SOCW6333: Discussion – Ethical Responsibility (wk5)

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Due 3/25/2019

The ethical guidelines stipulate how helping professionals must conduct themselves when working with clients to avoid legal and ethical violations. They also include information regarding the ethical responsibility of addressing professional impairment. For example, a duty to warn refers to notifying a person or authorities if a client or student is a danger to themselves or to someone else. A duty to warn also means that if an impaired professional is unable to treat effectively and places a client or student at risk for harm, appropriate persons or authorities must be notified.

For this Discussion, select one of the scenarios provided and analyze the potential for professional impairment as it relates to vicarious trauma. In addition, think about your ethical responsibility in addressing the impairment as a helping professional.

  • Post your brief description of the scenario you selected.
  • Then explain at least one possible impairment exhibited by the practitioner due to vicarious trauma and the impact it may have on the helping or treatment process.
  • Then, as a helping professional, explain how you might address the impairment. Be specific and provide examples referencing your professional code of ethics.


Goren, E. (2013). Ethics, boundaries, and supervision Commentary on ‘Trauma triangles and parallel processes: Geometry and the supervisor/trainee/patient triad’. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 23(6), 737-743. doi:10.1080/10481885.2013.851568

Knight, C. (2018). Trauma-informed supervision: Historical antecedents, current practice, and future directions. Clinical Supervisor, 37(1), 7-37. doi:10.1080/07325223.2017.1413607

Morrissette, P. J. (2004). The pain of helping: Psychological injury of helping professionals. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.

  • Chapter 8, “Burnout”

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