Scenario Analysis

Scenario 1

Question 1

What ethical matters should Barbara consider as she plans this group?

In group counseling, it is essential that Barbara, a licensed professional counselor (LPC), observes ethics parameters. These are rules that counseling professionals use for them to be fair to their clients, themselves, and the profession (Gabriel, 2016). However, not all ethical considerations are the same in every occupation, but there are similarities that we can consider. In addition, different situations in counseling have their separate ethical approaches. In this case, some of the ethical concerns can arise in a conflict of interest, sharing with clients, referring clients, therapists and clients’ roles, aversions in group therapy, clients’ self-disclosure and such (Counselling & Psychotherapy Association, 2015). 

Question Two

 What methods should Barbara use to ensure confidentiality in the context of group counseling? 

Confidentiality during counseling is critical as it helps both counselors and clients to feel comfortable in and outside the counseling session. Besides, although group therapy is a place where people share, some individuals like to keep matters private. As a counselor, Barbra can approach the issue of confidentiality from various angles. For example, the records of the clients should be confidential. Usually, they comprise of interactions with the counseling group, appointments, content of the session, and consultation among others. There should be no records of counseling available to external parties such as psychological status or history 

Question Three

If breaches of confidentiality occur, how should Barbara manage them?

Breach of confidentiality happens when a third party has had access to the information given by a client in privacy (Gabriel, 2016). However, most violations are usually unintentional. Despite that, one stands to suffer financial losses due to such incidences. In the case of a breach of confidentiality, Barbra should use her best judgment. Additionally, a high level of discretion sits in during counseling. As such, when an individual breaks the rules during group therapy, it is best to approach the issue using the best judgment and then follow up with the policies and codes to follow the appropriate action. Another remedy would be to dismiss the individual who breached according to the policies and laws of the group therapy. 

Scenario 2

Question One

What ethical matters should David consider before beginning to see Steve and his wife?

One of the core ethical responsibilities for David as a licensed professional counselor is to promote beneficence- doing good on behalf of the client (Counselling & Psychotherapy Association, 2015). In this case, because David started with Steve first, it is best to ensure that he considers the interest of his client in regards to the wife. Beneficence is essential because issues surrounding relationships such as family law, violence, sexual matters, and abuse are sensitive areas and make this subject highly complex. Informed consent is also another ethical issue in this subject. It is essential that the LPC seek informed consent from both David and his wife before disclosing anything (Kirschenbaum, 2015). Each member of the family has different levels of power, as well as, opportunity. As such, one member of the family can make decisions while the other one is excluded. Lastly, neutrality and confidentiality are critical despite that Steve was working with David before. 

Question Two

What special issues of confidentiality may arise in the case? How should David address these issues?

David saw Steve before, which means the situation is a bit complex due to confidentiality issues. There are things that Steve might have told David in confidence and does not want the wife to know. While it is crucial to assess dynamics such as abuse, it is essential to analyze how much it affects the other partner in terms of safety. As a therapist, they can find themselves in silence because of the promises that they made in the absence of the other partner. There are specific issues that arise when addressing an individual and when addressing couples. As such, it is common for well-intentioned therapists to find themselves in a dilemma or breach of confidentiality. 

Question Three

 How might differences in personal values and gender/cultural issues create ethical dilemmas in this case?

According to the NAADAC 2015, Section V provides that family therapists will not discriminate against individuals based on gender, race, status, financial position, color, religion, political beliefs, marital status, mental, and physical wellbeing (Gabriel, 2016).  Ethical dilemmas may take place due to opposing views in cultural and religious issues from either the client or the counselor. However, according to the professional codes of ethics of NAADAC, it provides that cultural sensitivity is paramount regardless of one’s personal beliefs and imposition is not ethical (Counselling & Psychotherapy Association, 2015). The differences in personal values might affect the way the therapist views the whole subject. Therefore, it is critical that David observes sensitivity when addressing the couple.

Scenario 3

Question One

How can she ethically handle limited resources, deal with cost containment issues, respond to discrimination, and promote community change? 

