Imagine that you are a counselor who will be meeting with a wife, husband, and their children (ages 17, 13 and 9) for an initial counseling session. This is the first time anyone in this family has been in counseling, and during your initial phone call with the wife it was apparent that neither she nor her husband fully understood what the counseling process was really about.
What are your responsibilities regarding informed consent and confidentiality when working with a family? Cite specific ethical standards and state laws that are relevant here.
What would be important to discuss with this family about the counseling process during the first session? How would you know whether this information had been understood clearly by each family member?
Informed Consent and Confidentiality in Family Counseling:
Counseling families in the case where there are also children who are minors involved requires the following of ethical and legal standards. As a counselor, it is essential to make the parents and children have a clear understanding of the counseling process of informed consent and limits of confidentiality. The American Counseling Association (2005) Code of Ethics in Section B.4.b. discusses the importance of having everything in writing for the client(s) as well as ensuring ...
Confidentiality and Informed Consent in Family Counseling is carefully summarized and referenced in this tutorial.