2003.第10卷第1期(Vol. 10 No. 1).pp. 11–32


Reconstructing the Ethics of Counseling in the Taiwan/Ethnic Chinese Social Context

陳秉華(Ping-Hwa CHEN)




Counseling literature in Taiwan pointed out that counselors often fail to adhere to the code of conduct of protecting the privacy and rights of their clients. This “not practicing what one preaches” phenomenon reflects an underlying issue of the differences between the value systems of the Chinese and Western societies and cultures. The Chinese titles for counselors in Taiwan had a rich social implication under the Confucius culture. The author reviewed those contemporary Chinese scholars’ concept of the relationship between the self and others, and concluded that Chinese culture emphasizes “social relations,” in contrast to the emphasis on individualism in Western society. Nowadays, Western scholars of counseling also strongly suggest the need of counselors to be sensitive about and respectful to the value system of the culture that the client comes from. In this regard, the appropriateness of applying Western practices of counseling developed out of the individualistic culture into Taiwanese/Chinese society is in question. The author proposes that when constructing the ethical code of counseling, both “social relations” and “personal development” must be taken into account. Ethical issues of counseling on client’s rights, values of the client and the counselors, confidentiality, informed consent, counseling young school students, dual relationship and social relationship, and professional responsibility were then discussed and compared with Western ethical codes.