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A reappraisal of Ethical Dilemma # 1 nowadayss several issues to see ; the first being the counselor’s initial determination to run into with John. sans Phyllis. Section 3. 05 of the American Psychological Association’s ( APA ) Ethical Standards defines a multiple relationship as 1 that “occurs when a psychologist is in a professional function with a individual and ( 1 ) at the same clip is in another function with the same individual. . . ” ( 2002 ) . The mere act of run intoing with John independently. in consequence. created a multiple relationship. Further. Section 10. 02 of the APA’s Ethical Standards. which discusses therapy affecting twosomes or households. authorizations that “when psychologists agree to supply services to several individuals who have a relationship. they take sensible stairss to clear up at the beginning ( 1 ) which of the persons are clients/patients. and ( 2 ) the relationship the psychologist will hold with each person” ( 2002 ) . Section A. 7 of the American Counseling Association’s ( ACA ) Code of Ethics besides speaks to this issue in mandating that “when a counsellor agrees to supply guidance services to two or more individuals who have a relationship. the counsellor clarifies at the beginning which individual or individuals are clients and the nature of the relationships the counsellor will hold with each involved person” ( 2005 ) .

Therefore. harmonizing to the criterions of both the APA and the ACA. the counsellor should hold discussed the kineticss of the working relationship with both John and Phyllis at the beginning of the guidance relationship. and made it clear that run intoing with them individually would be inappropriate. Assuming this was the instance. the guidance relationship with John and Phyllis would hold been defined as a three. non a couple ; hence. to run into with John independently is a rear of barrel of their initial “contract ; ” so to talk. Section 10. 02 of the APA’s Ethical Standards further provinces that a psychologist “refrains from come ining into a multiple relationship if the multiple relationship could moderately be expected to impair the psychologist’s objectiveness. competency. or effectivity in executing his or her maps as a psychologist. or otherwise risks development or injury to the individual with whom the professional relationship exists” ( APA. 2002 ) .

This brings the rule of fidelity. which states that counsellors must “seek to pull off struggles of involvement that could take to exploitation or harm” ( APA. 2002 ) . to the tabular array. as meeting with John independently could go forth Phyllis experiencing a sense of treachery when she learns of the double relationship ; therefore doing her to lose religion in the curative relationship. and finally making psychological injury. Additionally. Section A. 5. e. of the ACA’s Code of Ethics authorizations that “when a counsellor changes a function from the original or most recent contracted relationship. he or she obtains informed consent from the client and explains the right of the client to decline services related to the alteration. ” This subdivision specifically addresses a alteration “from single to relationship or household guidance ; or frailty versa. ” and farther requires that the counsellor inform the client of any awaited effects of such a alteration ( ACA. 2005 ) ; hence. the counsellor was in misdemeanor of this codification when he or she agreed to run into with John. independent of Phyllis. without obtaining Phyllis’s informed consent. and besides in non informing John of the possible effect a private audience may hold on the curative relationship that had been established between the three of them.

The ethical soundness of the counselor’s determination to run into with John. independent of Phyllis. notwithstanding. there are other ethical quandary to contemplate in this state of affairs. Specifically. whether or non the counsellor should unwrap John’s past opprobrious behaviour to Phyllis. Section B. 2. a. of the ACA Code of Ethics speaks to both sides of this issue. saying that counsellors are to maintain information confidential ; nevertheless. this does non use when “disclosure is required to protect clients or identified others from serious and foreseeable harm” ( 2005 ) . This begs the inquiry of whether or non John’s statement that he has visualized “hitting or even choking her. ” constitutes “foreseeable harm” to Phyllis ; or if it is simply a verbal look of his lifting defeat ; with no opportunity of intensifying to physical manifestation. In sing this duality. the rule of beneficence comes into drama. as it requires counsellors to be proactive when struggles arise “among psychologists’ duties or concerns. ”

Harmonizing to this rule. counsellors are compelled to “resolve struggles in a responsible manner that avoids or minimizes harm” ( APA. 2002 ) . If the counsellor deems John’s statement to intend Phyllis is in “foreseeable” danger. he is compelled to take action to protect her by warning her of the potency for injury. Ultimately. if the counsellor doubts the cogency of the exclusion to confidentiality. he or she should confer with with other professionals prior to taking action. Quite candidly. I’m non certain the counselor’s initial determination in this state of affairs is defendable. unless certain premises are made ; i. e. possibly John advised the counsellor in their telephone contact on the twenty-four hours in inquiry. that he was self-destructive or that he was sing aching Phyllis. and was in demand of immediate intercession.

