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date: 30 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Group-counseling practitioners may not be aware of significant similarities and differences among philosophical foundations, professional association documents, and legal terms that guide practice. I will identify similarities and differences among them, highlight essential issues specific to group practice, and suggest future directions. In my discussion, it will be clear that ethical practice in group therapy is not a linear process. Rather, ethical conduct is a matrix relationship involving numerous variables. The following equation highlights the essential components: ethical behavior in group counseling = (moral and ethical development + professional ethics + core knowledge and skills + specialty/best-practice guidelines + legal parameters) × decision-making model(s). While the equation seems linear in its representation, it is not necessarily linear in application.

Keywords: ethics, group counseling, best practice in groups, professional ethics codes and standards, legal issues (in counseling, psychology, social work) with groups

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