Ethical Dilemma in Counseling Freshman Boys for Building Healthy Relationships, Self-esteem, and Making Better Choice

Ethical Dilemma in Counseling Freshman Boys for Building Healthy Relationships, Self-esteem, and Making Better Choice
October 21, 2023 Comments Off on Ethical Dilemma in Counseling Freshman Boys for Building Healthy Relationships, Self-esteem, and Making Better Choice Psychology & Behavior Assignment-help

Assignment Question

Write a paper following the indications on the attachment . this paper is a Ethical Dilemma: the subject : Counseling a group of freshman boys to built healthy relationships with others build self esteem and makes better choices.

Assignment Answer


Counseling freshman boys during their critical years of adolescence presents a unique set of challenges and ethical dilemmas. This essay explores the complex task of guiding these young individuals in building healthy relationships, enhancing self-esteem, and making responsible life choices. The primary concern lies in striking a balance between respecting their autonomy and ensuring their well-being while navigating the ethical terrain of counseling.

Ethical Principles in Counseling

Autonomy and Informed Consent

One of the fundamental principles in counseling is respecting the autonomy of the client. Freshman boys should provide informed consent, fully understanding the counseling process, its goals, and potential outcomes. This principle ensures that their participation is voluntary and informed.

Freshman boys often struggle with issues related to self-esteem, self-worth, and identity. For many, this is the first time they are navigating the complexities of personal relationships, academic expectations, and the gradual transition to adulthood. It’s a period filled with uncertainties and the need for guidance. However, it’s crucial to approach counseling with a deep respect for their autonomy.

The principle of autonomy means that these young individuals have the right to make decisions about their lives. In the context of counseling, this involves seeking their consent before engaging in any therapeutic process. For freshmen boys, this means ensuring they understand what counseling entails, the goals of the sessions, and what they can expect as outcomes.

By seeking informed consent, counselors establish a foundation of trust and respect. It’s a crucial step in creating a safe space where these young individuals can express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns without fear of being pressured into counseling. They should understand that counseling is a supportive resource available to them, not something imposed upon them.

In this age of information, where adolescents often have access to a wealth of resources, counselors must also provide them with a comprehensive understanding of the counseling process. This includes making them aware of the different therapeutic approaches, potential outcomes, and the importance of confidentiality.

The principle of informed consent requires that counselors communicate with clarity and transparency. They must be prepared to answer questions, address concerns, and provide reassurance about the confidentiality of the counseling sessions. This transparency builds a strong foundation for trust between the counselor and the young client.

Beneficence and Non-Maleficence

Counselors must strive to benefit their clients while minimizing harm. The challenge here is to encourage healthy choices and personal growth without imposing decisions upon them or causing harm by mishandling their concerns.

Adolescence is a period of significant change, both physically and emotionally. Freshman boys are navigating the transition from childhood to adulthood, which can be both exciting and challenging. They face numerous decisions that impact their future, including academic choices, career aspirations, and personal relationships.

Counselors, guided by the principle of beneficence, have a responsibility to help these young individuals make choices that will contribute to their well-being and growth. Beneficence in counseling means promoting the welfare of the client and taking actions that serve their best interests.

In the case of freshman boys, promoting their welfare involves helping them develop a strong sense of self-esteem and the skills necessary to build healthy relationships. Healthy self-esteem is the foundation for making sound choices in life. When adolescents have a positive self-image, they are more likely to set ambitious goals, strive for academic success, and engage in relationships that are respectful and fulfilling.

However, it’s essential to recognize that while the counselor’s intention is to benefit the client, there’s the risk of causing harm, even unintentionally. This is where the principle of non-maleficence comes into play. Non-maleficence requires that counselors take all necessary steps to avoid causing harm to the client.

In the context of counseling freshman boys, this means carefully considering the impact of their words and actions. It’s essential to create an environment where these young individuals feel safe to express their thoughts and concerns without fear of judgment or ridicule. Negative experiences in counseling can have long-lasting consequences, affecting their willingness to seek help in the future.

Counselors should always be aware of the power dynamic in the counseling relationship. They hold a position of authority, and the words they choose and the actions they take can significantly influence the client. This places a significant responsibility on the counselor to ensure that their interactions are characterized by respect, empathy, and a commitment to the well-being of the client.

