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A Colleague’s Dilemma


The balance between personal satisfaction, service to community vis-à-vis professional ethics and more specifically A Colleague's Dilemmafees charged by professionals is a question that dominates virtually every trade. In this paper, Ricardo’s case presents the same challenge. Whereas he is willing to cater for a less fortune segment of society, he must be careful not to engage in unprofessional conduct while at it. Here is the dilemma.

A Colleague’s Dilemma

Ricardo’s situation is more a matter of finding balance in his work. On one hand he has to remain professional both in the fees he charges his lower-end clients and his relationship with a fellow practitioner from whom he rents an office and pays $50 for every client referred.

It is deducible that Ricardo feels a social responsibility to reach out to the less fortunate members of the family. In a sense, he gets satisfaction from working with them and knowing that he has touched part of a society that would otherwise go unattended due to their meager financial abilities. It has been observed quite evidently that people with a higher emotional are also likely to have achieved a better psychological functioning (Sillick and Schutte, 2006). This is most likely Ricardo’s case. Having achieved a reputable professional, it is easy to see that he leads a happy life and thus aims at finding an emotional balance through what he does.

He leverages this by charging higher fees to members of the society that can afford. However, there is a breach of the ACA’s code of ethics since Counselors should not participate in fee splitting, nor do they give or receive commissions, rebates, or any other form of remuneration when referring clients for professional services (ACA, 2014). This happens between Ricardo and his friend who gets a $50 upon making a referral to Ricardo.

However, his charges to the higher-end clients is neither  wrong nor unethical since the ACA code of conduct allows counselors to consider the financial status of clients and locality while setting their rates

  • ACA, 2014 Code of Ethics
  • Sillick, T. J., & Schutte, N. S. (2006). Emotional intelligence and self-esteem mediate between perceived early parental love and adult happiness. E-Journal of Applied Psychology, 2(2), 38-48. Retrieved from https://ojs.lib.swin.edu.au/index.php/ejap

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