551 are based on the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling

    and Related Education Programs (CACREP) 2009 Standards.


  • Professional, Ethical & Legal Studies PSY551

    Fall, 2017 p. 2

    Section II. Professional Identity

    Studies that provide an understanding of all the following aspects of professional functioning:

    II.G.1.b. professional roles, functions, and relationships with other human service provid-

    ers, including strategies for interagency/interorganization collaboration and


    II.G.1.d. self-care strategies appropriate to the counselor role;

    II.G.1.f. professional organizations, including membership benefits, activities, services to

    members, and current issues;

    II.G.1.g. professional credentialing, including certification, licensure, and accreditation

    practices and standards, and the effects of public policy on these issues;

    II.G.1.j. ethical standards of professional organizations and credentialing bodies, and

    applications of ethical and legal considerations in professional counseling.

    Section III. Professional Practice

    Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC; Student Learning Outcomes) Students who are

    preparing to work as clinical mental health counselors will demonstrate the professional

    knowledge, skills, and practices necessary to address a wide variety of circumstances within

    the clinical mental health counseling context, including the following domains:

    Foundations: Knowledge

    CMHC A.2 Understands the ethical and legal considerations specifically related to the

    practice of CMHC.

    CMHC A.4 Knows the professional organizations, preparation standards, & credentials

    relevant to the practice of CMHC.

    CMHC A.7 Is aware of professional issues that affect clinical mental health counselors

    (e.g., core provider status, expert witness status, access to and practice privi-

    leges within manage care systems).

    Skills and Practices

    CMHC B.1 Demonstrates the ability to apply & adhere to ethical and legal standards in

    clinical mental health counseling.

    General Course Objectives:

    Based on the CACREP Student Learning Outcomes, at the end of this course, students should

    be able to:

    1. identify the major ethical frameworks and apply ethical principles to individual, group,

    and family counseling situations with a sensitivity to multicultural and social justice consid-

    erations, and to the values and beliefs of the kingdom of God;

    2. name the main categories of a professional code of ethics in counseling;

  • Professional, Ethical & Legal Studies PSY551

    Fall, 2017 p. 3

    3. give a sound rationale for the need of conceptualizing ethical problems in counseling;

    4. expound on a framework for addressing ethical and legal issues in counseling;

    5. identify issues and requirements for professional credentialing and licensure;

    6. become an advocate for his/her profession at the local, state, and national level;

    7. to integrate faith into his/her role as a professional counselor.

    Instruction Methodologies:

    In order to facilitate the learning process, the following methods of instruction are used: lec-

    ture with & without audio-visual aids; class and small group discussions, online discussions and

    presentations; library research; and case discussions.

    Textbooks and other Materials:

    Required Course Texts:

    Anderson, S., & Handelsman, M. M. (2010). Ethics for Psychotherapists and Counselors: A pro

    active approach. Mandel, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. (II.G.1.b.) 253 pages. ISBN 13: 978-1- 4051-7766-5

    Barnett, J. E., & Johnson, W.B. (2015). Ethics Desk Reference for Counselors (2nd ed.). Alexan-

    dria, VA: American Counseling Association. 213 pages. (II.G.1.b.) ISBN 13: 978-1- 55620-327-5

    Herlihy, B., & Corey, G. (2014). ACA Ethical Standards Casebook (seventh ed.). Alexandria,

    VA: American Counseling Association (CMHC A.2; A7) 328 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1-55620-321-3

    _____, (2014). AACC Christian counseling code of ethics. American Association of Christian

    Counseling, Forest, VA. Ready for download at (CMHC


    , (2014). ACA Code of Ethics. American Counseling Association. Alexandria, VA. Ready

    for download at: (CMHC A.4)

    , (2006). AAPC Code of Ethics. American Association of Pastoral Counseling. VA.

    Ready for download at: (CMHC A.4)

    _____, (2010). AMHCA Code of Ethics. American Mental Health Counselors Association. Alex-

    andria, VA. Ready for download at:

    HCA_Code_of_Ethics_2010_w_pagination_cxd_51110.pdf (CMHC A.4)

    _____, (2014). AAMFT Code of Ethics. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

    Alexandria, VA. Ready for download at:

    ics/code_of_ethics.aspx (CMHC A.4)

  • Professional, Ethical & Legal Studies PSY551

    Fall, 2017 p. 4

    Chapter 491, Florida Statues.


    Corey, G., Corey, M., & Callanan, P. (2007). Issues & Ethics in the Helping Professions. (7th

    ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole ISBN-13: 978-0-534-61443-0

    Herlihy, B., & Corey, G. (2006). ACA Ethical Standards Casebook, sixth edition. Alexandria,

    VA: American Counseling Association. 264 pages. ISBN: 1-55620-255-5

    Pope. K. S. & Vasquez. M. J. T. (2011). Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling: A practical

    guide. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 465 pages ISBN: 978-0-470-63307-6

    Sanders, Randolph K. (Ed.). (2013). Christian Counseling Ethics: A handbook for psychologists,

    therapists and pastors (2nd ed.). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. (CMHC A.2; A7)

    ISBN-13: 978-0-8308-3994-0

    Wilcoxon, A., Remley, Jr. T., Gladding, S. T., & Huber, C. H. (2007). Ethical, Legal, and Profes-

    sional Issues in the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy, (4th ed.) Columbus, OH: Merrill

    Publishing Co. ISBN-14: 978-0-13112-034-1

    Woody, R. H., & Woody, J. D. (Eds.). (2001). Ethics in Marriage & Family Therapy. Washington,

    D.C.: American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. ISBN: 1-931846-04-9


    To successfully complete this course, each student will engage the below assignments:

    Assignment 1 [10%]

    Class Participation