Ethical Practice in Grief Counseling

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Sample Chapter: Chapter 1

Ethical Practice in Grief Counseling

SKU# 9780826100832

Author: Louis A. Gamino PhD, ABPP, FT, R. Hal Ritter Jr., PhD, LPC, LMFT


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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

Product Details 

  • Publication Date April 13, 2009
  • Page Count 440
  • Product Form Hardback
  • ISBN 13 9780826100832
  • EISBN 9780826100849

About The Author(s) 

Louis A.Gamino
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.

Table of Contents 

Foreword - J. William Worden, PhD
1. Introduction
2. Ethical Decision-Making: 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
9. Grief Counseling on the Internet
10. Ethical Controversies in Grief Counseling
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
A. Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) Code of Ethics
B. Five P Model for Ethical Decision-Making
C. Professional Will: Guidelines, Sample Template, and Instructions for Professional Executors
D. Sample Client Information Brochure for Informed Consent for Grief Counseling

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