Ethical Practice in Grief Counseling

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Springer Publishing Company, Apr 13, 2009 - Family & Relationships - 440 pages
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"Gamino and Ritter do an excellent job of providing cogent advice and helpful suggestions for how professionals can manage ethical dilemmas that arise from the practice of grief counseling."

-J. William Worden, PhD, ABPP
Clinical Psychologist Laguna Niguel, California Author, Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy, 4th Edition (From the Foreword)

Essential reading for grief counselors, mental health clinicians, death educators, hospice workers, clergy, funeral directors, and social workers.

Grief counselors are confronted daily with a host of serious ethical dilemmas, some so critical that they can drastically change the course of a counselor's practice and career. This practical and authoritative guide serves as a comprehensive handbook for navigating the difficult ethical issues grief counselors confront daily with clients. These include confidentiality, end-of-life issues, intimacies with clients, challenges posed by unnatural deaths, spiritual and cultural considerations, and many more.

To tackle these issues head on, Gamino and Ritter present the Five P Model, a customized process for ethical decision-making that will help counselors outline a specific, step-by-step course of action to respond to the ethical dilemma at hand. The book is also rich with case examples, both hypothetical and real-life, to demonstrate how to implement the Five P Model in practice, and apply it to various ethical dilemmas.

Among the key topics discussed:

  • How to address ethical problems posed by Internet counseling, such as authenticating identity, securing confidentiality, and intervening in a crisis
  • Death competence on the part of the counselor and how the counselor's own experience of grieving can inform counseling practice
  • Guidance on how to report a colleague or face a complaint
  • How to meet ethical obligations towards clients when moving or closing a practice

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1 Introduction
The Five P Model
3 Death Competence
4 Consent
5 Confidentiality
6 Ethical Dilemmas at End of Life
7 Multiple Relationships in Thanatology
8 Ethnic Cultural and Spiritual Considerations
11 Potential Pitfalls of Public Service
12 Grief Counselor as Expert Witness
13 Moving or Closing a Practice
14 Reporting a Colleague or Facing a Complaint
15 Epilogue

9 Grief Counseling on the Internet
10 Ethical Controversies in Grief Counseling

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About the author (2009)

Louis A. Gamino, PhD, ABPP, FT is a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology, and a Fellow in Thanatology from the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC). He has been on staff with the Scott & White Clinic and Hospital in Temple, Texas since obtaining his doctorate from the University of Kansas in 1980. Dr. Gamino is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Texas A&M University Health Science Center College of Medicine. He is Program Director for the Scott & White Bereavement Conferences held biennially in September (even numbered years). Dr. Gamino is former Editor of The Forum, a journal-style newsletter published by ADEC. Together with Ann Cooney, he is co-author of When Your Baby Dies Through Miscarriage or Stillbirth (2002, Augsburg Fortress). Dr. Gamino is principal investigator of the Scott & White Grief Study and his research program is focused on adaptive grieving after loss. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on bereavement. In recognition of excellence in clinical care of the dying and the bereaved, Dr. Gamino was the 2008 recipient of ADEC's Clinical Practice Award.

R. Hal Ritter, Jr., PhD, LPC, LMFT is an ordained Baptist minister who received his PhD from Baylor University with a specialty in the psychology of religion and ethics. He is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine in the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. Dr. Ritter currently serves as the Family Medicine Residency Behavioral Science Educator at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas. He also serves on the Ethics Committee for the Scott & White Memorial Hospital. Dr. Ritter is a Diplomate and training supervisor in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Also a licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Ritter is a clinical member and approved training supervisor in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Academically, Dr. Ritter is adjunct faculty at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. In addition, he has taught graduate classes in marriage and family therapy at Baylor University and at the Tarleton State University of Central Texas in Killeen, Texas. Dr. Ritter serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling. He has published numerous articles and book reviews related to the topic of psychotherapy.

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