Confidentiality and Privacy

Maintaining confidentiality is pivotal, especially when working with adolescents. It is essential to establish a safe and confidential space where boys can express their thoughts and emotions without fear of judgment or the breach of their privacy.

Adolescence is a time of experimentation and self-discovery. It’s also a period when many young individuals grapple with issues they may be hesitant to share with others. These issues can range from personal struggles with self-esteem to concerns about peer relationships, academic performance, and even more sensitive topics like sexuality or substance use.

In this context, the principle of confidentiality is of utmost importance. It’s a fundamental ethical principle in counseling, and it applies to all clients, including freshman boys. Confidentiality means that everything shared within the counseling sessions remains private and is not disclosed to anyone without the client’s explicit consent.

The assurance of confidentiality is essential in creating a safe space where these young individuals can open up and address their concerns honestly. They need to trust that their counselor will not reveal their secrets, thoughts, or feelings to parents, teachers, or friends. This trust forms the basis for a productive counseling relationship.

Confidentiality extends to all forms of communication, including written records, digital records, and verbal discussions. Counselors must ensure that all records are stored securely and cannot be accessed by unauthorized individuals.

However, it’s essential to note that confidentiality is not an absolute principle. There are exceptions, particularly when there’s a concern for the safety and well-being of the client or others. For example, if a freshman boy reveals that he is in immediate danger of harming himself or others, the counselor has a duty to take action to protect him or others, which may involve breaking confidentiality.

In such situations, the counselor must weigh the potential harm that might result from breaking confidentiality against the potential harm that might result from not intervening. This is a complex ethical dilemma, and counselors should be well-prepared to navigate it.


Counselors must possess the necessary knowledge and skills to work effectively with adolescents. Freshman boys require guidance that is age-appropriate and sensitive to their unique needs. Competence is vital in gaining their trust and offering meaningful support.

Freshman boys are at a stage in life where they need guidance and support. They are in the process of forming their identities, making crucial decisions about their future, and navigating complex relationships. To provide effective counseling, counselors must demonstrate competence in working with this age group.

Competence in counseling means having the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to provide appropriate and effective services to clients. In the case of freshman boys, this competence involves understanding the unique challenges and developmental stages they are going through.

It’s essential for counselors to be knowledgeable about adolescent development, psychology, and the specific issues that may arise during this period. This includes awareness of the changes that occur in their bodies, brains, and emotional lives. Adolescents are often characterized by their exploration of independence, the development of personal values, and the influence of peers. Understanding these aspects is crucial for providing relevant and effective guidance.

Moreover, counselors should be trained to recognize signs of distress, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse, which can often manifest during adolescence. They should also have the skills to establish rapport and build trust with young clients, who may be reluctant to engage in counseling.

Adolescents can be challenging to engage in counseling. Many are hesitant to seek help, and they may be skeptical of the process. Competent counselors know how to establish a connection with these clients, making them feel comfortable and respected. This involves effective communication skills, active listening, and a non-judgmental attitude.

Additionally, counselors must be aware of the legal and ethical requirements when working with minors. This includes understanding consent laws, confidentiality, and reporting requirements. Ensuring that the counseling process complies with these legal and ethical standards is a crucial aspect of competence.

In summary, competence is a cornerstone of ethical counseling, particularly when working with freshman boys. By demonstrating their expertise and understanding of the unique needs and challenges faced by adolescents, counselors can provide effective support and guidance.

Challenges Faced in Counseling Freshman Boys

Resistance to Counseling

Freshman boys may display resistance to counseling due to perceived stigma or notions of weakness. Overcoming this resistance while respecting their autonomy is a delicate task for counselors. Encouraging open dialogue and ensuring a safe environment for sharing is crucial.

Resistance to counseling is a common challenge when working with freshman boys. Adolescence is a period marked by a quest for independence and identity. Many young individuals may view counseling as a sign of weakness or as something that sets them apart from their peers. This resistance can take various forms, from refusal to engage in counseling altogether to reluctance to open up and share personal concerns.

The reluctance to seek counseling can be linked to societal perceptions of mental health. There is still a prevailing stigma around mental health issues, which can deter adolescents from seeking help. Boys, in particular, may feel pressured to conform to traditional masculine ideals that discourage emotional expression or vulnerability. This stigma can hinder their willingness to engage in counseling.

