Utilizing 4 Assumptions of Kitchener Model of Ethical Decision Making Paper Your initial post should be at 500 words
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Discussion – Imagine you are a human service professional bound by general ethical principles, but also by the agency policies of your employer. Your agency only provides career assistance; all other assistance is a referral to other resources. The client is in a situation where she/he cannot afford clothes for interviews and your agency provides no monetary assistance. Other options have been exhausted and you are contemplating paying for an outfit yourself because this client is sincerely trying to become self-sufficient. Utilize the 4 assumptions of Kitcheners model of ethical decision-making and, following a National Organization of Human Services (NOHS) ethical principle arrive at a rationale for paying or not paying for an outfit for the client. Kitcheners Model and the Ethical codes of the National Organization of Human Services will be used in your final paper.
Martin, M.E. (2014). Introduction to human services: Through the eyes of practice settings (3rd. ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education. ISBN: 9780205848058
National Organization of Human Services: http://www.nationalhumanservices.org (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. This site is the primary site for human services ethics, careers, conferences, publications, etc.
Robson, M., Cook, P., Hunt, K., Alred, G., & Robson, D. (2000). Towards ethical decision-making in counselling research. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 28(4), 533547. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1080/713652317
Urofsky, R. I., Engels, D. W., & Engebretson, K. (2008). Kitcheners Principle Ethics: Implications for Counseling Practice and Research. Counseling & Values, 53(1), 6778. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford…. Issues and Insights
Kitchener’s Principle Ethics:
Implications for Counseling Practice
Robert L Urofsky, Dennis W. Engels, and Ken Engebretson
This extensive iiterature review examining the influence of K. S. Kitchener’s
(1984) introduction of principie ethics on counseiing and psyohology ethics notes the ultimate praoticaiity of principle ethios. The authors maintain
that aithough a strong influence of prinoipie ethios in the area of counselor
education emerges through the review, there is iittie clear evidence of influenoe in the areas of counseiing research or practioe. A primary relianoe in
the oounseiing professionai iiterature on K. S. Kitchener’s priginai work has
likely resulted in a static understanding of the concepts and a concomitant theory-to-appiication knowiedge gap. Impiications inciude a more
thorough and ongoing bridging between counseiing ethics, philosophical
ethics and practice, and a more overf presence of principie ethics.
itchener’s (1984) article “Intuition, Critical Evaluation, and Ethical Principles: The Foundation for Ethical Decisions in Counseling Psychology”
is a highly influential work in professional literature regarding how
counselor educators and counseling students understand professional ethics.
With her work. Kitchener initiated an important bridging process between the
philosophical discipline of ethics and the helping professions of counseling
and counseling psychology. This bridge is now more than 20 years old, and a
review of Kitchener’s adaptation of principle ethics seems timely and important
in maintaining and reinforcing this bridge while seeking enhancements. Thus,
the goal of this article is to trace the provenience and influence of Kitchener’s
original work in principle ethics for the purposes of discerning key implications
of principle ethics for counseling preparation, practice, and research.
Kitchener’s Principle Ethics
In 1984, Kitchener presented an overall model of moral reasoning consisting of several hierarchical levels. One level of the model, the level of moral
Robert I. Urofsky, Department of Leadership, Counseling, Human and Organi/Mtional Development,
Clemson University; Dennis W. Engels, Human Services and Social Work, University of North Texas;
Ken Engebretson, Department of Counseling, Human Services, and Social Work, Northern Kentucky
University. Robert I. Urofsky is now at Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational
Programs (CACREP), Alexandria, Virginia. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed
to Robert I. Urofsky, CACREP, 1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 510, Alexandria, VA 22314.
© 2008 by the American Counseling Association. All rights reserved.
Counseiing and Vaiues “October 2008” Voiume 53
principles, has garnered the most attention in counseling and psychology
literature. In discussing this level and its ultimate utility in ethical decision
making. Kitchener presented the principle ethics model originally developed by Beauchamp and Childress (1979) for use in biomédical ethics. This
model consists of the moral principles of autonomy (freedom of action and
choice), beneficence (doing good), nonmaleficence (avoiding harm), and
justice (fairness). Kitchener (1984) proposed the addition of fidelity (loyalty)
as an additional moral principle of interest for ethical decision making in
In her 1984 article. Kitchener defined these principles and sought to provide
examples from the practice of counseling psychology, which highlighted
key aspects of each principle. In addition, she supported Beauchamp and
Childress’s (1994) proposition of the principles as being prima facie valid,
meaning that each principle constitutes “an obligation that must be fulfilled
unless it conflicts on a particular occasion with an equal or stronger obligation”
(p. 33). Thus, she rejected an outright rank ordering of the principles or an
acceptance of the principles as being absolutely valid in all circumstances.
