Sunday, April 8, 2012

Addendum to Post

If a new counselor has any questions regarding confidentiality, it is essential they should seek supervision or consultation with a peer.  In Case # 6, the breach of confidentiality should never have happened, especially under adequate supervision (Herlihy & Corey, 2006). 

In Case # 5, one of the first duties of a counselor is to do no harm.  The challenge is when making an ethical decision does, in fact, hurt someone.  Sometimes we have to aim for doing the least harm while working toward the best possible outcome.  Ethical decision making can seem harsh, and I don't look forward to making decisions when, at first blush, the decision seems to hurt everyone involved.
It seems people have a tendency to cross the lines of ethical behavior.  In Case # 6 (Herlihy & Corey, 2006), the friend made the unethical decision to look at confidential files.  In Case # 5, Norma chose to have unprotected sex and subject herself to unacceptable behavior of her partner.  As ethical protectors serving the needs of clients and others, we become involved in making decisions that aren't necessarily right, but within the immediate context are the most appropriate.
Herlihy, B., & Corey, G. (2006). ACA ethical standards casebook (6th ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

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