As a junior undergraduate student studying in the field of social work, it is essential to understand, acknowledge, and resolve ethical dilemmas in the field of practice. In ethical dilemmas, social work values, National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, and personal values will conflict with one another; therefore, discussing and analyzing various dilemma case study examples will strengthen my ethical decision making. The case example that will be further discoursed involves a dilemma between commitment to the client and unethical conduct of colleagues. In summary, this case involves a client revealing to her current social worker of a previous sexual relationship with her at-the-time therapist, …show more content…
Not only is the therapists’ behavior inappropriate but it also raises concerns of possible coercion while the client is perceived as vulnerable. In the future, the therapist and the agency could even face a lawsuit from his former client accusing her therapist of sexual harassment, manipulation, and sexual coercion. Hence, it is imperative that social workers abide by the NASW standards of the ethical responsibilities to colleagues.
Furthermore, it is the social worker’s professional duty to report and discuss this relationship as it will protect the rights of the therapist, the agency, and the client; however, the client has requested that her social worker does not discuss the relationship with her former therapist or the agency’s supervisor. Unfortunately, discussing this dilemma with the therapist and supervisors will also go against the ethical standard “Commitment to Clients”.
Although the client has told her social worker to not disclose her past relationship, the NASW Code of Ethics states otherwise, in which it must be addressed due to the policy of the agency. Overall, this prior intimate relationship between the therapist and client puts the therapist, the client, the social worker, and agency all at …show more content…
Thus, according to the code of ethics, the social worker is obligated to discuss this dilemma with the therapist and the supervisor of the agency. It must be affirmed that sexual relationships between a professional and their client is inappropriate and prohibited behavior. However, part of a social workers job is to maintain a professional relationship with their client. Embedded in a professional relationship is trust, confidentiality, and respect. For the relationship to persist, the social worker is conflicted to respect her clients’ wish to protect her secret even though the NASW Code of Ethics states otherwise.
Step 3: Get Feedback from Others
This particular step may be problematic considering the client does not want anyone in the agency to know of her former therapist-lover. In this situation, I would try to discuss this matter maybe hypothetically to a colleague outside of the agency. This would ensure no questions or thoughts about who the situation would pertain too.
Step 4: Appraise What Values and Ethical Standards Apply to the