Counselors, most certainly, are frequently faced with ethical dilemmas of many different natures. Fortunately there are ethical codes to go by when addressing such conflicts. These codes have been adopted, in part, to remove the conflict of human nature when deciding how to handle these dilemmas. Ethical dilemma number 1 asks what actions would be appropriate in the following scenario:.
You have just learned that a female client has been seeing another therapist. She has sought you out because she feels you may be able to help her with her feelings toward her male therapist with whom she is both sexually and emotionally involved. How do you proceed? What actions would you take? Justify your response using ethical principles.
According to the American Psychological Association (1992) Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct, the male therapist violated more than one of these codes. First, where the female therapist is concerned, the needs of the client are of primary importance. The first part of therapy should be spent addressing the concerns of the client because she may not be aware of the unprofessional behavior on part of the male therapist. She may not understand the extent of abuse that she is exposed to. (American Psychologist, 1992).
Reporting the male therapist is a must. Explaining this to the client falls under the informed consent section, 4.02. Informed consent as it relates to confidentiality, refers to the client's right to understand the limits of confidentiality at the commencement of the counseling relationship as well as the risks and benefits associated with authorizing a particular disclosure of private counseling information. The professional must inform the client of the limitations that may affect the relationship at or before the time that the counseling relationship is entered. The male therapist failed to do this. .
The ethical code 4.05, sexual intimacies with current patients or clients, was also not respected by the male therapist.