Example Response 1 to Ethical Dilemma 1 A review of Ethical Dilemma # 1 presents several issues to consider; the first being the counselor’s initial decision to meet with John, sans Phyllis. Section 3.05 of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Ethical Standards defines a multiple relationship as one that “occurs when a psychologist is in a professional role with a person and (1) at the same time is in another role with the same person . . .” (2002). The mere act of meeting with John independently, in effect, created a multiple relationship. Further, Section 10.02 of the APA’s Ethical Standards, which discusses therapy involving couples or families, mandates that “when psychologists agree to provide services to several persons who have a relationship, they take reasonable steps to clarify at the outset (1) which of the individuals are clients/patients, and (2) the relationship the psychologist will have with each person” (2002). Section A.7 of the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) Code of Ethics also speaks to this issue in mandating that “when a counselor agrees to provide counseling services to two or more persons who have a relationship, the counselor clarifies at the outset which person or persons are clients and the nature of the relationships the counselor will have with each involved person” (2005). Thus, according to the standards of both the APA and the ACA, the counselor should have discussed the dynamics of the working relationship with both John and Phyllis at the outset of the counseling relationship, and made it clear that meeting with them separately would be inappropriate. Assuming this was the case, the counseling relationship with John and Phyllis would have been defined as a triad, not a dyad; therefore, to meet with John independently is a breech of their initial “contract;” so to speak. Section 10.02 of the APA’s Ethical Standards further states that a psychologist “refrains from entering into a multiple
References: American Counseling Association. (2005). Code of Ethics.
Gellerman, D. M. & Suddath, R. (2005). Violent fantasy, dangerousness, and duty to
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