Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods

Essay by porcupinetree October 2008

download word file, 4 pages 4.0

The following essay answers three questions that I have chosen in an essay format1. Discuss the purpose of informed consent and confidentiality in counseling relationships. Discuss the legal restrictions to confidentiality and how clients might be educated about these issues.

IntroductionIt has been noted that when entering into а counseling relationship with а minor, the circumstances involved need to be closely considered. Some general issues are to whom counselors owe the ethical obligation of confidentiality, parental consent and legal rights, informed consent, and competency level of the minor. In addition, specific concerns may include the client's relationship with the parent or guardian, whether disclosing information can be expected to help the situation, and the severity of potential harm or injury that could come if information is not disclosed.

DiscussionRemley (1985) stated that confidentiality is an ethical standard that is а rule of practice set forth by а profession. (Corey, 2000) For counseling to be effective and provide an environment in which the client feels free to share concerns, the counselor must be able to assure minor clients that personal information will be kept confidential.

Ross (1958) further concluded that this is especially significant with counseling children who may have experienced untrustworthy adults sharing other confidences previously.

Confidentiality is an ethical standard set forth by а profession, whereas privileged communication is granted by law. Hendrix (1991) stated that the law supersedes ethics in three mental health situations for minors: reports of being abused, reports of harm to self, or reports of а plan to do harm to another person. There are other exceptions to confidentiality and privileged communication. If counselors are ordered by а court to release counseling records, they can state their objections, but they will be required to forfeit these records or they may be found in contempt of...