How Would You Handle These Ethical Challenges?
1) Failure to Protect Confidentiality
- Scenario – A clinical psychologist disclosed clinical records in response to a subpoena without proper authorization.
2) Not Properly Balancing Minors & Parents Rights
- Scenario – The mother of a 15-yearold client requested a full copy of the psychotherapist’s notes.
3) Self-Disclosure – A Slippery Slope
- Scenario – A client in an addictions treatment program asked his clinician whether he is in recovery and who he voted for in the last presidential election.
4) Challenging Dual Relationship Traps
- Scenario – The clients of a marriage and family therapist offered her the free use of their vacation home.
5) Sticky Financial Issues - Billing, Fees and Gifts
- Scenario – A client who was an unemployed painter had a large unpaid counseling bill and offered to paint the counselor’s home to pay off the debt.
6) Duty to Warn – When to AND When Not to
- Scenario – A clinical social worker in a mental health center counseled a client who made threats against an unidentified estranged partner.
7) Inadequate Informed Consent
- Scenario – A clinical psychologist provided distance counseling services to a client who filed a licensing board complaint alleging substandard informed consent protocols.
8) Social Media Common Ethical Challenges
- Scenario – A case manager in a mental health agency received a Facebook “friend” request from a client with whom he often exchanged text messages using a messaging app that is not HIPAA compliant.
9) Distance Counseling
- Scenario – The client of an addictions counselor in private practice moved to another state and asked the counselor to continue providing services to him using Skype and text messaging.
10) Complex Documentation Decisions
- Scenario – The client of a mental health counselor divulged that he had committed a murder several years earlier while under the influence of illegal substances.