Values Differentiation: Are Counselors Value-Free?

A key component of ethics is understanding personal and professional values and how these differ, not only from one another, but also from one’s personalized set of morals. Whereas all the three relate to “right” and “wrong” conduct, this exercise will help individuals identify how to balance personal values and morals with professional ethics within a counseling context.


In this assignment, you will analyze the difference between morals, values, and ethics. In a 3- to 4-page paper, address the following:

  • Define morals, values, and ethics. Provide three examples (one of each), relevant to the work of a professional counselor, which clearly differentiate the three.
  • Identify specific ethical codes, which relate to values. Use ethical codes, as well as peer-reviewed articles, to identify three examples where values, either of the counselor or client, may surface in counseling.
  • Evaluate how you will balance “being yourself” and be respectful of your clients’ value systems. Consider whether it is truly possible for counseling to be value-free.
  • Include and discuss at least three peer-reviewed scholarly resources, which outline best practices for working with clients’ values as part of the counseling process.

Your final product will be in a Microsoft Word document and be approximately 3–4 pages in length. Utilize three to four sources from professional literature in your research. Professional literature may include the Argosy University online library resources; relevant textbooks; peer-reviewed journal articles; and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu or .gov).

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