Curriculum for Addiction Professionals > Competency 1: Introduction to FASD > 11. Issues Related to Professional Values and Ethics
Competency 1: Introduction to FASD
Issues Related to Professional Values and Ethics
The role of the counselor in addiction treatment is to provide support
and education. Addiction professionals also need to use treatment approaches that
help women move from unhealthy, self-defeating, self-devaluing behaviors to healthy,
self-enhancing, and self-nurturing behaviors. The counselor needs to understand
the roots of alcohol abuse among women, as well as symptoms, motivation, problems,
and issues to enhance engagement and treatment effectiveness.
It is important for the addiction professional to know and believe that women do
not try to hurt their babies. Cases of women drinking to induce a miscarriage or
harm the baby are very rare. Most women want healthy babies, but some cannot stop
drinking, even when they are pregnant. Addiction professionals can provide needed
support and understanding as women go through the difficult process of recovery.
Clients often feel a great deal of shame associated with their addictive behaviors.
Some clients may learn about FASD and realize that their children might have an
FASD. This discovery can increase their guilt and shame when they realize they have
harmed their children permanently. Alcohol problems already carry a tremendous stigma
in our society, particularly when women drink. To help resolve those feelings of
shame and guilt, the counselor should encourage the client to speak honestly about
her addictive behaviors and respond to the client with honesty, gentleness, and