Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Boundaries and ethics for mental health practitioners in 12 step programs
by Milliken, Melissa A., Ed.D., Argosy University/Sarasota, 2017, 113; 10742447
Abstract (Summary)

This study considered how licensed substance abuse practitioners in recovery consider and negotiate professional boundaries while adhering to AA values and traditions. There is limited literature on this topic, and most of the research has been conducted with certified substance abuse counselors. Therefore, the ethical decision making of substance abuse counselors who follow a professional code of ethics had been heretofore unexplored. This phenomenon was deemed to be best understood through a social context; therefore, a phenomenological qualitative approach was used. There are many variables involved in a recovering counselor's experiences that could not be fully explained at this point in time by a quantitative study. The overall theme that emerged from the data analysis was the greater distance that seemed to exist between the recovering clinical professional and their 12-step program, often due to role overlap and blurred boundaries. Other themes that emerged included their use of both the ACA ethical codes and 12-step values in decision making and the need to constantly monitor their professional and personal/recovery behaviors to maintain ethical boundaries, as well as 12-step values and traditions. The overall essence of being a professional substance abuse counselor in AA can be summed up as a dual status, of which practitioners are proud, yet which also causes distance between themselves and their recovery program; this status involves the need to remain continually aware of boundary issues, which are often resolved by weighing both ethical codes and 12-step traditions and values.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Reynolds, James
School: Argosy University/Sarasota
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-B 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Behavioral Sciences, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: 12 Step Programs, Alcoholics Anonymous, Boundaries, Ethics, Mental Health Counselors, Substance Abuse Counseling
Publication Number: 10742447
ISBN: 978-0-355-49950-6
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