Eight-Step Model: 7-1 Discussion

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After reading Chapter 17 in the text (PDF of chapter 17 is attached to this question), discuss the eight-step ethical decision-making model proposed by the authors. List the steps with a brief summary of each step.

Comment on the value or lack of value you perceive in this model.

Explain your understanding of supported and unsupported models used in making important decisions in ethics and life. (For example: The eight-step model is a supported model because it incorporates the APA Code of Ethics design. The restorative justice model may be considered an alternative ethical decision-making model for bringing peace to opposing parties in a conflict. Forms of dogmatic or authoritarian parenting approaches may be considered an unsupported form of resolving conflicts in a family.)

Would a supported or unsupported model best describe your current approach to ethical decision making? Explain your reasoning.

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document (attached).





There are Eight steps in ethical decision-making model.
Step 1: Identify the ethical principle and apply the finding to resolve situations

Step 2: Become aware of the policy. Using reliable resources to seek guidance on how to go about resolving the issue.

Step 3: Think before acting. The professional must think about all the existing influences that may effect ones decisions. Base on the decision, can harm both other and yourself.

Step 4: Seek additional advice or assistance from a trusted consultant that is observant to moral values.

Step 5: The uphold confidentiality, informed consent or evaluative feedback.

Step 6: A decision that may seem less attractive can be the best option. Not all decision requires an action.

Step 7: Be mindful of short and long term consequence when making a decisions.

Step 8: The final step is discussed throughout the models. Be mindful of a potential unethical decision

A supported model is one that utilizes the APA code of ethics. An unsupported model is not . The eight steps in decision making are beneficial as a mental health professional. It will help the professional process and approach client situations accordingly. The one step I think is overlooked the most is step 4 Seeking consultations. In cooperating, step 4 is a good way to address a situation. The professional would be able to identifying personal flaws in making ethical decisions such as, biases. My current way to making a decision is evaluation all area in the situation. I tend to take a longer time in making some decision because I recognized that there can be a different outcome than expected.



Step 1: Determine if the matter is ethical in nature. Is a disastrous, therapy-related event a breach in ethics or manners? For example, admonishing a client is not necessarily a breach in ethics, even if it is not always wise. There is a difference between upsetting a client and violating his or her ethics. If a client threatens suicide or murder, the therapist must report him or her to the appropriate institutions both ethically and legally (Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, 2016).

Step 2 (dreary example, but it works): Consult available guidelines. Take the time to locate information on the laws and policies that will guide you (the therapist) during difficult therapy sessions. For example, if a client looks at but does not distribute certain types of ‘sleazy’ and illegal porn images, then you (the therapist) should look at the laws and past cases that pertain to your state concerning this situation.

Step 3: Consider all the factors that will influence your decisions. In Step 2, does the therapist want to report? The therapist would have to consider the laws of his/her state, the importance of confidentiality, the trust of his/her clients, whether minors are being exploited, discussions with supervisors and peers, etc.

Step 4: Consult with a trusted colleague: In Step 2, you (the therapist) will want to talk with a therapist who focuses on sexual deviancies. You will want this therapist to give you advice. Don’t let the colleague know about your therapy sessions with your client! Take notes!

Step 5: Evaluate the rights, responsibilities, and vulnerabilities of all parties involved: Children have a right to be safe and unharmed. The client has a right to an initial debriefing before therapy which outlays what can and cannot be reported to other entities or people. The client has a responsibility to control and improve his or her behavior. The therapist has a responsibility to maintain confidentiality unless he or she feels a child is threatened.

Step 6: Generate alternative decisions: Keep the therapy going, and see what happens. If the client subsequently discloses child abuse, the therapist should report him/her. The client was warned at the debriefing about child abuse confessions. If the client is a person who was downloading but ceasing downloading as the therapy progresses, abstain from reporting.

Step 7: Weigh the consequences of each decision. Given the honoring of confidentiality, a lawsuit might occur for the therapist if a child is abused in the future. If confidentiality is breached in a state where reporting is not mandated by law, a breach of trust lawsuit is possible.

Step 8: Make the decision: The therapist must make his or her choice. I lean toward confidentiality, but I would report the client if he/she was an obvious danger.

Step 9: Implement the decision: Take the steps necessary to realize your decision as a therapist. Let the APA guidelines guide your decision. Don’t just make an expedient decision.

This model is of average, but not great value to me. It does not give the reader any specifics. For example, how does the therapist handle a client who confessed to a week-old murder? A three-year-old murder? What about the client who says that he will kill his boss, but then says that he was merely ‘joking’? I need some specifics.

A supported model for decision making would be backed by the methods and results of science and research, while an unsupported model for decision making would have no such backing. Rejecting a decision because it violates an old belief would be an unsupported, conservative model for decision-making. Rejecting a decision because its acceptance poses imminent harm to others is based on the valid eight-step model given by Koocher and Keith-Spiegel.

For the most, I used supported models in my decision-making processes. When I teach, I try to influence my students in a positive manner (they are teenagers). I try to be a mentor without being a friend. However, I have disclosed information about myself that, while relatively harmless, would have been better left undisclosed. For example, I disclosed to my students that I lost my cat, Mia, over a year ago. Sometimes they sense that I get lonely (my wife and I do not have time to make many friends) and they take advantage of the situation by asking for higher grades or assignment extensions. They remind me how they comforted me and so forth. I made my decision on benign social gratification instead of common sense. ‘Express what you feel’ is not a good model for high school teenagers. This fact of life will also hold true if and when I become a therapist. I dislike authoritarianism; I can be a push-over though.


Koocher, G. P., & Keith-Spiegel, P. C. (2016). Ethics in psychology and the mental health professions: Standards and cases. New York: Oxford University Press.

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


Last Updated on April 25, 2019 by EssayPro