In response to your peers, discuss strategies to alleviate the personal conflict you may feel about maintaining confidentiality relating to legal issues.
In the role of a counselor your first priority should be the well being and safety of your client, part of that means providing a safe environment where that client can express themselves openly about everything. Confidentiality plays such a huge part in that relationship as it helps the client to trust and feel comfortable enough to share knowing that you are the only one who will hear it. In addition to that though your duty is also to protect the safety of others around the client, “Therapists are ethically and legally bound to protect others from harm.” (Corey et al., 2020). In this particular instance I feel that the client stealing from a store is causing harm to the store owner. Even though there isn’t physical harm and the client hasn’t specifically said that it will happen again I feel that there is a potential there. That being said, I think it would take some major evaluation on my part on whether or not this is something that should be reported. The book talks about how there are instances when further conversations need to be had to investigate the situation further a risk assessment of sorts. In addition to further investigations if I would consult either coworkers or a professional association regarding it. This would not be a breach as the APIA ” code of conduct states that therapists are expected to reach out to others in the field whenever they are not clear about whether a client discussion goes beyond the protection of patient-therapist confidentiality.” (Kinney, 2023). I would of course keep this information confidential but at the same time speak with the client further on the topic to ensure this was not something that was going to happen again. Ultimately if it were to be a pattern of behavior I think it would need to be reported as in the end it can cause harm to the client as well as far as legal consequences of their potential actions. The situation would most definitely be one to watch and pay attention to for the future.
Question for the class; Do you feel the store owner was being harmed? Why or why not?
2# When taking on the responsibility of clients and being a counselor, confidentiality is key to maintain confidential information pertaining to the clients. Meaning that most information shared by clients is classified. This is done to ensure the protection of clients, and their emotions without the time of treatment. However, there are instances where counselor are mandated by the law to report information divulged by a client. This information exemption to confidentiality, in which information shared should be reported to the authorities, and all confidentiality is lost. This particular crime or charges that counselor are often thought to be at risk are felony related crimes. These crime include felonies, and accessory after the fact, all crimes that obstruct justice and cause bodily harm to others. When a violation or harm is committed to others, counselors are required by law to report such information including harm to the client, a child, elder, or adults who are dependents. Without reporting these crimes, this may result is further harm to innocent victims, and repeat crimes in the future. These clients implicate the intent to violate the law again. Breaking confidentiality may result in malpractice, but is also the obligation of a counselor to uphold the law, and override confidentiality, when the safety of others is at risk. As a counselor, I feel keeping certain information helps to maintain a good relationship between counselor, and client., being that trust is critical to the to the client as well as the business of the therapist. Mishandling information may lead to a breach, and mistrust of a client. But, that trust must be broken when other are being violated.
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