You are here

Ethical Practice in the Human Services

Ethical Practice in the Human Services
From Knowing to Being

Additional resources:

October 2016 | 416 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Ethical Practice in the Human Services moves beyond addressing ethical issues and principles to helping readers actually practice ethical behavior through awareness of their personal morals, values, and choices. With coverage of ethical standards from six different associations, the text addresses ethical issues and principles in social work, counseling, psychology, and marriage and family therapy. Robust pedagogy includes case illustrations and guided exercises to give readers a deeper understanding of the underlying moral principles and values that serve as a foundation for the various ethical codes.
Part One: Helping: The Role and Influence of the Helper
Chapter 1: Ethics – Core to Professional Helping
The Helping Process: A Blending of Art and Science  
The Helping Process: The Meeting of Client and Helper  
The Role of the Client in the Process of Change  
The Role of the Helper in the Process of Change  
Chapter 2: Helper Variables: What the Helper Brings to the Helping Relationship
Helper Values  
Helper Competence: Beyond Knowledge and Skill  
The Ethics of Therapeutic Choice  
Professionalization, Professional Ethics, and Personal Response  
Chapter 3: Ethical Standards: Guidelines for Helping Others
Formal Ethical Standards: The Evolution of a Profession  
Across the Professions: A Review of Ethical Standards of Practice  
Common Concerns and Shared Values Across the Professions  
Beyond Knowing - A Call to BEING Ethical  
Chapter 4: Ethical Practice in an Increasingly Diverse World
Prejudice – Pervasive In and Throughout the Helping Profession  
Responding to the Challenge  
Part Two: Ethics and Standards of Practice: The Professions’
Chapter 5: Ethics and the Law
The Helping Process as a Legal Contract  
The Legal Foundation of Ethical Practice  
When Ethics and Legalities Collide  
Chapter 6: Conflict: The Reality of ‘Being’ Ethical within the Real World
Serving the Individual within a System  
Ethical Culture of Social Systems  
Who Is the Client?  
Chapter 7: Ethical Decision Making
Codes of Ethics – Guides not Prescriptions  
Ethical Decision Making: A Range of Models  
Common Elements: An Integrated Approach to Ethical Decision Making  
Part Three: Applying Ethical Standards
Chapter 8: Informed Consent
The Rationale for Informed Consent  
Informed Consent across the Profession  
Special Challenges to Informing for Consent  
Chapter 9: Confidentiality
Confidentiality: What and When Warranted?  
Legal Decisions: Confidentiality and Privileged Communications  
Chapter 10: Boundaries and the Use of Power
Setting and Maintaining Professional Boundaries  
Professional Objectivity: Essential to Professional Boundaries  
Legal Decisions  
Chapter 11: Efficacy of Treatment
Practicing Within the Realm of Competence  
Professional Development: Knowing the State of the Profession  
The Standard of Care: Appropriate Treatment  
Employing an Action Research Approach to Practice  
The Use of Referral  
Recent Legal Decisions  
Chapter 12: Evaluation and Accountability
Monitoring and Evaluating Intervention Effects  
Recent Legal Decisions  
Chapter 13: Ethical Challenges Working with Groups, Couples and Families
Competency to Practice  
Identifying the “Client”  
Informed Consent  
Responsibility: Client Welfare  
Chapter 14: Competence and the Ethics of Self-Care
Competency: More than Knowledge and Skill  
Compassion Fatigue  
The Ethical Challenge  
Ethical Response  


Companion Website

Calling all instructors!
SAGE’s password-protected companion website includes the following text-specific Instructor resources:

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course


“An invaluable resource for all professors who train human service majors at the undergraduate level.  The text provides information about multiple forms of professional helping starting with ethics codes and moving forward.”  

Ginger Welch
Oklahoma State University

“This text will provide a resource for instructors and students to consider professional ethics and personal/professional identity development as inextricably intertwined.”

Steven Farmer
Northern Arizona University

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 4

Chapter 7

Preview this book

Richard D. Parsons

Richard D. Parsons, PhD, is a full professor in the Department of Counselor Education, at West Chester University. He has over 37 years of university teaching in counselor preparation programs. He has been the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Pennsylvania Counselor of Year award, and has authored or co-authored over 80 professional articles, book chapters, and books. His most recent books include Counseling Theory: Guiding Reflective Practice in 2014, Becoming a Skilled Counselor in 2013 (both with SAGE), and a series of four training texts for school counselors grouped under the title, Transforming Theory into Practice ... More About Author

Karen L. Dickinson

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781506332918