On judgment and judgmentalism: how counselling can make people better

Gibson, Susanne (2005) On judgment and judgmentalism: how counselling can make people better. Journal of Medical Ethics, 31 (5). pp. 575-577. Full text not available from this repository.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1136/jme.2004.011387


Counsellors, like other members of the caring professions, are required to practise within an ethical framework, at least in so far as they seek professional accreditation. As such, the counsellor is called upon to exercise her moral agency. In most professional contexts this requirement is, in itself, unproblematic. It has been suggested, however, that counselling practice does present a problem in this respect, in so far as the counsellor is expected to take a non-judgemental stance and an attitude of “unconditional positive regard” toward the client. If, as might appear to be the case, this stance and attitude are at odds with the making of moral judgments, the possibility of an adequate ethics of counselling is called into question. This paper explores the nature and extent of the problem suggesting that, understood in a Kantian context, non-judgmentalism can be seen to be at odds with neither the moral agency of the counsellor nor that of the client. Instead, it is argued, the relationship between the non-judgmental counsellor and her client is a fundamentally moral relationship, based on respect for the client’s unconditional worth as a moral agent.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Journal of Medical Ethics
Publisher: BMJ Journals
Departments: Academic Departments > Health, Psychology & Social Studies (HPSS) > Applied Psychology and Social Studies
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2010 09:36
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2021 11:09
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/327
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