Ethical standards (included in ACA, AMHCA, ASCA, and NBCC ethical codes) help to guide the relationship between counselors, and clients and students. Review the case examples below and describe specific ethical standards and any relevant legal standards that guide counselors in your specialization to manage the relationship for the scenarios below.
Mental Health Counseling learners, address these two:
- The county mental health services department where you work has initiated a distance counseling option to increase access to residents who live in more rural areas of the county that are underserved. You are being asked to run a virtual support group for new parents. Your director has suggested that you use a live chat at set times to facilitate this group. Explain the challenges will you need to address to establish relationships with the group members.
- Your client, Dillon, is on probation for receiving stolen goods (helped to resell items friends stole). She would like you to communicate with her probation officer to verify that she is making positive changes in her life. What do you need to do to help Dillon understand before you initiate contact with the probation officer? How will you manage the communication?
School Counseling learners, address these two:
- Your school is establishing a new page on the school website to combat cyber-bullying. In addition to educational materials, a staff member proposes that there will be a link to open a chatbox that the school counselors will monitor. You recognize that this unsecured mode of communication will pose many ethical challenges. Explain this to the principal and explain how another option, such as secure email, may be more appropriate.
- A student, Daryn, is returning to school after a brief detention due to charges associated with selling drugs. You have an established relationship with Daryn and will continue to meet regularly. Daryn is on probation and the probation officer has reached out to request that you confirm attendance records and any disciplinary issues at school. How will you manage your relationship with Daryn and address the probation officer’s request?