An Ethical Dilemma in the Counselling Profession Essay

2826 Words Mar 11th, 2013 12 Pages
Exploring an Ethical Dilemma


“Confidentiality is the foundation of safe therapy.”
(Corey&Corey, p.208 from Grosso, 2002)

As a counsellor I have an obligation to follow professional standards and apply appropriate behaviour defined by mental health associations. The purpose of this is to prevent harm to clients as well as to define my own professional values.
Working in the helping profession I will come across situations where I need to make a decision on whether to breach confidentiality in order to protect my client or others or “simply” practise within the framework of social equity and justice.
I will use the “Practisioner’s Guide to Ethical Decision Making” model of Holly Forerster-Miller and Thomas
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In order to keep her dignity I would have to keep the matter confidential.
B.2.a. Danger and Legal Requirements
The first step is to define whether a Counsellor has legal obligations to report suspected child abuse. Based on The Children Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic), Mandatory reporting only applies to doctors, nurses, teachers and police. Therefore, counsellors in Victoria have no legal obligations to report suspected child abuse or family violence.
My next step is to check out the law around child wellbeing and safetey (Child Wellbeing and Safety act 2005, Department of Justice Victoria) which is designed to provide for intervention and to link the particular family to service to:

1. remove or ameliorate the causes of harm and 2. to strengthen the capacity and efforts of parents and communities to support the child as early as possible in the child's life.
Furthermore I find out that the Child Wellbeing and Safety act of 2005 consitutes that when the breach of confidentiality has been done in good faith it does not make the person subject to any liability.
According to Victoria Legal Aid family violence is “… harmful behaviour that is used to control, threaten, force or dominate a family member through fear. It includes “ …physical abuse, such as hitting or pushing a person around as well as emotional or psychological

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