Client and Student Rights and Ethical Behavior
Counselors who work with children and adolescents often need to balance their clients’ or students’ rights, their own views of moral and ethical behavior, and the demands of ethical codes and state laws.
Choose one of the following vignettes:
- A 13-year-old boy describes himself as being gay and discloses he has been sexually intimate with his 17-year-old friend LeRoy for the past 3 months. He is worried he may have a sexually transmitted disease. He wants your advice and support but does not want you to tell his parents.
- A 17-year-old girl reveals she is four months pregnant and is terrified to tell her parents or the father of the child—she believes they will force her to keep the baby. The girl admits she has already contacted a couple she found on the Internet to discuss placing the baby for adoption when it is born. She wants your help with her mood as she has been very sad and depressed.
- A 16-year-old boy who has an underlying medical disorder that causes chronic pain reveals he has been receiving medical marijuana from his dad who has a medical marijuana card. He wants your help communicating with his teacher who feels he has been distant and sluggish in class.
Now, answer these questions:
- Is there anything in this vignette that is illegal? Cite your state law.
- Is there anything in this vignette that is unethical? Cite the relevant codes from the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics or the 2016 ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors.
- Is there anything in this vignette that conflicts with your personal beliefs? If so, discuss strategies to help you maintain your professional role and objectivity.
Follow current APA style and formatting guidelines in your post.
Respond to the initial discussion post of one other learner. What reactions do you have to the ideas the learner has presented? Include examples from your own experience to support your perspective, and raise questions to continue the dialogue.
This activity will help you achieve the following learning components:
- Make connections between counseling scenarios and potential legal and ethical issues.
- Determine the proper application of APA formatting requirements.
- Develop communication appropriate for professional counseling settings.