Ethical issues with counselors dating clients
The suggestion is that counsellors should allow double the time they normally would for the total duration of the therapy (Brown & Hooper, 2009).
This allows clients with intellectual disabilities the extra time needed to understand the task and the questions being put to them, to think about the questions, to grab relevant information from memory, and to find words (or another communication medium) to communicate their thoughts and feelings (WWILD, 2012).
These two situations have combined to mean that people with disabilities (especially intellectual ones) have been excluded from mainstream counselling services.
Yet, those living the experience of having disabilities have a greater burden of discrimination, marginalisation, and exclusion from the community and its services than “normal” people.
Such support people can offer useful information and clarification in situations where the client has difficulty providing precise or detailed information.
Hayes (2007) cites research to suggest that clients with intellectual disability have the best therapeutic outcomes when they have the support of family members or paid support workers to apply what they are learning in session to the “real world” outside of therapy.
While you used to do ‘ok’ in school back on Planet Earth in the subject of maths, you are no match for this culture.
They quickly size you up and, seeing that you are not equivalently gifted to them in this aspect, begin to call you “retarded”.
With clients with intellectual disabilities, however, support between scheduled session times may be especially beneficial as clients grapple with session issues and come to understandings – or points which need clarification – in their own time, often after a session has finished (Raffensperger, 2010).Counsellors are in a position of power when working with people with intellectual disabilities; keenly feeling that power differential can cause clients to miscommunicate, engage in challenging behaviour, or inspire them to be non-compliant.Ways to reduce the power differential, therefore, are crucial with this group.They are more likely to be exploited or become victims of crime, experiencing trauma and necessitating counselling support.
Those who acquire their disabilities as adults are particularly vulnerable to trauma (WWILD, 2012; Good Therapy.org, 2013).Imagine for a moment that you have landed on a strange planet, one in which all the inhabitants – funny-looking though they are – are mathematical geniuses.