Overcoming this resistance requires a delicate approach that respects their autonomy and individuality. It’s essential for counselors to create an environment where freshman boys feel safe and comfortable. They should understand that seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a courageous step towards personal growth and well-being.

To address this challenge, counselors can employ various strategies, such as normalizing the counseling process, providing psychoeducation about the benefits of counseling, and highlighting the success stories of others who have benefited from counseling. It’s also crucial to convey a non-judgmental and empathetic attitude, ensuring that the client feels heard and respected.

Peer Pressure and Influence

Adolescents are highly susceptible to peer influence. Counselors must address the role of peer groups in shaping decision-making, self-esteem, and behaviors. They should empower boys to make independent and informed choices that align with their values and aspirations.

Peer influence is a significant factor in the lives of adolescents, and it can strongly impact their decision-making, self-esteem, and behaviors. Freshman boys, like many adolescents, often prioritize their relationships with peers, which can lead to the adoption of behaviors, values, and attitudes endorsed by their peer groups.

Peer pressure can manifest in various ways, from encouraging risky behaviors like substance use or delinquency to shaping attitudes towards academic performance and personal relationships. Adolescents may experience a strong desire to fit in and conform to the expectations of their peers, which can sometimes lead to decisions that are not in their best interest.

Counselors should be prepared to address the influence of peer groups on their clients. It’s essential to help boys understand the dynamics of peer pressure and how it can affect their choices. By providing psychoeducation on this topic, counselors can empower their clients to make informed decisions that align with their personal values and goals.

Part of this empowerment process involves helping boys develop the skills to assert themselves and make independent choices. This includes strategies for resisting negative peer pressure and maintaining their self-esteem in the face of social influences.

Encouraging open communication about peer-related challenges and providing strategies for coping with peer pressure can be valuable in assisting freshman boys in making choices that align with their individual goals and values.

Privacy and Disclosure

Striking a balance between the need for privacy and the importance of disclosure can be challenging. Freshman boys may be hesitant to share personal information. Counselors must respect their boundaries while ensuring they receive the necessary support and guidance.

Privacy and disclosure are significant concerns in counseling, particularly when working with adolescents who may be hesitant to share personal information. Freshman boys, in their quest for independence and autonomy, may be reluctant to disclose their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

While counselors aim to create an environment where clients feel safe to open up, they must also respect the boundaries of privacy. This means not pushing clients to share more than they are comfortable with and acknowledging that disclosure is a personal choice. Counselors should provide clients with the space and time they need to build trust and gradually open up.

When working with freshman boys, counselors must be sensitive to the fact that many of their clients are in the process of defining their boundaries and boundaries. Adolescents are learning to differentiate themselves from their parents and peers, and this often involves a degree of secrecy or privacy about their thoughts and feelings.

Respecting privacy does not mean avoiding difficult topics or ignoring potential signs of distress. Counselors should maintain open lines of communication and provide opportunities for clients to share at their own pace. It’s also important to create an atmosphere of non-judgment and unconditional positive regard, ensuring that clients feel comfortable expressing themselves.

Encouraging open dialogue while respecting privacy can be a challenging balancing act. Counselors must be patient and persistent, allowing clients to gradually reveal what they are comfortable sharing. This approach acknowledges the importance of privacy while still providing an avenue for clients to receive the support and guidance they need.

Cultural Sensitivity

Freshman boys come from diverse cultural backgrounds. Counselors must exhibit cultural sensitivity and avoid imposing their values or beliefs. Instead, they should promote healthy relationships and self-esteem while respecting each individual’s cultural context.

Cultural sensitivity is a critical consideration in counseling, especially when working with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Freshman boys come from various cultural contexts, each with its own values, beliefs, and norms. Counselors must be aware of these cultural differences and approach their clients with respect and sensitivity.

Adolescents who are exploring their identities and forming their worldviews may be especially receptive to discussions about cultural identity. They may be grappling with questions of belonging, cultural heritage, and the intersection of their cultural background with their emerging sense of self.

To address this challenge, counselors should engage in culturally competent practices. This involves understanding the cultural backgrounds of their clients, including any cultural values, traditions, and expectations that may influence their lives.