Although Kitchener successfully bridged the disciplines of philosophical
ethics and counseling and psychology ethics, she did not clearly articulate
a methodology by which to use the principle ethics framework in ethical
decision making. In principle ethics, when principles conflict, the practitioner must carefully weigh, balance, sift, and winnow competing principles
to determine which principle has precedence. It is this important issue that
raises considerations about the influence and implications of Kitchener’s
work for counseling ethics.
Influence of Kitchener’s Approach
Indicators in the counseling literature support the foundational role
Kitchener’s (1984) principle-based, ethical decision-making approach plays
within the ethics landscape of counseling and psychology (Kitchener, 2000;
Urofsky, 2000). In a qualitative study of counselor and psychologist educators
who had written on the topic of ethics in their respective fields and who had
been involved in shaping the professions’ directions with ethics (including
Kitchener), respondents generally agreed that Kitchener’s introduction of
principle ethics played an important role in shaping the way that ethics is
discussed in the helping professions (Urofsky, 2000). Assertions in the literature have also suggested that the principles espoused in Kitchener’s model
underlie the codes of ethics of both the American Psychological Association
(APA; 2002; Bersoff & Koeppl, 1993; M. Hill, Claser, & Harden, 1995) and the
American Counseling Association (ACA; 2005; Pedersen, 1997).
In recognizing Kitchener’s impact, Cottone and Claus (2000) chose
Kitchener’s (1984) work as a starting point for their review of ethical
decision-making literature in counseling and psychology between fall 1984
and summer 1998. Knapp and Sturm (2002) also attested to the importance
Counseling and Values October 2008 Volume 53
of Beauchamp and Childress’s principle approach to ethics (p. 161) presented
in Kitchener’s (1984) work. Jordan and Meara (1990), in making their own
significant contribution to the ethics dialogue with their challenging of
principle ethics and advocacy of an alternative “virtue ethics” orientation,
emphasized the important role principle ethics played in psychology training and practice, noting the “focus on the application of ethical principles to
situations involving dilemmas” (p. 107). Clearly, the professional counseling
literature is replete with recognition of Kitchener’s approach.
Approaches to Drawing on Kitchener’s Work
Many authors have drawn upon or cited Kitchener’s (1984) work. A cited
reference search of the very narrow Web of Science (including Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Science Citation Index
Expanded, but excluding all but five ACA journals) revealed that Kitchener’s
work had been cited 134 times since 1985. Although it is beyond the scope
of this article to review^ all of the works in which Kitchener was cited or all
similar works in such ethically focused journals as Counseling and Values, an
abbreviated examination revealed two general approaches to drawing on her
work: a basic summarization of or reference to her work as a foundation for
an argument or premise, and a more thorough examination of concepts she
raised or application of the concepts to particular practice issues. Both of
these goals seem to have considerable untapped potential utility for mental
Basic Summarization or Reference
In the first approach, basic surhmarization of or reference to Kitchener’s
(1984) work, authors essentially re-present the principles in Kitchener’s
work or cite Kitchener before building upon or introducing a new concept
of possible merit to the literature. Such works contribute to principle ethicsin-counseling literature by disseminating the overall concepts to a wider
audience while also reaffirming the significance of Kitchener’s work within
the profession. In turn, this summative scholarship stimulates articles that
expand on the principle ethics concepts. Some representative examples
of articles in this first category include Bowers and Pipes’s (2000) use of
Kitchener’s competing principles ethical dilemma criteria to develop vignettes for studying infiuences of consultation on ethical decision making.
Although they do not specifically reference Kitchener’s article, Glosoff
and Pate (2002) listed and defined the moral principles included in her
work and under the rubric of principle ethics, and indicated that school
counselors could benefit from looking at moral principles to help them
manage privacy and confidentiality issues.
D. Robson and Robson (2000) discussed ethical issues in Internet counseling in relation to the ethical principles presented by Kitchener (1984).
