This unit covers the areas of confidentiality and privileged communication. The distinctions among privacy, confidentiality, and privileged communication are discussed, and the origins and rational for each of these important aspects of ethical counseling are presented.
There is a common belief that the counseling process is completely confidential. Although this is generally true, many exceptions to confidentiality exist—and in some cases breaking confidentiality is legally mandated. Counselors are required to know when they may share a client’s or student’s private information to provide more effective care as well as the situations in which disclosing information is required for ensuring client or student safety or the safety of others. Knowledge of one’s own state laws in these areas is essential.
To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:
1. Identify strategies based on legal and ethical codes to assess and mitigate potential risk situations with clients.
2. Communicate effectively through the consistent use of APA guidelines for grammar, punctuation, and mechanics expected of a counseling professional.
3. Implement strategies to research current ethical and legal codes used by counseling professionals.
4. Implement strategies to remain current of all revisions to the ethical and legal codes used by licensed/certified counseling professionals.
5. Integrate current ethical codes to inform the responsible counseling practices used by licensed/certified counseling professionals.
6. Integrate current legal codes to inform the responsible counseling practices used by licensed/certified counseling professionals.
7. Analyze how the functions of human services professionals assist to resolve ethical and legal dilemmas found within diverse counseling settings.
• Learning Activities Studies Readings
Use your Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling text to complete the following:
• Read Chapter 5, “Confidentiality and Privileged Communication,” pages 106–129.
• Review Appendix C, “Counseling Disclosure and Agreement Forms,” pages 430–437.
• Read Appendix D, “Client Request Form to Transfer Records,” page 438.
• Read Appendix E, “Client Permission Form to Record Counseling Session for Supervision Purposes,” page 439.
• Read Appendix F, “Guidelines for Counseling Case Notes,” page 440.
Use the Capella University Library to read at least one of the following:
• Rudd et al.’s 2009 article, “Informed Consent with Suicidal Patients: Rethinking Risks in (and out of) Treatment,” from Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, volume 46, issue 4, pages 459–468.
• Kuo’s 2009 article, “Secrets or No Secrets: Confidentiality in Couple Therapy,” from American Journal of Family Therapy, volume 37, issue 5, pages 351–354.
• Isaacs and Stone’s 2001 article, “Confidentiality with Minors: Mental Health Counselors’ Attitudes toward Breaching or Preserving Confidentiality,” from Journal of Mental Health Counseling, volume 23, issue 4, pages 342–356.
• Werth and Crow’s 2009 article, “End-of-Life Care: An Overview for Professional Counselors,” from Journal of Counseling & Development, volume 87, issue 2, pages 194–202.
• White Kress, Drouhard, and Costin’s 2006 article, “Students Who Self-Injure: School Counselor Ethical and Legal Considerations,” from Professional School Counseling, volume 10, issue 2, pages 203–209.
• Brown and Strozier’s 2004 article, “Resisting Abuse at What Cost? The Impact of Mandated Reporting Laws on the Process and Content of Therapy,” from Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, volume 26, issue 1, pages 45–60.
Discussion 1: I’m from Texas State and studying addiction counseling. 1 page needed with three references.
Informed Consent – A Case Scenario
Professional counselors must follow legal and ethical guidelines in order to protect their clients’ or students’ privacy and confidentiality. However, they also need to protect their clients or students from self-harm and harm by others, and they need to protect people from potentially dangerous clients or students. At times, these duties may limit a client’s or student’s right to confidentiality. State laws contain specific statutes or regulations that mandate when a counselor must break confidentiality to protect clients or students from harm; schools and agencies will also have specific guidelines and policies that must be followed in these cases.
Create a brief case scenario reflective of the work you will do as a professional counselor that describes a client or student who is expressing one of the following:
1. Thoughts about harming himself or herself.
2. Feelings about wanting to harm another person.
3. Descriptions of being physically abused at home.
4. Memories of being sexually abused by a neighbor.
Address all of the following in your case scenario:
•Include the student’s or client’s age and the setting in which you are working.
•Describe the specific steps you will take to assess the potential risk to or from your student or client.
•If a minor has experienced abuse or is in jeopardy of being harmed, what guidelines will you follow to report this? Locate the specific laws in your state that address mandated reporting procedures and cite the sections of these laws that would guide your actions.
•How will you address informed consent and any exceptions to confidentiality with your student or client, so that damage to the counseling relationship is minimized?
•NOTE-Include specific examples to illustrate your ideas, and support your discussion with references to state laws and regulations, ethical codes, and articles from the professional literature.