Explore BrainMass

Ethcial and legal implications of record keeping

What are the ethical and legal implications of record keeping in the counseling profession? Could you please provide me with a couple of examples also?

Solution Preview

Generally counselors have responsibility for the maintenance and retention of records.According to the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics "Clients have the freedom to chose whether to enter and remain in the counseling relationship and need adequate information about the counseling process and the counselor. Counselors need to review in writing and verbally their rights in the context of the client/counselor relationship. This is known as informed consent and counselors need to appropriately document discussions of this throughout the counseling relationship.

The counselors need to honor the client's right to confidentiality. All records about counseling sessions including tests, progress notes, lack of progress records are kept privately with only the counselor and other authorized personnel having access to them. Counselors are obligated to get permission from clients before recording sessions through electronic or other means. Competent clients are entitled access to their records. However counselors may need to limit the access to copies as appropriate. For example if the couselor feels that letting the client access his/her records would mentally detrimental to him/her the client the counselor would limit access to these records. Counselors need to document the request of clients and the rationale for withholding some or all of the records in the file of clients. If needed counselors are obliged to obtain written permission from clients to disclose or transfer records to legitimate third parties.

Counselors have a professional, ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a description of the legal and ethical implications of record keeping in counseling.