Suppose you are a school counselor, and a student comes to see you with concerns about how much his parents are fighting with each other. After talking with the student, you plan to meet again in a week. The next day, the student's mother calls you, wanting to know what you talked about in your counseling session with her child. It is obvious that the student told her the nature of the topics he discussed with you.
Address the following in this discussion:
Would you disclose what the student told you to his parent? Why or why not?
If the student's self-referral is a step toward autonomy in solving his problems, could you handicap his efforts by talking to the parents and breaking confidentiality? Or could you help the family by revealing the impact of the parents' arguing on their child?
If you comply with this request, how would it affect you, the student, and the parents?
Would you answer these questions differently if the mother had asked you to speak with her child, then later asked you about the content of that counseling session?
Disclosing the details is never a work of a real counselor, unless and until both parties (Parent and Child) are ready for those details. Do not initiate the act of disclosing the details. This will destroy your credibility as a counselor. Since it is obvious that the child told his mother about what you discuss with him, it is better to ...
Ethical Dilemma Scenario