if you work as a counselor/psychologist/psychiatrist/any variation of the above and you charge for your services, would that be considered unethical? think about the people who seek out counselors- those desperate, alone, needing a friendly ear to hear them out and not judge. what you're paying for is, in some respects, a friend. except not a friend whom you trust because you've gotten to know them (and they you), but one who sells themselves as a non confrontational, non threatening impartial third entity. they've bypassed the need to get to know you by establishing themselves (and their industry) as innately trustworthy. (are they though?) Uh.. anyway my question is, would it be ethical to charge for counseling, if the person really needed it and you (the counselor) were in a position to offer it? if a kid was crying about his stolen bike, a friendly adult might soothe him by saying the bike was broken down and worthless anyway. in a similar fashion professional counselor's soothe the very real pains of adults by and validating them as people and enlightening them to alternative options, etc. Without this reassurance - without someone to simply listen and not judge - the kid might turn to stealing/drugs/etc, and the adult might take similar inappropriate actions. yet the counseling industry is extremely lucrative, and psychiatrists charge exorbitant amounts of money regularly before they'll even see a client (consider the word client too! client implies psychological distance. they are not truly "friends"). do you see the dichotomy here? is this unethical, or merely practical? people have to earn a living, after all, and trained counselors surely deserve some form of compensation for the good they do (and they do), so why not have it be in terms of financial remuneration? would love your thoughts~!