University of Idaho Professional Ethics in Addictions Counseling


Department of Psychology

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  Psychology Dept.







 Psyc475: Professional Ethics in Addictions Counseling

Instructor: Cindy Hansen, M.A., ACADC Print Syllabus

Phone: (208) 251-1787
Fax: (208) 234-2135

Course Description

This course is designed for the student seeking information regarding ethical and legal issues in the field of substance abuse counseling. Topics will include the counselor as a professional, values and helping relationship, client rights and counselor responsibilities, ethics and cultural sensitivity, plus professional competency training. This course will examine in detail the Ethical Standards for Chemical Dependency Counselors. 2nd ed. Richardson & McEnroe.

Course Objectives

  • Be able to distinguish between “law” and “ethics”.
  • Demonstrate “critical thinking skills”.
  • Understand problem solving skills as it applies to ethical dilemmas.
  • Understand and explain personal ethical standards.
  • Knowledge of the Code of Ethics for Substance Abuse Counselors.
  • Conduct an on-going self-evaluation of professional performance applying legal, ethical and professional standards.
  • Understand ethical implications of a multicultural perspective.

Students will acquire the following competencies


  • Ability to compare and contrast federal, state, agency, and professional codes of ethics.
  • Participant’s rights and responsibilities.
  • Professional standards and scope of practice.

  • Understand boundaries between counselors and clients.

  • Understand consequences for violating code of ethics.

  • Process used to address alleged ethical violations.

  • Personality, culture, lifestyle and other factors influencing client’s behavior.


  • Demonstrating ethical and professional behavior.


  • Willingness to change personal behaviors and attitude that may conflict with professional guidelines.
  • Respect for professional standards.

Required Texts

  • Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions  6th ed, 2003
    Corey, G., Marianna Schneider-Corey, M. and Callanan, P.  Publisher:  Brooks/Cole
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)
    Welfare Reform and Substance Abuse Treatment Confidentiality
    Technical Assistance Publication Series (TAP):
    • Confidentiality of Patient Records for Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (TAP 13)
    • General Guidance for Reconciling Need to Know and Privacy (TAP 24)

Texts Location:

All texts can be obtained from the University of Idaho Bookstore. They may be contacted:

TAPs Location:

TAPs can be downloaded from RADAR at:

  • Click on materials (on left side)
  • Scroll to By Series category
  • Look for TAP series
  • Select TAP 13 and 24

For problems, contact 1-800-93-RADAR or (208) 426-33471


All assignments will be submitted via e-mail as a Microsoft Word document.


There will be three exams to develop your knowledge of the material. Each exam will be open book and open note. You can use any information you wish to help you. Each exam will mostly be comprised of multiple choice questions, however there may be true and false, and fill in the blank. The content of the exams will be derived from lectures and information from the texts.


There will be one quiz on Confidentiality from TAP 24.

Ethical Dilemmas:

There will be two ethical dilemmas for each of the twelve ethical principles. You will select one of the dilemmas provided, for each principle, to write about. Each will have a specific time requirement of when it will need to be turned in. The dilemma’s can be found under the “to do list” section for each chapter. You will be graded on critical thinking skills and your ability to articulate your answer.

Course Requirements and Possible Points:

  • Exams -3 @ 100 pts each = 300
  • Quiz @ 70 pts = 70
  • Ethical Dilemmas -12 @ 10 pts each = 120

All grading will be based on the following scale:

  • > 90% = A = 441

  •    80% = B = 392

  •    70% = C = 343

  •    60% = D = 294

  • < 60% = F < 294


Psyc 475 Schedule

The dates listed below indicate when the lesson begins. You must complete Exams and Assignments by 3:00pm PT of the due date shown below.

Jan 9 Chapter 1:  Introduction to Professional Ethics
       Assignment due: 1/18/13
Jan 21 Chapter 2:  The Counselor as a Person and as a Professional
       Assignment due: 1/25/13
Jan 28 Chapter 3:  Values and The Helping Relationship
      Assignment due: 2/1/13
Feb 4 Exam 1 (Covers Chapters 1, 2 and 3)
       Exam due: 2/8/13
Feb 11 Chapter 4:  Multicultural Perspectives and Diversity Issues
       Assignment due: 2/15/13
Feb 18 Chapter 5:  Client Rights and Counselor Responsibilities
       Assignment due: 2/22/13
Feb 25 Read information in TAP 24 per Syllabus
Mar 4 Quiz from TAP 24
       Quiz due: 3/9/13
Mar 25 Chapter 6:  Confidentiality - Ethical and Legal Issues
       Assignment due: 3/29/13
Apr 1 Exam 2 (Covers Chapters 4, 5, and 6)
       Exam due: 4/5/13
Apr 8 Chapter 7:  Managing Boundaries and Multiple Relationships
       Assignment due: 4/12/13
Apr 15 Chapter 8:  Professional Competence and Training
       Assignment due: 4/19/13
Apr 22 Chapter 12:  Ethical Issues in Group Work
       Assignment due: 4/26/13
Apr 29 Final Exam (Covers Chapters 7, 8, and 12)
       Exam due: 4/31/13