Under such circumstance. I could appreciate the logical thinking behind meeting with John independently. In shutting. while I do non hold with the counselor’s initial determination to run into with John without Phyllis’s cognition. that fact remains that the brush did happen. Sing the world that nil that happens within the context of the guidance relationship is benign. effects. be they positive or negative. are inevitable. and the counsellor must be prepared to accept duty non merely for the determination that was made. but besides for the branchings of that determination. I surely do non believe that the counsellor should go on a separate guidance relationship with John. without informing Phyllis ; and truthfully. I believe the best involvements of all parties would be more efficaciously served by the counsellor mentioning John to person else to cover with his single issues.


American Counseling Association. ( 2005 ) . Code of Ethics.
hypertext transfer protocol: //www. guidance. org/Resources/CodeOfEthics/TP/Home/CT2. aspx American Psychological Association. ( 2002 ) . Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. apa. org/ethics/

Example Response 2 to Ethical Dilemma 1
Dear supervisory board.
A recent instance in twosomes therapy led to some ambitious ethical issues. The hubby called desiring an exigency private assignment. During the assignment he told of repeated anterior spouse maltreatment. an apprehension related to his opprobrious behaviour. and visions of aching his current spouse who knew nil of his yesteryear. I wish to portion with you my thought and scrutiny of ethical codifications in this instance. I have cited each possible ethical quandary and specific ACA codifications of moralss to see.

1 ) Should a counsellor allow a client to schedule an single assignment offprint from the joint matrimonial guidance Sessionss? 2 ) Did the history of perennial maltreatment history and yesteryear apprehension drama a portion in the ethical determinations in this instance? 3 ) Did the married woman have a right to cognize about her husband’s yesteryear and about the present statements made by her hubby? 4 ) How of import were the defeats and visual images expressed by the client to the state of affairs? 5 ) The client requested confidentiality. How should the healer respond? 6 ) The client wanted to go on meeting as an single client. Be this ethically possible? 2005 ACA Code of Ethical motives:

A. 1. a. Primary Responsibility. When the client called necessitating an exigency session the counsellor sensed immediateness in the state of affairs. The counsellor respected the client’s self-respect and hoped to advance the public assistance of the client. A. 4. a. Avoiding injury. The information about the client’s past including repeated discourtesies and an apprehension may hold been of import when interpreted with current feelings and behaviours. The counsellor must move to avoid injury of clients or others in danger. The married woman had a right to cognize information about her husband’s session if she was at hazard of being harmed. Turning defeat that led to the exigency meeting implied that the client wanted aid. A. 5. e. Role Changes in the Professional Relationship. Functions can alter from relationship to single guidance. but the counsellor must obtain a new informed consent and explain to the client his rights and any awaited effects. After giving a clear account. the counsellor should hold made certain that the client understood all possible effects intelligently and emotionally.

A. 7. Multiple Clients. Because two or more people received guidance and had a relationship with each other. the counsellor should hold clarified the nature of the relationship with each client. The functions may hold needed to be adjusted if the counsellor was called on to execute potentially conflicting functions. The alteration from twosomes to single guidance could hold put the healer in a at odds function. The counsellor may or may non hold chosen to see the single individually. B. 1. d. Explanation of Limitations. At the beginning and throughout the guidance procedure the bounds of confidentiality should hold been explained. There may hold been foreseeable state of affairss in the hereafter where confidentiality may hold had to been breached. Switch overing from twosomes therapy to single therapy may hold been one of those foreseeable times and should hold been exhaustively covered during ongoing informed consent. B. 2. a. Danger and Legal Requirements.

The general demand that counsellors keep information confidential would non use when revelation is required to protect clients from serious injury or when the information must lawfully be revealed. B. 2. d. Minimal Disclosure. If the counsellor decided to inform the married woman of her husband’s single guidance session and the possible hazard to her. he should hold foremost told the hubby of his connotation and encouraged the hubby to be involved in the revelation procedure. Hopefully. the partner would state her either on his ain or with the aid of the counsellor. If he still would non state on his ain. the counsellor should state the married woman and reveal merely the minimum information necessary. C. 2. a. Boundaries of Competence. The counsellor should merely hold both group Sessionss and single Sessionss if he felt he is competent to advocate with these parametric quantities. Drumhead

After reexamining the ACA codification of moralss. I feel that the counsellor should hold seen the hubby individually out of regard for the client’s feelings because he felt that there was an exigency state of affairs. However. the counsellor needed to cover all points necessary in respect to informed consent as to how the relationship and regulations of confidentiality were now different. Based on a hazard appraisal of the client’s specific programs of hitting or choking his married woman. his agencies and chance. and his old history of force. I believe the counsellor had the ethical duty to inform the married woman. Though the client thought he had no purpose of aching her. In add-on there was an identified individual at hazard and the client was confronting an increased emphasis degree at work.