Moreover, it’s essential to avoid imposing one’s own values and beliefs on clients. The counseling process should be guided by the client’s values and goals, not the counselor’s agenda. This is particularly important when working with freshman boys who may be exploring their values and beliefs in the context of their cultural identity.

Counselors should strive to create an inclusive and welcoming environment where clients feel safe discussing their cultural identity and its impact on their lives. This can be a valuable avenue for exploration and self-discovery, helping clients navigate the complexities of identity and cultural diversity.

Ethical Strategies and Approaches

Group Counseling

Group counseling can be an effective approach when counseling freshman boys. It provides a platform for peer support and sharing, which can positively influence their choices and self-esteem. Sharing experiences within the group setting can alleviate feelings of isolation and encourage open communication.

Group counseling is a valuable approach when working with freshman boys, as it offers a supportive and inclusive environment. Adolescents often seek validation from their peers, making group counseling a natural fit for their developmental needs.

Within a group counseling setting, freshman boys can share their experiences, thoughts, and concerns with peers who are navigating similar challenges. This peer support can be highly effective in addressing the challenges they face in building healthy relationships, enhancing self-esteem, and making responsible choices.

Group counseling can alleviate feelings of isolation and help participants understand that they are not alone in their struggles. It provides an opportunity for young individuals to learn from their peers and gain different perspectives on common issues. This can be particularly beneficial for boys who may be hesitant to engage in individual counseling but are more comfortable in a group setting.

In group counseling, the counselor plays a facilitative role, guiding discussions and providing a safe space for participants to express themselves. The counselor also promotes positive interactions and communication among group members. Group dynamics can encourage boys to support one another and build valuable peer relationships that extend beyond the counseling sessions.

Moreover, group counseling allows for the exploration of shared topics, such as peer pressure, self-esteem, and healthy relationships, in a collaborative manner. Participants can learn from each other’s experiences and gain insights that may not have been apparent in individual counseling. This collaborative learning approach can empower freshman boys to make more informed decisions.


Incorporating psychoeducation into counseling sessions can help boys understand the physical and emotional changes occurring during adolescence. This knowledge empowers them to make informed decisions and can significantly impact their self-esteem.

Psychoeducation is a crucial component of counseling for freshman boys, as it provides them with a foundational understanding of the changes they are experiencing during adolescence. This knowledge can empower them to make informed decisions and positively impact their self-esteem.

Adolescence is a time of rapid physical and emotional development. Freshman boys may undergo significant changes in their bodies and face new emotional challenges. Understanding these changes is essential for helping them navigate this period.

Counselors can incorporate psychoeducation into their sessions by providing information on the physical and emotional changes that typically occur during adolescence. This includes discussions about puberty, brain development, and the hormonal shifts that influence mood and behavior. By providing a scientific basis for these changes, counselors can help boys make sense of their experiences and reduce anxiety related to the unknown.

Additionally, psychoeducation can cover topics such as emotional regulation, communication skills, and the development of self-esteem. These discussions can equip freshman boys with valuable life skills that are essential for building healthy relationships and making responsible choices.

Providing psychoeducation can also help reduce the stigma associated with seeking counseling. Boys may be more inclined to participate in counseling when they understand the benefits and how it can support their personal growth.

Incorporating psychoeducation into counseling sessions is an ethical approach that ensures clients have the information they need to make informed decisions and take control of their lives.

Strengths-Based Counseling

Focusing on the strengths and talents of each boy can boost their self-esteem. Counselors should help them recognize their unique qualities and build upon them, fostering a sense of self-worth and confidence.

Strengths-based counseling is an approach that emphasizes the positive qualities and talents of the client. For freshman boys, this can be an effective strategy for building self-esteem and encouraging them to make better choices.

Adolescents, like individuals of any age, have unique strengths and abilities. These strengths can be both innate and developed over time. By focusing on these strengths, counselors can help boys recognize their own potential and build on it.

Building self-esteem is a fundamental goal of counseling for freshman boys. When they are aware of their strengths and the unique qualities that make them valuable individuals, it can significantly boost their self-esteem. This, in turn, can lead to greater self-confidence and a more positive self-image.

