Team Case Study Essay
Professional counselors must understand legal, professional, and ethical standards that guide practices and decisions. In this case, counselors in different settings encounter scenarios that require awareness of legal and ethical provisions. Often, these incidents may result in ethical dilemmas and necessitate acting in the best of clients’ interests. According to the American Psychological Association [APA] (2017), ethical codes apply to professional psychologists in various operational areas, including clinical, counseling, and school practice. Regardless of the prevailing scenarios, counselors and other psychiatric practitioners must comply with beneficence and non-maleficence, fidelity and responsibility, integrity, justice, and respect for people’s rights and dignity (American Psychological Association, 2017). To uphold these bioethical principles, counselors must base their practices and decisions on evidence-based interventions, background laws and regulations, and past case studies. Consequently, this paper analyzes six case studies that unearth ethical dilemmas and ethical and legal considerations that face professional counselors.
Little Bo Beep Case Study
Little Bo Beep’s case study provides insights into the ethical and legal considerations for bartering in professional counseling. As a client of the Good Sheppard for about one month, Little Bo Beep proposes that her licensed counselor accept sheep for counseling services. However, she discusses her strong relationship with the sheep and her fear and anxiety of losing them. The likelihood of experiencing fear and anxiety upon losing her sheep exposes the Good Sheppard to tough decisions regarding the ethical and legal perspectives of bartering in psychology.
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From an ethical perspective, bartering is acceptable in counseling, especially when clients encounter financial constraints and difficulties settling payments for counseling services. In this case, they can request licensed counselors accept other payment methods, including goods. However, there are multiple ethical considerations pertinent to the bartering agreement. According to the American Psychological Association [APA] (2017), ethical standard 6.05 states that barter is “the acceptance of goods, services, or other nonmonetary remuneration from clients/patients in return for psychological services” (p. 9). Psychologists may accept the bartering agreement if the resulting payment arrangements are not exploitative or harmful to clients. The revised code of ethics for professional counselors to consider the cultural implications of bartering and discuss relevant concerns with clients before documenting the agreement in a written contract (American Counseling Association, 2014). Bartering agreements can touch on various bioethical principles, especially when counselors do not understand their responsibilities.
Beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice are the immediate bioethical principles impacted by bartering agreements. In this sense, counselors must ensure that the agreements are consistent with the client’s financial needs, are not exploitative, and strengthen the aspect of fairness, honesty, and truthfulness. Kamal (2022) argues that counselors may violate ethical standards that guide bartering if they are unmindful and reckless in their practices. In this case, they may demand unethical remunerations, including activities alluding to sexual contact and prostitution services. These demands conflict with individual dignity, respect, integrity, and other bioethical values and principles of professional counseling.
From a legal and relational perspective, Bo Beep should specify the details of the bartering agreement, including the quality and quality of the goods. In this case, she should state the number of sheep equivalent to the counseling sessions’ value. Other issues that Bo Beep should consider include the age of the sheep, their value, the likelihood that Sheppard is allergic to sheep, and the requirements for selling the sheep to a third party. On his side, Sheppard should consider if bartering for counseling services is acceptable in the local community, considering that bartering guidelines may vary across states (American Counseling Association, 2014). Finally, he should consider the impacts of the bartering agreement on the therapeutic relationship with Bo Beep and evaluate the potential power shifts when bartering for counseling services. For example, Bo Beep may shift power to the counselor, increasing the feeling of vulnerability and obligation to Sheppard. Amidst this case study’s ethical and legal aspects, Sheppard should closely and collaboratively engage Bo Beep in every practice and decision to uphold general counseling principles and comply with ethical codes that guide counseling practices.
Cinderella Case Study
This case scenario entails various ethical and legal standards that guide t disclosure of clients’ information and records and the legal requirements for responding to subpoenas from hired attorneys amidst filed divorce cases. The Good Counselor’s ethical dilemma revolves around the professional responsibility of ensuring client confidentiality and privacy amidst the threats by the Big Bad Wolf. According to Remley & Herlihy (2020), counselors must only disclose clients’ information or records with clients’ authorization. Similarly, the American Psychological Association (2017) standard 4.02 requires psychologists to discuss the limits of confidentiality with patients, including the foreseeable uses of the information generated from their psychological activities and the intricacies of guaranteeing the privacy and confidentiality of electronic records. In the case study, the Good Counselor should only hand over information after consulting other professionals, Cindy and Prince Charming (PC), despite the Big Bad Wolf threats. Also, the legal frameworks require counselors to obtain legal advice before responding to subpoenas (Remley & Herlihy, 2020). Therefore, the Good Counselor should wait to respond to the subpoena.
