Our historical context indicates that there are critical reasons for the implementation of ethical guidelines and codes; however, practitioners who respond in fear of violating the ethics codes continue to challenge the profession as we attempt to interpret and implement good ethical practice with culturally diverse communities. Moreover, when a client from a culturally diverse background appears in the psychotherapist’s office and attempts to change the “therapeutic status quo,” it is possible that psychotherapists may find that this situation challenges their already existing schema for psychotherapy. For example, a Mexican American client whom you have seen in psychotherapy for several months for marital concerns comes to his next appointment and asks that the two of you engage in a spiritual ceremony together, which is consistent with his indigenous and spiritual beliefs, in order to further heal and cleanse his impure sexual thoughts about other women. He states that he views you as a healer and believes that engaging in this spiritual ceremony together will create a space for healing in the room. This situation raises the question of who defines what a “dilemma” is and how it “should” be resolved.
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Implementation of Ethical Guidelines and Codes
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