Reflective Practice in Guidance and Counseling
In my opinion, it is acceptable for clients to give gifts to their therapists. However, it is only acceptable if the motive is ethical. From the reading, I noted that gifts that are part of corrupt dealings should be dealt with legally. Gift giving and receiving should be regulated because doing it excessively might affect the recovery of the client negatively. In case the therapist is exploiting a patient, this would be detrimental to his or her healing process, hence slow recovery or none at all. To avoid a misunderstanding between the therapist and patient, therapists should identify exactly why a client is offering a gift. This way, they will be able to avoid unnecessary cases that are unethical (Tait & Edwards, 1998).
I think one positive impact gift giving can bring is fast recovery. Some patients will recover quickly if they find someone who receives and appreciates what they offer. If such people gave gifts to their therapists and these were accepted, then it would help them recover. Turning down gifts meant for good intention would devastate the client (Seema, 2006). He or she might feel rejected and not appreciated, thus affecting the recovery process. Therefore, I suggest that therapists who are given gifts should appreciate and accept them because this might give the patient a significant breakthrough in their healing. The therapist should also know how to deal with patients who want to offer gifts for unethical reasons (McMahon, 2006).
Esbroeck & Athanasou (2008) suggest that one important thing therapists should note is that they should not demand or solicit clients to give them gift or tokens. I am sure this will be viewed to be both unethical and harmful to the patients’ therapy. Therapists who demand for gifts should be reported to the relevant authority because it is unprofessional to do so. I think that therapists and clients should be discouraged from gift giving and receiving, to avoid exploitation and misunderstanding. According to my understanding, clients should not wrongly influence the judgment of therapists, just because they are giving gifts. For example, it would be wrong for a therapist to give unfair treatment to a client, just because he or she offered a gift.
Esbroeck, R.V., & Athanasou, J.A. (2008). International handbook of career guidance. New York, NY: Springer publishers.
McMahon, M. (2006). Career counseling: constructivist approaches. Tolstoy, New Delhi: Taylor & Francis Publishers.
Seema, Y. (2006). Guidance and Counselling. New Delhi, Delhi: Anmol Publications. PVT LTD.
Tait, A., Harrison, R., & Edwards, R. (1998). Telling tales: perspectives on guidance and counseling in learning. New York, NY: Routledge Publishers.