Discussion #2 response post

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For the response post, read the posts of your classmates and then respond to two individuals with a different choice than your own (one classmate’s standards choice and another classmate’s ethics choice). Without judgment, compare and contrast your choice with those of each peer. Include at least one credible source (Links to an external site.) to support or refute your or their choice. Follow that with a thoughtful reflection on how your perspective has shifted, if at all.

Each response post should be approximately 75-100 words, well-written and concise, free of typos, and use proper sentence structure, grammar, and capitalization. When citing research, use APA formatted references and be sure to include in-text citations.

Discussion Responses

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1) Dana Dusenbery

In the AHTA’s Professional Code of Ethics, I believe that section H, principles of ethical behavior, is the most important.  This section lists out six principles that guide ethical practice within the realm of horticulture therapy.  Treating others equally, honestly, and with respect should be of primary importance when working with clients.  An experience I had as a volunteer for adolescent summer camps revealed the importance to be fair and fulfill obligations to others.  Earning the respect of your client group by recognizing their right to be self-governing will help establish a good relationship and benefit the therapeutic work.  Research shows the importance of supervisors training psychologists in ethical behaviors to improve professional functioning (Vasquez, 1992).  As we have learned in class, horticulture therapists work with a large variety of populations, including veterans with PTSD and elders with limited physical abilities.  These six principles can be applied to each population to reinforce the practitioner-client relationship, enhance the therapeutic benefits, and create a comfortable environment for all individuals regardless of their disability. 

Standard 2 from the AHTA’s Standards of Practice is most important in guiding the success of a horticulture therapy program.  It discusses general horticulture program administration, including personnel, financial, and resource management.  It includes guidelines on public and community relations and overall organizational goals of horticulture therapy programs.  Participants in a study identified leadership, administration, management, and professionalism as the most important part of clinical therapy work (Lopopolo et al., 2004).  Throughout the course, we have learned the importance of volunteers and good community relations in providing services to the public.  This standard outlines the need to train volunteers and implement public relationships.  I believe that having good organization is something that elevates any program to a more functional level, and shows professionalism, thoughtfulness, and creativity.


Lopopolo, R. B., Schafer, D. S., & Nosse, L. J. (2004) Leadership, administration, 

management, and professionalism (LAMP) in physical therapy: A Delphi study.

Physical Therapy, 84(2), 137-150. https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/84.2.137

Vasquez, M. J. T. (1992). Psychologist as clinical supervisor: Promoting ethical

practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 23(3), 196-202.


2) Sarah Sterling

As a Licensed Social Worker, Section H of AHTA’s Professional Code of Ethics and Standard 7 in AHTA’s Standards of Practice (which both outline the principles and practices of ethical behavior) are deeply linked the core values that I have practiced throughout the past 11 years of my career. Social work professionals serve humanity by carrying out the mission identified by the National Association of Social Workers. This mission is guided by our core values, which require a persistent and deep understanding of the human condition (National Association of Social Workers [NASW], 2017). As I integrate horticultural therapy into my practice as a social worker, I am invested in identifying the intersections of these two professions.

Section H of AHTA’s Professional Code of Ethics identifies the Six Principles of Ethical Behavior as beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy, justice, fidelity, and veracity.  Meanwhile, NASW’s ethical principles are based on the core values of “service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence” (NASW, 2017, preamble). It appears to me that for each AHTA behavior, there is an equivalent NASW value that justly aligns. This gives me great pride in my ability to function with integrity at the intersection of both professions.

Additionally, Standard 7 of AHTA’s Standards of Practice speaks to respecting the rights and autonomy of the individuals and groups that are being served. Since horticultural therapy can provide clients with highly individualized activities, the specific needs of individual are consistently addressed (Airhart, Doutt & Willis, 1988). This further supports a person-centered approach to the practice of horticultural therapy, and the ethical standard within the social work profession to client’s self-determination (NASW, 2017). Social workers are held to the highest standards when it comes to ethical practice, and I am encouraged to see that AHTA expects much the same from its members.


Airhart, D., Doutt, K., & Willis, T. (1988). Horticulture Therapy Activities for Exceptional Students. NACTA Journal, 32(2), 42-44. Retrieved October 8, 2020, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/43764377

National Association of Social Workers. (2017). Code of Ethics. Retrieved October 8, 2020, from https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English (Links to an external site.)



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