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    What are the ethical codes/impediments/road blocks to integrating complementary and alternative therapies and techniques into counseling interventions?

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 5, 2022, 2:24 am ad1c9bdddf

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    Although the use of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicines) therapies are quite popular currently, there are numerous ethical codes, impediments, and road blocks to consider when integrating them into counseling interventions.

    The first and probably most vital road block involves safety considerations. Because many CAM therapies such as supplements, massage types, or sweat lodge ceremonies remain questionable in terms of safety, ethical considerations definitely arise.

    Research shows that "vitamins are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as carefully as are food or pharmaceuticals. As a result, several ethical concerns surrounding safety arise:
    1. Although manufacturers of dietary supplements cannot claim prevention of or cure for diseases, they can easily circumvent this language by creative wording that promises more than the dietary supplement can deliver.
    2. Regarding names and advertising, there are no set standards. Therefore, legally (but not ethically) manufacturers can use clever names to make it appear they are targeting their product toward a specific group like the elderly.
    3. Although the FDA requires dietary supplements to include percent of daily value, it doesn't validate accuracy. As a result, some manufacturers of dietary supplements will add substances that have no daily value but will increase the cost. Also, some manufacturers will add large amounts of cheap nutrients but small amounts of expensive ones.
    4. In the current frenzied environment of megadoses of dietary supplements, some important safety factors are often overlooked. According to the Continental Health Promotion, Inc., "Many people are unaware of the potential side effects of high doses or don't realize that vitamins and minerals can interfere with medications and blood tests" (http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/Columns/Ethics/EthicalIssues.aspx).

    In addition to safety concerns, another obstacle might be scope of practice. There is often a lack of concrete data regarding roles in some of these therapies, so this fuzziness seems to cause conflicts.

    Lastly, another obstacle is patients' diversity or multiculturalism. Since some cultures view a practice as a cultural norm or sacred function, it may offend clients if a counselor uses a therapy, such as Thai massage or sweat lodge in a nontraditional manner.



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