When making a highly informed decision based on the relationship of a teenager, specific models and courses of action should be taken. This kind of counseling concerns the relationship of a 17-year-old—a senior high school girl. I decided to use Kitchener’s Critical-evaluation MODEL. This model utilizes four primary principles to explain the ethical decision-making process while emphasizing the importance of virtues. These principles are beneficence, fairness, autonomy, and non-maleficence. The model has seven steps (Remley & Herlihy, 2009). This paper discusses the use of the Kitchener critical evaluation model to make appropriate decisions, together with the course of action that I would advise Stacy to take.
Step 1: Identify the Problem
The matter of abortion is a very delicate matter and parents have the right to know when it concerns their children. Stacy has already laid down the fundamentals to be used in making the decision.
Step 2: Identify the Potential Issues Involved
After having five sessions with her, it has come to my attention that the girl is probably too in love to be able to sever the ties between her and her boyfriend. Her family’s attempts to push her away from her boyfriend only brought her closer to him. She rebelled against the course of action that her family wanted her to take by getting pregnant.
Step 3: Ethical Guidelines
According to the 2005 ACA Code of Ethics, counselors are allowed some discretion on how to deal with the situation at hand, although the question of disclosure comes to mind. The debate on whether Stacy should inform her parents about the situation at hand proves tricky. Given that Stacy is not an adult; her parents have the right to know what is going on with her. It was the family’s decision to put her in therapy, therefore, their decision guarantees them the right to know what Stacy intends to do (Andersen & Vandehey, 2011).
Step 4: Obtain Consultation
In counseling Stacy, I must be careful to understand and respect her decisions. Legal consultation must also be considered, since the matter at hand is very delicate. The counseling decision she makes should be based entirely on her point of view, and I should not let any of my beliefs interfere with the kind of decisions that she decides to make. I should also give Stacey appropriate referrals.
Stacy has shown willingness to abort her unborn child. The reason that may have forced her to abort that baby is in an attempt to conceal the mistake that she thinks she has made. In her eyes and the eyes of her family, she probably feels that the current situation will only get worse. Stacy believes that she has no other alternative but to abort the baby. I would then reveal my own views on the matter to her and allow her to accept or reject them. After having given her the appropriate referral with relevant legal consultation, I will also outline the dangers of having an abortion to her health (Andersen & Vandehey, 2011).
Step 5: The Possible Courses of Action
Another factor fuelling Stacy’s decision may also be the fact that she probably believes that she is still too young. According to her, she probably sees that she is too young to raise a child on her own, or with the help of her boyfriend. Stacy should learn to face her fears. Although each patient has the right to confidentiality; counseling should also be able to come up with a way of persuading her to voluntarily inform her parents.
Step 6: Enumerate the Possible Consequences of her Actions.
In counseling, the consequences of having an abortion should be laid down to Stacy. She must be made to understand the consequences of having an abortion so that she is able to make a sound judgment on her own (Andersen & Vandehey, 2011). Stacy should understand that by having an abortion, she will be endangering her own life. In counseling, I will also provide her with a way of dealing with the reactions that she might receive from the outside world.
Step 7: The Best Course of Action
The matter of having an abortion is entirely a matter of morality. Stacy should be able to understand my point of view also in the matter at hand, in case she should feel that she cannot make a sound judgment on her own. I will then inform her that she needs to carefully weigh the option of running off with her boyfriend to have an abortion. I will also refer her to another counselor for pre-natal advice, should she choose not to abort. If she chooses otherwise, then that would require a different counseling approach.
I used Kitchener’s Critical-evaluation MODEL because it has seven clearly broken down steps that were easy to follow. The main purpose of the counseling was not to push her further away from her family but to make her understand their concerns for her well-being. Stacy should be made to understand that her family brought her to counseling, not to quell her acts of rebellion, but to sensitize her on the issues that may come from youth relationships. Decisions that are not well thought out could make her regret later.
My counseling should be able to open her mind to a new world of possibilities. Stacy should have been informed about approaching her family on any important matter. Her eyes should also be opened, in such a way that she is able to analyze all perspectives of the situation at hand, from her family’s point of view to her boyfriend’s point of view (Cottone &Tarvydas, 2007).
Andersen, P. & Vandehey, M. (2011). Career Counseling and Development in a Global Economy (2nd Ed). New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
Cottone, R. R. & Tarvydas, V. M. (2007). Counselling Ethics and Decision- Making (3rd Edition). New Jersey, NY: Prentice Hall.
Remley T. P. & Herlihy. B. (2009). Ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling (3rd ed). Columbus: Merrill.