After weighing the hazards and costs the counsellor must move with beneficence toward the married woman. The counsellor must continue fidelity or truthfulness to the guidance profession. The Tarasoff instance set the case in point that beneficence overrides confidentiality when there is a responsibility to warn person of danger. The client should be consulted as to how best inform the partner so as to swear the client’s liberty. authorise the client and non bewray him. However. if the client will non accept to state the partner. the counsellor should make so. Future Sessionss with merely the hubby should be discussed as an option during twosomes therapy. The counsellor may carry on coincident twosome and single guidance if this was within his expertness. As an act of benevolence to the hubby. the counsellor should hold arranged for some type of single therapy for the hubby if he still wanted it. Sincerely.

Example Response 3 to Ethical Dilemma 1
In response to the ethical quandary provided there are a figure of issues that may perchance come up go againsting the codification of moralss. I am non able to place all the ethical issues that may come up. being a first twelvemonth Master’s pupil and new to the codification of moralss. The major ethical issues I came across concerned the informed consent. double relationships. responsibility to warn and protect. and the duty to mention.

The counsellor met with the client and his married woman in matrimony guidance for three Sessionss and in the first session or pre-session he should hold had them subscribe an informed consent. The informed consent should hold lined up a intervention program for the twosome. In the text Counseling Ethical motives and Decision Making by Cottone and Tarvydas ( 2007 ) it is noted that in the informed consent alternate interventions or options to intervention should be addressed ( p. 40 ) . If the “alternative treatment” did non province that the twosome would run into with the counsellor individually to discourse their relationship issues the counsellor has entered into a double relationship. A double relationship by definition harmonizing to Cottone and Tarvydas ( 2007 ) is a relationship in add-on to the contracted guidance relationship ( p. 35 ) .

This peculiar issue stated that the hubby called for an “emergency appointment” demoing that this had non been agreed upon. Cottone and Tarvydas ( 2007 ) besides note in their text that when a counsellor alterations function from the original or most recent contracted relationship. he or she obtains an informed consent signifier from the client…it subsequently goes to province that an illustration of a function alteration would be altering from an person to relationship or household guidance or frailty versa ( p. 39 ) . The fidelity of the married woman in the relationship was violated because by come ining into a double relationship with the hubby the counsellor went against the informed consent. hence non being loyal. honest. or maintaining the promise ( Cottone & A ; Tarvydas. 2007. p. 26 ) . During the private session with the client a major ethical quandary arose.

The client disclosed to the counsellor during their private session that in the yesteryear he repeatedly and emotionally abused his spouse and late visualized striking and even choking his married woman. In this state of affairs the counsellor has a responsibility to warn and protect the partner of this client because under the codification of moralss he has to inform endangered persons of an identifiable menace ( Cottone & A ; Tarvydas. 2007. p. 31 ) . Even though the client says that he is over his desire to ache anyone it is prudent that the married woman is informed because he did non do a general statement about visualising aching her but he made a clear and distinguishable visual image of precisely what he would make to her. Another ethical quandary arose when the client was really inexorable about his married woman non cognizing of his yesteryear and desiring to run into for extra Sessionss.

Extra Sessionss were requested by the client to discourse his personal issues sole of his married woman. In this instance the counsellor should non hold to farther meet with him and mention out to stay from come ining into a harmful double relationship. Meeting with the client outside of the matrimony guidance could harm the relationship between the three because he would be more likely to take a side cognizing extra information refering the hubby. In the footings of Cottone and Tarvydas ( 2007 ) from the old version of the codification of moralss by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy ( AAMFT ) . it could “impair professional judgement or increase the hazard of development ( as cited in AAMFT. 1991. p. 35 ) . Although this statement is outdated the current codification still states that a double relationship should be avoided when possible ( Cottone & A ; Tarvydas. 2007. p. 35 ) .

