The Effects of Unresolved Trauma and Identity Feedback on Counsellor Misconduct and Malpractice
2017-11-20T01:58:31Z (GMT) by
Ongoing trauma effects an estimated 20% of counselling professionals in Australia, and has been identified as a significant risk factor in misconduct and malpractice cases. A survey of 419 counselling professionals, and data from 41 court decision documents concerning guilty registered counsellors, provide insights into the possible explanations for 'why' counsellors breach ethical guidelines. It appears that for a small minority of counsellors with ongoing trauma that harvesting positive social-feedback from clients reinforces or boosts their self-identity. The action of harvesting positive social-feedback appears important for maintaining or improving psychological health. Subsequently, such behaviours may jeopardise client care leading to complaints and potential charges of misconduct and malpractice. The author provides recommendations to counsellors and professional bodies to support counsellors with unresolved trauma in order to protect their clients.