Counseiing and Vaiues October 2008 Voiume 53
These authors did not address the resolution of dilemmas but explained
respective considerations in Internet counseling for each of Kitchener’s
principles, yielding a helpful resource for specifying and weighing ethical
principles in decision making. Similarly, Harris (2002) drew on Beauchamp
and Childress (1994) and Kitchener (2000) in examining issues for working
with diverse clients. Harris asserted that foundational principles could assist
neuropsychologists in interpreting APA’s (2002) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Whittinghill (2002) likewise used ethical principles
to classify ethical dilemmas encountered by family therapists working in
alcohol and drug settings. Sukut and Trathen (2002) essentially re-presented
the principle ethics approach of Kitchener (1984) for use by marriage and
family therapists who are attempting to follow the American Association
for Marriage and Family Therapy’s (2001) ethics code.
Bewsey and Odulate’s (2003) discussion of specific ethical dilemmas related to forms of abuse encountered by clients used Kitchener’s (1984,2000)
principles to label specific attributes of cases. In studying a related topic.
Hunter (2001) applied Kitchener’s (1984) principles to evaluate five theorefical
approaches to working with domestic violence issues. Stevens (2000) briefly
cited the pivotal importance of Kitchener’s (1984) principles, and Jordan and
Meara’s (1990) and Meara, Schmidt, and Day’s (1996) virtue considerations,
noting the fundamental importance of both as bases for counselor ethical
decision making and action. Vasquez (2003) examined implications and
meaning of Kitchener’s (2000) ethical principles through a feminist ethics
lens. Suffice it to say. Kitchener’s impact is readily documented as pervasive
in professional counseling literature across a wide spectrum of ethical issues.
Moreover, several in-depth explorations attest to the depth of Kitchener’s
work and influence.
In-Depth Examination and Application of Principle Ethics
Our review found that counseling ethics literature has relatively few in-depth
examinations of principle ethics compared with basic summarization of or
reference to principle ethics as a concept. Schulte and Cochrane’s (1995)
school counseling ethics text did not specifically mention Kitchener’s work
but did explore in depth the utility of first- and second-order prima facie
principles for school counselors regarding the exploration and resolution of
ethical challenges. The concept of the principles being prima facie, as indicated previously, is a distinct element of Beauchamp and Childress’s (1979)
presentation of principle ethics popularized in the counseling literature by
Kitchener. Thus, Schulte and Cochrane’s in-depth work assumes Beauchamp
and Childress’s (1983) and Kitchener’s (1984) basic framework.
Other examples of thorough explorations of principle ethics include works
by Jordan and Meara (1990); Meara et al. (1996); M. Robson, Cook, Hunt,
Aired, and Robson (2000); and Jenkins (2003). Jordan and Meara and Meara
et al. performed the most critical analyses of principle ethics as it relates to
Counseling and Values October 2008 Voiume 53
psychology and counseling. These authors transformed the discussion with
their own reaching out to the philosophical ethics literature to propose virtue
ethics as a necessary and complementary approach to principle ethics. Virtue
ethics is an ethical model emphasizing the importance of client and counselor
character and traits in ethical decision making. One distinction between these
approaches can be understood in terms of principle ethics answering the
question “What should I do?” in an ethical dilemma, whereas virtue ethics
addresses the question “Who should I be?” as an ethical therapist (Urofsky,
2000). These and the following in-depth examples from professional literature
further underscore Kitchener’s (1984) encompassing influence and potential
for expanded impact.
M. Robson et al. (2000) explored Kitchener’s (1984) overall model of moral
reasoning with regard to counseling research issues and indicated a need to
return to the intuitive level to examine assumptions after working through
the model. They concluded that this approach (i.e., a return to professional
intuition) to the application of Kitchener’s principles could enhance investigation of the values and assumptions that influenced how counselors worked
through the model and which principles they chose to give preeminence in
a decision. Jenkins (2003) cited Kitchener extensively in an examination of
ethics that drew upon principle ethics and philosophical ethics literature.
Jenkins ultimately argued for a hybrid approach to ethics, described as including universalism, particularism, and commtmitarianism ethics to meet
various demands of counseling practice.
Kitchener (2000) herself revisited principle ethics in her book Foundations
of Ethical Practice, Research, and Teaching in Psychology, expanding on the
discussion in her 1984 work and including additional information on virtue
ethics. However, Kitchener’s contributions in selected chapters of Anderson and Barret’s (2001) edited text Ethical Issues in the Practice of Psychology
With Clients With HIV/AIDS demonstrate extensively, through case study
analysis, the great potential of principle ethics to clarify and facilitate ethical
decision making in very complex cases. Most recently. Freeman and Francis
(2006) proposed casuistry, a case-based approach to ethical decision making
involving “identification of paradigms and analogies to past experiences”
(p. 148) as a complement to principle ethics. In effect, the preceding literature review documents a major perspective and force of breadth and depth
for principle ethics-based decision making in all counseling circumstances,
including complex cases. Such a pervasive influence constitutes a basis
for major implications, including expanded utility for counseling practice,
counseling research, and counselor preparation.
