When it comes to sexual health, clients may face many difficult decisions for which their choices can have
significant consequences for many years to come. This includes decisions about contraception and abortion. Many
of these decisions address very sensitive concerns that clients may experience with a certain degree of
embarrassment, misinformation, and uncertainty. Consider for instance, a couple that faces a decision regarding
abortion in order to increase the viability of a multiple birth, or a couple whose religious beliefs prevent
them from using contraception even though a pregnancy might be fatal to the mother.
Counselors may have the opportunity to help their clients make such decisions in an informed, honest, and
thoughtful manner. Counselors also need to be very cognizant of how their own and their clients beliefs and
values about these decisions are influenced by the contextual background, such as their spiritual beliefs,
cultural backgrounds, and current relationship dynamics.
Because these sexual health issues are so very sensitive in nature, counselors must approach them with a solid
knowledge base, sound clinical reasoning, and a high level of self-awareness. This weeks assignments will aid
you in beginning to consider how best to work with clients in relation to these issues.
By the end of this week, you should be able to:
Explain strategies for helping clients make healthy, informed decisions regarding their sexual health
Analyze factors that influence clients decisions regarding abortion
Explain how personal beliefs regarding contraception and abortion influence counseling sessions
Please proceed to the Resources.
This page contains the Learning Resources for this week. Be sure to scroll down the page to see all of this
weeks assigned Learning Resources.
Note: To access this weeks required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List,
found in the Course Materials section of your syllabus.
Article: American Counseling Association. (2005). ACA code of ethics. Retrieved
Article: Ely, G. E. (2007). The abortion counseling experience: A discussion of patient narratives and
recommendations for best practices. Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Journal, 3(2), 6274.
Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.
Article: Hess, R. F. (2004). Dimensions of womens long-term postabortion experience. MCN: The American
Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, 29(3), 193198. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the CINAHL Plus
Article: Langston, A. M., Rosario, L., & Westhoff, C. L. (2010). Structured contraceptive counselingA
randomized controlled trial. Patient Education & Counseling, 81(3), 362367. Retrieved from the Walden
Library using the CINAHL Plus database.
Article: Millner, V. S., & Hanks, R. B. (2002). Induced abortion: An ethical conundrum for
counselors.Journal of Counseling & Development, 80(1), 5763. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the
Academic Search Complete database.
Counseling Clients Considering Abortion
A client facing the decision of whether or not to have an abortion is likely to consider a wide range of factors
before making the final decision. This is often the case for clients regardless of whether they view themselves
as generally for or against abortion (or somewhere in between), as the decision is different when considering
how it applies to ones own life.
The types of factors that can influence a clients decisions include (but are not limited to) physical health
considerations, educational background, cultural values, and predictions about short- and long-term consequences
of abortion. Consider these, and other, factors as you respond to this weeks Assignment.
The Assignment (2- to 3-page paper):
Explain potential factors that might influence whether or not a client decides to have an abortion. Include
short- and long-term considerations that might impact this decision.
Explain why certain factors might have a stronger impact on a clients decision regarding abortion depending
on the clients background (age, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, etc.).
Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are to provide a
reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.