Strengths-based counseling involves helping clients identify their strengths, whether they are related to academic achievements, creative talents, interpersonal skills, or other areas. Counselors can engage boys in discussions and activities that highlight their positive qualities and encourage them to take pride in their abilities.

Furthermore, this approach promotes a sense of self-worth and resilience. When adolescents recognize that they possess the capacity to overcome challenges and achieve their goals, they are more likely to make responsible choices in various aspects of their lives.

Strengths-based counseling can also foster a growth mindset, encouraging boys to view challenges as opportunities for personal development. By recognizing that they have the capacity to learn and grow, even from setbacks, they can approach decision-making with a more positive and adaptive outlook.


Empowering boys to make informed choices and assert themselves in peer relationships is essential. By providing them with the tools to navigate challenging situations and fostering self-efficacy, counselors can promote autonomy and self-confidence.

Empowerment is a fundamental aspect of counseling for freshman boys. It involves providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions, assert themselves in peer relationships, and take control of their lives.

Adolescents often face challenging situations in their relationships with peers. They may encounter peer pressure, conflicts, or difficult decisions that can significantly impact their lives. Empowering them with the tools to navigate these situations is an ethical and practical approach.

Empowerment involves several components

Education: Counselors can educate boys about various topics, such as communication skills, conflict resolution, and decision-making. By providing them with information and strategies, counselors enable boys to make informed choices.

Self-Efficacy: Empowerment involves fostering a sense of self-efficacy, which is the belief in one’s ability to achieve goals and handle challenges. Counselors can help boys recognize their competence and develop confidence in their abilities.

Autonomy: Promoting autonomy is another aspect of empowerment. Freshman boys need to feel that they have control over their lives and decisions. Counselors should encourage them to express their preferences, make choices, and set goals that align with their values and aspirations.

Resilience: Adolescents may encounter setbacks and difficulties in various areas of their lives. Empowerment involves helping them develop resilience, the ability to bounce back from challenges and learn from adversity.

Empowerment also extends to promoting self-advocacy. Freshman boys should feel confident in expressing their needs and seeking support when necessary. By providing them with the tools to advocate for themselves, counselors enable them to take an active role in their well-being.


Counseling freshman boys to build healthy relationships, enhance self-esteem, and make better life choices is a complex task laden with ethical dilemmas. Counselors must adhere to the principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, confidentiality, and competence while navigating these challenges. By adopting strategies such as group counseling, psychoeducation, strengths-based counseling, and empowerment, counselors can effectively address the unique needs of freshman boys and help them on their journey to becoming responsible and self-confident young adults.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the key ethical principles in counseling discussed in the essay?

The essay highlights several ethical principles in counseling, including autonomy and informed consent, beneficence and non-maleficence, confidentiality and privacy, and competence. These principles guide the ethical conduct of counselors when working with freshman boys.

2. Why is resistance to counseling a common challenge when working with freshman boys, and how can it be overcome?

Resistance to counseling is often observed in freshman boys due to perceived stigma or notions of weakness. To overcome this resistance, counselors should normalize the counseling process, provide psychoeducation about its benefits, and highlight the success stories of others who have benefited from counseling. Creating a non-judgmental and empathetic atmosphere is crucial.

3. How does group counseling benefit freshman boys, and why is it recommended as an approach?

Group counseling benefits freshman boys by providing a platform for peer support and sharing. It addresses the influence of peer pressure and empowers them to make independent and informed choices. Group dynamics encourage peer support, reduce feelings of isolation, and promote open communication, making it a suitable approach for this age group.

4. What is the significance of psychoeducation in counseling freshman boys, and how does it impact their self-esteem?

Psychoeducation is vital as it provides freshman boys with a foundational understanding of the physical and emotional changes they experience during adolescence. This knowledge empowers them to make informed decisions and positively impacts their self-esteem by reducing anxiety related to the unknown.

5. Why is cultural sensitivity important in counseling and how can it be practiced when working with freshman boys from diverse backgrounds?

Cultural sensitivity is crucial in counseling to respect the diverse cultural backgrounds of clients. When working with freshman boys from different cultures, counselors should understand and acknowledge their values and beliefs, avoid imposing their own, and create an inclusive and welcoming environment for discussions about cultural identity.