Ethical dilemmas of school counsellors: A vignette study

Sensoy G., İKİZ F. E.

JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGISTS AND COUNSELLORS IN SCHOOLS, vol.33, no.1, pp.102-115, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/jgc.2022.1
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, EBSCO Education Source, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.102-115
  • Keywords: counselling ethics, ethical dilemma, ethical judgments, school counselling, Turkish counsellors, DECISION-MAKING, PERCEPTIONS, CHILD
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


School counsellors often encounter ethically challenging situations due to contradictory values and roles. This qualitative research aimed to define school counsellors' ethical dilemmas and their responses to such situations. Twenty-seven school counsellors in Turkey were asked to respond to 13 vignettes with ethical dilemmas. The most frequent ethical dilemmas involved the limits of confidentiality, confusion about counsellors' professional roles in school settings, uncooperative behaviours among stakeholders, and suspected child sexual abuse. It was revealed that counsellors prioritise the students' benefit and respect students' privacy. They follow legal guidelines in risky situations and insist on working within their areas of competence; they are not willing to accept noncounselling tasks. The results and implications for counsellors, counsellor educators and researchers are discussed.