In this peculiar instance I feel the counsellor should hold either mention the client to person else or made an understanding within the informed consent to run into separately with both clients. I believe that in order to protect the client’s liberty and confidentiality the counsellor should speak to him about unwraping his yesteryear to his married woman during their joint Sessionss and refer him to another counsellor who is competent in anger direction issues. The counsellor is seeing the client for relationship jobs refering manners of communications and fiscal concerns but may non be competent in issues refering choler direction.

Even if the client does non hold to unwrap this information to his married woman the counsellor must inform him that he has a responsibility to warn his married woman. I feel this is a justifiable class of action because the counsellor does non desire to interrupt confidentiality by speaking to the married woman about their meeting offprint of their Sessionss and what was discussed. The revelation of his yesteryear will besides open up the line of communicating and do her aware of any clear and present danger without interrupting his confidentiality. Besides the counsellor needs to mention the client in order to stay by the informed consent agreed upon in the matrimony guidance session and to maintain himself from come ining into a harmful double relationship. I feel run intoing individually with one of the clients would be damaging to the relationship and skew the counsellors feelings toward the other.


Cottone. R. R. . & A ; Tarvydas. V. M. ( 2007 ) . Reding Ethical motives and Decision Making ( 3rd ed. ) . Upper Saddle River. New jersey: Pearson Education. Inc. Example Response 4 to Ethical Dilemma 1 Before I decided on the class of action. I considered the ACA professional criterions and the jurisprudence. As a counsellor. I am ethically and lawfully responsible for the wellbeing of John and Phyllis in the curative relationship. This means that I am obligated to keep fidelity. I have to guarantee that I respect the client’s right to privateness and confidentiality. In other words. I am obligated under the ethical criterions and jurisprudence to do certain that the individuality of the client and communicating remains confidential. However. there are some exclusions in respect to privateness and confidentiality. One of the exclusions is when clients are unsafe. I have the right to transgress confidentiality when the client is unsafe to self or others ( Cottone & A ; Tarvydas. 2006 ) .

John’s revelation shows that he may present a danger to his married woman. Phyllis. John disclosed that he has visualized striking and choking Phyllis. John has a past history of perennial physical and emotional maltreatment toward an ex-girlfriend. John said that he would non ache Phyllis ; nevertheless he is sing increasing defeat in his relationship. Phyllis is non cognizant of the fortunes and she is in close propinquity to John.

Harmonizing to the jurisprudence. I have the responsibility to warn and the responsibility to protect my clients from any “identifiable threat” ( Cottone & A ; Tarvydas. 2006 ) . John is confident that he will non ache Phyllis. but he has a past history of mistreating his girlfriend. He besides provided inside informations of how he envisioned mistreating his married woman. The inside informations and past history of maltreatment cause me to see John’s revelation as a possible menace. In tribunal instances such as the Mahomes-Vinson v. United States and the Bardoni et Al. v. Kim. “the tribunals considered the look of violent phantasies to be an indicant that the patients were potentially unsafe. peculiarly in the context of holding history of force or endangering behavior” ( Gellerman & A ; Suddath. 2005 ) . As a counsellor. I have to see the state of affairs as a possible danger and supply protection to my client. The jurisprudence states that I have the responsibility to protect my clients. I am obligated to travel beyond warning and/or coverage. I have to guarantee that the client receives the needful services in order to protect the client or another party from injury. This means that I have to increase therapy and/or refer John to another healer in order to diminish the hazard to Phyllis. Locating services will non merely protect Phyllis. but it will increase John’s attempt to get by.

After I considered the ethical criterions and jurisprudence. I concluded that I have to warn Phyllis. During the single session with John. I will advise him that I am ethically and lawfully obligated to state Phyllis. However. I will press him to unwrap his ideas to Phyllis during therapy. If John agrees. I will put up an exigency therapy session with John and Phyllis. This will supply a safe zone for John to discourse the issue at manus. If John does non hold. I will warn Phyllis. I will besides seek audience from my supervisor in respect to the state of affairs. In add-on. I will see that John receives aid in order to get by with the defeat that he is sing. I will mention John to a healer who has experience in choler direction. If I am unable to mention John to another healer. I will supply therapy to John under supervising. Then. John can have single therapy to cover with his defeat and matrimony therapy to help him with issues in the relationship.

Work Cited

Cottone. R. R. & A ; Tarvydas V. M. ( 2006 ) . Reding moralss and determination
doing. New
Jersey: Person Education. Inc.
Gellerman. D. M. & A ; Suddath. R. ( 2005 ) . Violent phantasy. dangerousness. and responsibility to
warn and protect. The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the
Law. 33. 484-495. Retrieved January 22. 2007. from the ERIC database.

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