Another legal aspect pertinent to the case study is the privileged communication that protects clients’ information and records. According to Remley & Herlihy (2020), privileged communication means that courts and judges cannot order information recognized by the law as privileged to be revealed in court. In couples and family counseling, clients can waive their privacy by explicitly requiring counselors to reveal information regarding counseling relationships to third parties (Remley & Herlihy, 2020, p. 114). In such a case, counselors should consult state laws that guide privileged communication. The Good Sheppard should closely engage Cindy and Prince Charming (PC) to understand their perspectives on waiving privileged communication and making other decisions before the divorce proceeding to avoid adverse legal and ethical implications of inadvertently disclosing clients’ information.
Other profound ethical and relational aspects include power transfer and interprofessional connections in counseling. Based on the case study, the Good Counselor is unaware that Cindy and Prince Charming (PC) are getting a divorce. In this case, he has been counseling Cindy and PC for couple counseling since they married approximately three months ago. The Good Counselor’s unawareness of the imminent divorce signifies a disconnected counseling relationship. Similarly, the Big Bad Wolf attempts to gain power by intimidating and threatening the Good Counselor to disclose clients’ information and records. The counselor should strictly comply with ethical and legal standards that guide information privacy and confidentiality to circumvent any attempt or pressure by the hired attorney to disclose information.
Snow White Case Study
This case study presents ethical and legal dilemmas around standard B.2.an of the American Counseling Association [ACA] revised code of ethics. This standard requires professional counselors to disclose information regarding clients amidst any serious or foreseeable harm or when legal requirements demand that confidential information must be revealed (American Counseling Association, 2014). The primary ethical issue in the Snow White case study entails respect for confidentiality. Standard B.1.c states that counselors should protect the confidential information of prospective and current clients. In this case, they can only disclose information or records with appropriate consent or sound legal or ethical justifications (American Counseling Association, 2014). However, this ethical obligation does not apply when counselors have adequate knowledge or awareness of serious or foreseeable harm to third parties. The Good Counselor knows about Snow White’s disappearance and is concerned about her welfare. As an informed and ethically-guided professional counselor, he should consult with colleagues and legal counsel to establish when the respective state requires disclosing information when suspecting harm to a third party.
From a legal perspective, the Good Counselor should understand state laws that guide information privacy and confidentiality. In this case, the failure to understand state regulations may expose him to the legal consequences of intentional or inadvertent disclosure of clients’ information even when there is foreseeable, serious harm to third parties. Further, he faces the dilemma of complying with the Tarasoff doctrine that requires mental health providers to protect persons whom clients could harm. According to Adi & Mathbout (2018), this doctrine mandates professionals to use “reasonable care” to inform authorities or warn potential victims by using appropriate means when a client poses a significant threat to a third party. The Good Counselor should consider the Tarasoff ruling and assess its consistency with the state laws that guide clients’ confidentiality.
Finally, the Good Counselor should know his safety before disclosing information regarding foreseeable harm. It is vital to note the existing power issues in the case study. In this case, the Good Counselor has the professional, ethical, and legal power to report the incident to the relevant authorities. On the other hand, the Evil Queen may have political powers and influence too. Therefore, the counselor may worry about retribution from the Queen upon revealing information regarding Snow White’s disappearance. Power imbalances may significantly affect the clinical relationship between the Good Counselor and the Evil Queen. As a result, he should consider personal safety and evaluate ethical and legal options before responding to this dilemma.
Rapunzel Case Study
While Rapunzel is pleased with her progress in counseling and feels more empowered and in control of her life choices, inviting the Good Sheppard to a dinner party may conflict with various ethical standards for professional counseling. The ethical issues in this situation revolve around managing and maintaining boundaries and professional relationships. Standard A.6.b requires counselors to “consider the risks and benefits of extending counseling relationships beyond conventional parameters” (American Counseling Association, 2014). In this case, counseling boundaries include attending a client’s formal ceremony, purchasing a service or product provided by a client, and visiting the client’s ill family member in the hospital. This standard states the need for professional counselors to consider and adopt appropriate precautions, including obtaining informed consent, consulting other professionals, supervision, and documentation of subsequent decisions to rule out any potential impairment in judgment or harm. Based on these considerations, the Good Sheppard should not attend the client’s dinner party since its outside typical professional boundaries. Any contrary decision should be informed by a comprehensive examination of the rationale for attending the party, the possible benefits, and any anticipated consequences of nonprofessional interactions with the client.
