An EAP counselor who describes herself as “a devout Christian who believes that it is immoral to engage in same-sex sexual relationships,” refused to provide counseling to an EAP client because of her own “personal values,” which she claimed would interfere with the client/therapist relationship, according to the Employment Matters Blog.

The employee, meanwhile, who felt “judged and condemned” by the counselor, Marcia Walden, complained to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about Ms. Walden’s treatment. (Walden managed the EAP for the CDC.) After numerous discussions with Ms. Walden about how she could handle similar situations in the future, and after concluding that Ms. Walden was unwilling to alter her approach, her assignment to the CDC was terminated.

Photo by Ian Britton.

In another similar, though not identical, case, a graduate-level counseling student at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) was expelled for refusing to counsel a gay client. Julea Ward, a devout Christian, asked her faculty supervisor either to refer the client to another student or to permit her to begin counseling and make a referral if the session turned to relationship issues. In support of its decision, EMU claimed it had a “no referral” policy and that Ms. Ward’s actions violated the American Counseling Association’s code of ethics.

For more information, go to….  More…             (Additional source: Employee Assistance Professionals Association.)

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