Identifying Legal and Ethical Issues in an Emergent Profession

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Reviews the book, Law & Ethics in Coaching: How to Solve–and Avoid–Difficult Problems in Your Practice by Patrick Williams and Sharon K. Anderson (see record 2006-10077-000). The reviewer likens the exposition of legal and ethical issues in coaching to be rather like negotiating a maze: at some point there may be clarity in the overall scheme, but at present it may be experience more as a series of unconnected paths. This book exhibits various degrees of success in illuminating these paths but is still some distance from manifesting an overall coherent design. To their credit, however, Williams and Anderson have taken on the challenge of producing the first textbook on law and ethics in coaching without the underpinnings of a mature profession. The book fares best on the topics of the history of ethics, principles derived from business law, and multicultural issues. As is characteristic of many texts on law and ethics, the treatment of ethical codes is stronger than that of legal topics, because much of the applicable law is state law and varies considerably across jurisdictions, whereas professional ethics codes are promulgated by the profession itself and have universal application across the specific professional domain. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)

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