Although Sheppard has the ethical obligation to maintain a professional boundary and assess the potential outcome of his decisions amidst the invitation to Rapunzel’s dinner party, there are minimal legal implications if no adverse consequences emanate from nonprofessional interactions with Rapunzel. Standard A.6.c requires counselors to officially document decisions to extend boundaries as described in standards A.6.a and A.6.b (American Counseling Association, 2014). The documentation process should entail the feasibility of the interactions, the rationale, potential benefits, and anticipated consequences. If any unintended harm or consequence occurs during these interactions, the counselor must provide adequate and reliable evidence of an attempt to remedy the situation or prevent harm.
Other profound considerations in the case study include the potential implications of the decision when to attend the dinner party on the professional relationship between Sheppard and Rapunzel. For example, it is vital to consider the negative impacts of Sheppard’s decision not to attend the dinner party on the authentic connection with Rapunzel. Also, Sheppard should assess whether attending the party would foster or improve his professional relationship with Rapunzel. The recommended actions for Sheppard amidst the pressure to assess the impact of his decisions include consulting other professional counselors, reflecting on their relationship with Rapunzel before the invitation, and documenting his options before making informed decisions. Also, he should ask Rapunzel about other guests and inform her about the potential harm of introducing him to other guests.
Little Red Riding Hood Case Study
Based on the case study, Little Red is 13 years old, while Wolfie is 17. Therefore, they are minor clients for the Good Counselor. Various ethical and legal considerations emanate from Little Red’s and Wolfie’s engagement in an intimate relationship. Firstly, the Good Counselor should consider the implications of a minor child possibly engaging in unsafe behaviors like an intimate relationship. As a professional counselor, the Good Counselor faces ethical and legal issues revolving around confidentiality and mandated reporting of possible child abuse. According to the American Counseling Association [ACA] (2014), standard B.5.c requires counselors to seek permission from the appropriate third party to disclose information when providing services to minor clients. This standard is consistent with the legal and ethical obligation to respect the privacy of minor clients. Also, professional counselors are responsible for respecting the role of parents and legal guardians as required by standard B.5.b. They should inform parents and legal guardians about the nature of counseling relationships, custodial arrangements, and the role of counselors (American Counseling Association, 2014). The Good Counselor should collaborate with parents or legal guardians in the best interests of Little Red and Wolfie.
However, the case study has conflicting ethical and legal priorities, considering the potential harm of engaging in teenage sexual activities. The Good Counselor should seek to understand the meaning of “hooking up” and determine whether the scenario satisfies the thresholds for child abuse. If hooking up increases Little Red’s exposure to potential sexual activities, the Good Counselor should report the incident to relevant authorities and engage parents in discussing the issue. However, he should consider the potential implications of disclosing information regarding “hooking up” to parents or guardians. For instance, revealing information to parents may conflict with ethical and legal standards that require counselors to respect the privacy and confidentiality of minor clients. In sharp contrast, the Good Counselor would be accountable or liable for any harm that may occur to Little Red in the event of risky sexual activities if he decides against complying with regulations for mandated reporting. Therefore, the only viable option is to disclose information about the relationship between Little Red and Wolfie if there is any actual or potential harm to Little Red. If “hooking up” does not satisfy thresholds for child abuse or result in any unsafe behavior, the Good Counselor should foster a meaningful relationship with his clients by involving them and discussing the intricacies of maintaining information confidentiality. Finally, it is vital to consider if authentic disclosure of information may affect the professional relationship between the counselor and clients before making informed decisions.