In surveys of programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of
Counseling and Related Educational Programs (2001), Urofsky and Sowa
(2004) and A. L. Hill (2004b) uncovered an important role being played by
Counseiing and Vaiues October 2008 Voiume 53
principle ethics in counselor education. Forty percent of respondents in
the Urofsky and Sowa survey reported teaching Kitchener’s ethical decision-making model, surpassed in the study only by the Corey, Corey, and
Callanan (1998) ethical decision-making model (67%). Similarly, in A. L.
Hill’s (2004b) study, 70% of respondents ranked “biomédical ethical models
(e.g., principle ethics)” (p. 195) among the top five theoretical models that
were a focus of their instruction. A. L. Hill (2004a) found decision-making
models; legal cases and precedents; and models of principle ethics, in that
order, to be the three highest ranked models for teaching ethics in counselor
The ethics instructors who participated in Urofsky and Sowa’s (2004)
study indicated that they primarily used several standard counseling ethics textbooks. Fifty percent of the respondents reported using Issues and
Ethics in the Helping Professions (Corey et al., 1998), and 23% reported using
the textbook Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling (Remley &
Herlihy, 2001). Both of these textbooks provide definitions of the principles
presented in Kitchener (1984) and also include basic consideration of those
principles in the ethical decision-making models they each present. Although
the Corey et al. and Remley and Herlihy works are the most often used
counseling ethics textbooks, other counseling ethics texts address principle
ethics and offer deeper explorations of the principle ethics concepts.
Cottone and Tarvydas (2003) provided case scenarios to illustrate meanings
of the different principles and to tie the principles to particular counseling
practice considerations, noting the great value of principle ethics in highly
challenging ethical decisions faced by counselors. Sperry (2007) discussed
ethical principles but put greater emphasis on a virtues approach, translating
the principles into corresponding ethical values. It is clear that Kitchener’s
influence on counselor preparation textbooks is so pervasive that it has a
profound influence on the ethical understanding of counselor educators and
master’s- and doctoral-level counseling students.
The clearest indicators of the influence of Kitchener’s (1984) principle ethics
presentation is in the area of counselor education. There is anecdotal evidence
of principle ethics influencing ethics understanding at the leadership level of
the counseling profession (Urofsky, 2000) as well as assertions of the foundafional role the principles play in the codes of ethics of the helping professions (Bersoff & Koeppl, 1993; M, Hill et al, 1995; Pedersen, 1997). Despite its
foundafional prevalence, however, many quesfions remain about the proper
role and function of principle ethics in counseling ethics. Are there more
suitable ethics models that would better suit a relational/arüstic enterprise
Uke counseling? Is principle ethics really an appropriate ethics orientation for
counselors? Has principle ethics in counseling ethics evolved as a concept to
the extent and prominence that it has in other fields, parücularly biomédical
Counseiing and Values October 2008 Volume 53
ethics? Has principle ethics actually infiuenced the ethical practices and decision making of practitioners? Can principle ethics evolve from a more covert
to an overt presence in ethical decision making in counseling?
Alternative approaches to principle ethics (e.g., Betan, 1997; Callender, 1998)
have arisen in response to a perceived incompleteness or inadequacy in principle ethics as an orientation for counseling ethics. However, our extensive
literature review found only one sustained effort on the part of authors to
build upon concepts they presented or to respond to or critique concepts
presented by other authors. The result is a range of disconnected concepts
that lack breadth, depth, and the incremental gains emanating from a sustained dialogue among authors with similar or contrasting ideas concerning
appropriate directions for counseling efforts. One notable exception to this
scattered trend is the sustained and infiuential work of Meara (Jordan &
Meara, 1990; Meara et al., 1996; Punzo & Meara, 1993) in the area of virtue
ethics, which closely parallels Kitchener’s (1984, 1996, 2000) development
of principle ethics concepts.
To date, virtue ethics has emerged as an infiuential alternative or complementary orientation to principle ethics. Kitchener (1996) accepted that some
virtue considerations were relevant to principle ethics, although she argued
against some of Meara et al.’s (1996) formulation. In the evolution of principle
ethics in the biomédical ethics arena, Beauchamp and Childress (2001) have
placed greater emphasis on moral character in ad…
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