Transitioning to private practice is usually a challenging step due to limited resources and cost constraints. However, Stephanie must observe the ethical concerns that come with issues such as applying for government grants, as well as, workout applications (Gabriel, 2016). Stephanie can also work with other more comfortable financial, medical clinics in the community, as well as, self-help groups. She also needs to have the right documents to validate her license. Stephanie can also advertise for her to solicit clients by using true testimonials. It is also best that she does not engage in any discrimination. As a private practice, Stephanie should even respond ethically and professionally at all times. The professional code of ACA also provides that she is not to engage in any sexual harassment. Another area of consideration is involved in community change. She can work in schools, youth centers, and other adult services as a volunteer (Counselling & Psychotherapy Association, 2015). Different ways to volunteer are taking in pro-bono cases.

Question Two

As a service provider, with what ethical issues and practices related to state insurance laws and managed care must she be familiar?

As a service provider, there are ethical issues that are related to state insurance laws, as well as, managed care that Stephanie must be familiar. For example, she should have an employer identification number. Its purpose is to bill taxes and Stephanie should agree with the insurance company, as to who should pay for the service of the clients (Kirschenbaum, 2015). By not doing so, it is unethical and against the law. Stephanie needs to be aware of the insurance regulations for her to produce the appropriate fees. There is also the need to include informed consent in terms of nonpayment and not do great business practices.

Question Three

What are the ethical obligations and limitations faced by a counselor who serves clients who have been the victim of discrimination, injustice, poverty, or lack of access to behavioral health services? What best practice community based interventions could she refer her clients to? 

There are ethical obligations and limitations that the counselor faces when serving clients who were victims of injustice, lack of behavioral health services, poverty, and discrimination. NAADAC is aware of the fact that patients have diverse needs, as well as, backgrounds. Therefore, it recognizes the need to be empathetic due to the social prejudice that makes individuals hold back when it comes to reporting.  As such, NAADAC helps to ensure that the therapists work with clients in a safe environment and ensure that they have them write an informed consent that is clear with explanations about legal limitations. It is best to avoid creating more harm to the patient. It is also advisable to ensure that values do not discriminate against the client. 

Section 4

Question One: What should Amari consider in regards to distance counseling?

Standards for the Ethical Practice of Internet Counseling

According to the ACA, some standards govern the practice of internet counseling. Amari should consider that these are guidelines for clients, public educators, counselors, and organizations (Kotsopoulou et al., 2015), which help to examine and deliver internet counseling. The standards provided are there to help look into practices that are special in internet counseling delivery (Counselling & Psychotherapy Association, 2015). The guidelines are unique in that they do not copy from the conventional codes of ethics. The internet counseling standards of practice derive from principles of ethical practice that reflect on the NBCC Code of Ethics. As such, the rules should be in line with the most recent versions of NBCC moral codes (Kotsopoulou et al., 2015). In addition, the standards pay attention to the fact that new technology is significant in internet counseling.

Standards in internet counseling cover for situations where it would be hard to identify the client. As such, some steps look into the imposter concerns by using codes or numbers. Internet ethics help to determine if a client is a minor and the importance of parental consent. When there is a need to have a parent’s consent, the client also needs to provide his/her identity (Kotsopoulou et al., 2015). Ethical codes also recognize the importance of letting the client know the procedure as part of the orientation process. The internet counselor needs to explain to the clients how to deal with pending misunderstandings whenever there are no visual cues. Within the ethical parameter, the internet counselor also has the right to inform the internet client about other free access points in the community. In terms of confidentiality, the internet counselor should secure information of the clients at all times. Moreover, the counselor should also follow the appropriate procedures when releasing the client’s information.


Counselling, C., & Psychotherapy Association. (2015). Standards of practice. Retrieved from.

Jenkins, P. (2015). Client confidentiality and data protection. In Handbook of professional and 

ethical practice for psychologists, and psychotherapists (pp. 65-75). Routledge.

Gabriel, L. (2016). Ethics in pluralistic counseling and psychotherapy. Handbook of pluralistic 

counseling and psychotherapy, 300-313.

Kirschenbaum, H. (2015). Values and ethics in counseling and psychotherapy.

Kotsopoulou, A., Melis, A., Koutsompou, V. I., & Karasarlidou, C. (2015). E-therapy: The ethics 

behind the process. Procedia Computer Science65, 492-499.

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