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Addiction Counselling – The Family and Groups Ethical Issues in Group Reflection Assignment

When running group counselling, some ethical issues need to be looked at or considered. For instance, a group leader needs to have training and learn about ethical decision-making so that they can reflect and be good examples for effective group work. Counsellors need to undergo training on certain issues to become effective group facilitators. The training will enable them to gain skills such as self-exploration, whereby they will learn the importance of being good examples to their group members (Hansen, 2015). In most cases, the group members will do what their leader is demonstrating; therefore, it is important for the leaders to take precautions in their actions. The group leaders must learn personal psychotherapy to understand themselves and their group members. Understanding themselves means that the group leaders can know their role in the clients’ lives and needs so that they can help them effectively. Group leaders or counsellors need to understand the importance of group supervision. They need to learn the process and development of a group. Group leaders must learn the importance of gaining consent or informed consent when dealing with clients and the benefits each member will gain during participation and making it known or communicating it to the clients (Hansen, 2015).

The group leaders need to understand the benefits of fair and equitable treatment of the group members and the importance of equitable sharing of resources and information, or what is referred to as social justice. Every member of the groups should be treated equally as they all come for a specific purpose, to get assistance. For social justice to be effective, some strategies need to be incorporated. The strategies include value clarification, raising the consciousness of the benefits of social justice, analyzing gender roles, encouraging group cohesion and empowering the members on gender roles and ethics within the society. Group leaders and counsellors also need to undergo training to learn not only to teach but implement and practice what they are teaching. The group leaders need to be patient and understand the group members (Hansen, 2015).

Group leaders and counsellors have an obligation to make, like selecting the members who will participate in the group. The leaders need to select members based on whether they align with the group’s goals. The group members selected should have compatible goals with the group’s objectives and not jeopardize the group’s activities and aims. People with damaged brains, antisocial personalities, and acutely paranoid are poor candidates and cannot be selected for the groups. Drug users should not be selected to join the group also, as they may interrupt the progress of the other group members (Hansen, 2015). The group members will need to understand the roles they play in the group for successful group management and running. Group members also need to join and participate in the group voluntarily in order for the group to succeed. In a mandatory group, the clients will need to understand their rights and responsibilities, nature and goals, confidentiality limits, and the right to decline activities. Group members will also have to understand the procedure for leaving the group. The group members will need to explain their reasons for leaving or wanting to leave the group (Woods & Ruzek, 2017).

Group leaders need to meet with the clients before the sessions start. The client and the counsellor will be able to discuss the goals of the counselling, ask and get answers to any misunderstandings and concerns, and clarify how members should behave; the leader must explain the process of counselling, and the members can explore the fears and resources to be used during the counselling process (Woods & Ruzek, 2017). The group leaders also have an obligation to clients. These obligations include telling the clients the limit of confidentiality, explaining each member’s responsibility and the absence of legal privileges concerning the information that is shared.

Group leaders are responsible for explaining to the clients some of the psychological risks. Some of the risks involved in the group include disrupting the client’s life due to group activities. These disruptions may include having to leave work to attend meetings and activities of the group. The clients’ privacy may be invaded, and thus, they need to be honest with the leader. There may also be group pressure; thus, they need to avoid answering questions or giving uncomfortable information. Moreover, they should understand that they might be accused of doing things they did not do and thus be careful. The group members may also exploit other members and misuse their confrontation (Rostyslaw et al., 2020). Clients must be prepared for all these risks to maintain effective communication and process. The group leader needs to set group laws and ensure that every member’s information is protected and confidential to only those who heard it.

Therefore, A group leader needs to be ethical and responsible in ensuring that group members are taken care of properly and ethically. The group leader needs to set rules to govern the group and protect the information the clients have given out. The leader needs to ensure that there is informed consent when sharing a client’s information and also be able to supervise and solve cases that may arise among the group members. An effective group leader also needs to understand the group members and ensure they are aware of their roles and responsibilities within the group. The smooth running of a group requires effective ethical considerations, behaviour management, and respect between the leader and the members.


Hansen, Cindy. (2015). Chapter 12: Ethical Issues in Group Work. In YouTube.

Rostyslaw, W., Grffin, P., & Ward, A. (2020). Confidentiality in Counsellor Experiential Training Groups: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Counselling Research and Practice Journal of Counseling Research and Practice5.

Woods, J., & Ruzek, N. (2017). Ethics in Group Psychotherapy. The College Counselor’s Guide to Group Psychotherapy, 83–100.


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