Little Mermaid Case Study
The relationship between Little Mermaid and Sea Witch ignites various ethical and legal considerations for professional counselors. The immediate ethical issue in the case study is the Little Mermaid’s status as a minor and the subsequent inability to consent. According to the American Counseling Association [ACA] (2014), standard A.2.d requires counselors to recognize the need to balance the ethical rights of clients to make informed decisions and their capacity to give consent or assent to receive professional services. When minor clients cannot consent, parents and family members have the legal and ethical rights and responsibilities to protect minor clients and make informed choices on their behalf (American Counseling Association, 2014). Another standard that can inform decisions in the case study is B.5.b which necessitates informing parents and legal guardians about the role of counselors and custodial arrangements. Consistent with these standards, the Sea Witch should have obtained consent from Little Mermaid’s parents and explained assent to Little Mermaid before commencing counseling services.
Besides the ethical and legal considerations for clients’ informed consent, the case study reveals the need to understand the provisions of standards C.3.e and C.3.f that guide products, training advertisements, and client promotions. Firstly, standard C.3.e indicates the need for professional counselors to ensure that advertisements for products or events are accurate and disclose relevant information for consumers to make informed decisions and choices (American Counseling Association, 2014). Secondly, standard C.3.f prohibits professional counselors from using counseling, supervisory relationships, or training services to promote their products or deceive vulnerable consumers, especially minors.
Based on the legal and ethical requirements of the two standards, the Sea Witch must evaluate whether his professional powers would exert influence or deceive the Little Mermaid. In this case, assessing the authenticity and plausibility of growing legs after purchasing elixirs would be profound. Also, the Sea Witch needs to avoid providing discounts on products if they exert undue influence on Little Mermaid’s decision. The advertisement activities like offering discounts may prove unethical if they conflict with Little Mermaid’s right to self-determination. Finally, the Sea Witch may consider the role of power differences between him and the Little Mermaid. For example, he may exert power over his client when selling potions and elixirs. The Little Mermaid’s desperation to survive on land and be with the prince makes her vulnerable to Sea Witch’s influence. The Sea Witch should maintain authenticity, empathy, and trustworthiness when advertising products to prevent harm or client manipulation. These interventions can prevent the legal implications of manipulating clients and foster a meaningful professional relationship between Sea Witch and the Little Mermaid.
Multiple ethical and legal standards guide the activities and decisions of professional counselors. The reviewed case studies reveal vital information regarding the thresholds for maintaining clients’ confidentiality, mandated reporting, ethical products or service advertising by professional counselors, maintenance of professional boundaries, and privileged communication. Although ethical dilemmas may emanate when complying with these requirements, professional counselors should often operate in clients’ best interests. Also, complying with these ethical and legal requirements can uphold various bioethical principles, including beneficence, non-maleficence, justice, autonomy, self-determination, integrity, fidelity, and veracity. Therefore, they are central to ethical counseling practices.
Adi, A., & Mathbout, M. (2018). The duty to protect: Four decades after Tarasoff. American Journal of Psychiatry Residents’ Journal, 13(4), 6–8. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp-rj.2018.130402
American Counseling Association. (2014). ACA code of ethics as approved by the ACA Governing Council (pp. 1–24). https://www.counseling.org/docs/default-source/ethics/2014-aca-code-of-ethics.pdf?sfvrsn=fde89426_9
American Psychological Association. (2017). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct (pp. 1–20). https://www.apa.org/ethics/code/ethics-code-2017.pdf
Kamal, A. (2022). Implications of the bartering system in counseling and psychotherapy: An economic psychology and ethical approach. International Journal of Ethics & Society, 4(2), 1–4. https://doi.org/10.52547/ijethics.4.2.1
Remley, T., & Herlihy, B. (2020). Ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling (6th ed.). Pearson Education.
Remember to submit your work following the file naming convention FirstInitial.LastName_M01.docx. For example, J.Smith_M01.docx. Remember that it is not necessary to manually type in the file extension; it will automatically append.
Start by reading and following these instructions:
1. Quickly skim the questions or assignment below and the assignment rubric to help you focus.
2. Read the required chapter(s) of the textbook and any additional recommended resources. Some answers may require you to do additional research on the Internet or in other reference sources. Choose your sources carefully.
3. Consider the discussion and the any insights you gained from it.
4. Create your Assignment submission and be sure to cite your sources, use APA style as required, check your spelling.
Team Learning Project (TLP): Stage 1
This week you will begin a team learning project to conduct an ethical analysis of fairy tales (case studies). Your only task this week is to complete and submit the Agreement Sheet for Group Project Roles (see below).
