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Counseling: Financial Dilemma

You are treating a young adolescent who has a mild mental disability. He demonstrates serious peer relation problems (i.e. his classmates pick on him and make fun of him and he lacks social skills to deal with this). He has poor self esteem, gets frustrated easily, and responds with occasional temper outbursts. You have developed good rapport with him and he is making progress toward his therapy goals. His parents indicate that he is visibly improving.

His mom works in a factory and has the insurance that covers her son's treatment. She gets laid off. Your patient's Dad is a bricklayer. He offers to build a planter in front of your office, trading the normal rate he would charge a customer against the normal rate you charge for psychotherapy with his son.

What are the issues here? What should you do?

Solution Preview

Using the "Five Steps of Principled Reasoning" model from the Josephson Institute of Ethics, here is an ethical solution to this quandary:

The first step is to clarify what the ethical quandary is in this example. In this case, the dilemma appears to be whether or not it is ethical to work out a barter arrangement with the parents of a client. Since the parents have lost the insurance to cover the treatments, the choices would be to either accept the barter arrangement, ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines financial dilemma counseling.