The Importance Of Sexuality In Counseling

1522 Words 7 Pages
In order to explore justice or fairness in this case it is helpful to imagine the therapist had one more session and was able to disclose her sexuality to the client. It is apparent from the case that she believed doing so was in the best interest of the patient. Doing so would have created interesting implications for future disclosures or nondisclosures. Choosing to disclose her sexuality to some clients and not others could be rationalized as clinically appropriate differential treatment, however, the counselor would need to explore her own bias, preference and needs when coming to a decision about disclosure with future clients. Although there are no explicit laws or American Counseling Association (ACA) guidelines about disclosing one’s …show more content…
Perhaps initially the counselor over identified with the patient and through nonverbal communication the boundaries were blurred. It was clear that some feelings about her own sexuality came up while she was treating the client which is why it is vital for therapists to be in a place of self-acceptance in their own process. I was impressed at the counselor’s ability to identify her own feelings of loneliness in what she considered a somewhat homophobic environment. One red flag I noticed was the counselor’s belief that her self-disclosure was the only way she could help the client feel better about her sexuality. As I mentioned earlier, it seems possible that other techniques like unconditional positive regard, exploring the idea of making lesbian friends or joining a peer group may have had the same or additional benefits. Disclosing her sexuality may not have had the impact she imagined, instead it had the potential to additionally blur professional boundaries and undermine the therapist’s representation of professional objectivity. One clear message from the article that was the source of the case (Goldstein, 1994) was when considering disclosure clinicians should never decide in favor due to a patient’s ultimatum or attempt at coercion. Although the client did not overtly threaten to leave therapy if the counselor did not disclose there was some emotional manipulation going on and substantial pressure to disclose was

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