VISTAS Trauma, Grief, Disaster, and Crisis Counseling

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

An Ethical Decision Making Model for Crisis Counselors

Karin Jordan


Disaster mental health (DMH) needs to take into account the scope and complexity of crisis counseling service delivery from the perspective of ethical decision making in the wake of a disaster (ranging from natural to human generated catastrophes). Crisis counseling service delivery, because of its demanding nature and unique challenges, is different from any other kind of counseling, i.e., away from a familiar treatment setting, etc. The demanding nature of crisis counseling, carried out during a disaster or post-disaster, demands that crisis counselors have a clear sense of the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics (2005) and routinely practice ethical decision making. The latter, ethical decision making, should include steps and considerations that help the crisis counselor respond ethically to the needs of disaster survivors of all ages (including first responders such as police, fire fighters, etc.) who are seen locally, nationally, and internationally.

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