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Clients with informed consent

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Mental Health Counseling class


Professional counselors must follow legal and ethical guidelines in order to protect their clients' or students' privacy and confidentiality. However, they also need to protect their clients or students from self-harm and harm by others, and they need to protect people from potentially dangerous clients or students. At times, these duties may limit a client's or student's right to confidentiality. State laws contain specific statutes or regulations that mandate when a counselor must break confidentiality to protect clients or students from harm; schools and agencies will also have specific guidelines and policies that must be followed in these cases.

Create a brief case scenario reflective of the work you will do as a professional counselor that describes a client or student who is expressing one of the following:

1.Thoughts about harming himself or herself.
2. Feelings about wanting to harm another person.
3. Descriptions of being physically abused at home.
4. Memories of being sexually abused by a neighbor.

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Solution Preview

Informed Consent and Confidentiality/Privacy

1. All ethics board comply with state laws regarding harm to self and others such as APA (American Psychological Association) and ACA (American Counseling Association). The all make recommendations to explain this ethic of confidentiality through informed consent. For instance, the NASW (National Association of Social Workers) have guidelines :
- Social workers should discuss with clients and other interested parties the nature of confidentiality and ...

Solution Summary

Ethics and confidentiality issues when patients express self-harm thoughts and behaviors. Discussion of this situation in terms of privacy and risk factors.