The TLP requires you to work as a group to address the ethical (and possibly legal) considerations of each of the following case studies:
Little Bo Peep (Adapted from Dyer, 1998)
Little Bo Peep has been a client of The Good Sheppard, a licensed counselor, for about 1 month. Bo Peep has asked if Sheppard will consider accepting sheep as payment for counseling services. During counseling, Bo Peep has discussed her strong relationship with the sheep and the anxiety and fear she experiences when she does not know where to find them. What should the Good Sheppard do? What ethical issues arise in this situation? What ethical principles are relevant to this situation? Are there relevant legal considerations?
Cinderella (Adapted from Grimm & Grimm, 2003)
Cindy and Prince Charming (PC) are getting a divorce. The Good Counselor has been seeing Cindy and PC for couples counseling since they got married approximately 3 months ago. PC has hired an attorney, the Big Bad Wolf, who has appeared at the Good Counselor’s office with a subpoena for Cindy and PC’s case records. The Big Bad Wolf tells the Good Counselor to hand over the case records immediately or go to jail. What should the Good Counselor do? What ethical issues arise in this situation? What ethical principles are relevant to this situation? Are there relevant legal considerations?
Snow White (Adapted from Grimm & Grimm, 2003)
The Good Counselor has recently started working with a client, the Evil Queen, who is the new stepmother of Snow White. The Queen has discussed her need to be the fairest in the land and how Snow White stands in the way. The client reveals that she must remain the fairest in the land at all costs. The Queen approached a local Huntsman to get rid of Snow White. The Huntsman’s attempt was unsuccessful, so the Queen must take matters into her own hands. The Good Counselor is aware of the disappearance of Snow White and grows concerned for her welfare. What should the Good Counselor do? What ethical issues arise in this situation? What ethical principles are relevant to this situation? Are there relevant legal considerations?
Rapunzel (Adapted from Grimm & Grimm, 2003)
Rapunzel is the Good Sheppard’s client and is quite pleased with her progress in counseling. She is feeling more empowered and in control of her life choices, which she attributes to her progress in counseling. Rapunzel has decided to have a dinner party at her tower to celebrate her newfound independence and has invited Sheppard to attend. What should the Good Sheppard do? What ethical issues arise in this situation? What ethical principles are relevant to this situation? Are there relevant legal considerations?
Little Red Riding Hood (Adapted from Grimm & Grimm, 2003)
Little Red Riding Hood disclosed to the Good Counselor that she has been meeting with her boyfriend, Wolfie, at her grandmother’s house to “hook up.” The last time Wolfie wanted to videotape them hooking up, but Little Red was unsure. Little Red is 13 years old and Wolfie is 17 years old. Little Red is due to meet Wolfie right after the counseling session is over. What should the Good Counselor do? What ethical issues arise in this situation? What ethical principles are relevant to this situation? Are there relevant legal considerations?
Little Mermaid (Adapted from Hautzig & Andersen, 1991)
Since turning 15 years old, Little Mermaid has been able to swim to the surface of the ocean and has fallen in love with a human man she saw on a ship. Little Mermaid saved the man from a shipwreck and wants to have a relationship with him, but she cannot survive on land due to her mermaid nature. Little Mermaid sought the local counselor to help her. The counselor was known among the mermaid culture as a Sea Witch. Little Mermaid wants to change her tail into legs so she can live on land and be with the prince. In addition to providing counseling, the Sea Witch also sells potions and elixirs and gives her clients a discount on these products. The counselor suggests that Little Mermaid buy an elixir to turn her tail into legs. What ethical issues arise in this situation? What ethical principles are relevant to this situation? Are there relevant legal considerations?
Analyze each case addressing the following questions:
What ethical issues/concerns arise in this situation?
What ethical principles are relevant to this situation?
Are there relevant legal considerations?
Length: 400-600 words per case study (no title or reference page required)
References: no references required
Format: save your assignment as a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), Open Office (.odt) or rich text format (.rtf) file type
Agreement and Rating Sheet for Group Project Roles.docx
After completing this module, you will be able to do the following:
Clarify how therapist competence is an ethical issue
Describe when and how to make referrals
Explore the basis of screening candidates in training programs
Describe the purpose of licensing and credentialing
This module examines ethical issues in training psychology professionals and discusses ways that continuing education is a way to maintain competence.
Corey, G., Corey, M., Corey, C. & Callanan, P. (2015). Issues and ethics in the helping professions. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning. ISBN-13 9781285464749. Read Chapter 8.
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