The Nature of the Three Ethical Issues

The Nature of the Three Ethical Issues

Legal Dilemma Issues

Based on the scenario one of the major ethical dilemmas James is facing as a consular is the legal responsibility and requirements. This is because as a counselor one is expected to maintain as well as respect the legal requirements which act as guidelines for the profession (Chung & Wickham, 2015). However, based on Lisa’s history as well as her current depression state, there is a lot of illegal activities to lay out in public. Mostly because of the death of her mother’s partner, who on the other hand was abusing her, which the client played a part in the courses of the death of the man. Also, the client teacher is also liable to some extent because Lisa communicated here abuse problem at home yet the teacher never took any action to help the child. Moreover, the death cause of the man was as a result of consistent intake of the same drug that Lisa put on his drink meaning that the mother is also liable to the death too.


On the other hand, based on Lisa’s information and according to ethics one is bound to keep all the information confidential between them and their clients. However, the situation is different as for James since if the issue is communicated early enough, it could help solve the depression problem of the clients. The code of conduct of the counselor limits all communication between the client and the counselor who is conflicting with the legal oversight of the profession, which later develops the ethical dilemma, therefore, contradicting the whole issue.

Personal Conflict and Cultural Competency Dilemma

As a counselor one is faced with a lot of challenges that push one to differ from their values and morals to support as well as motivate a client. Also, the counselor should be in a position to communicate with their clients across cultural and diversity deference since if they are unable to communicate based on the diversity aspects efficiently, the client’s information is at risk.  As a result of such, James is faced with the personal dilemma which is mostly contributed by his limited experience as a counselor.

The ethical code numbers of each issue based on the APA and ACA codes

According to the American Counselling Association (ACA) section B, which explains about privacy and confidentiality of a client’s information, states that. The counselor should at all measures be responsible as well as guard the client’s information from liking. Meaning that it is a professional duty to protect and maintain high privacy levels of a client’s data. As a result, James is bound to retain the information provided by Lisa’s. This is because the American Counselling Association (ACA) acts as the binding agreement of the profession in general. On the other hand section B.2.a, of the act which talks about the Serious and Foreseeable Harm and Legal Requirements (Kaplan, 2014). The article advocates that a counselor should communicate any information related to anykind of illegality based on the legal requirements of the land.

Courses of Action to Rectify Each Dilemma

At first, James can take the risk to communicate with one of the trusted counterparts in the profession. Through this, the communication process would help brainstorm more alternatives as well as the best way to approach the situation without coursing any unintended harm.

On the other hand, since the counselor is a qualified professional in his field, he should bind by the professional act of conduct that acts as a guide to his practice. This is to be achieved through communicating the issue to the legal agencies as required by the statute as well as do all the necessary measures to protect his client from any victimization from the authorities as stated in section be of the American Counselling Association (ACA)

Lastly, James can communicate the situation with the client, to which he would provide, the benefits to communicate their problem with the authorities. For example, through such communication, the patient can heal faster because of the eliminated guilt that she is holding inside.

The Effects of Each Alternative Action

Communicating With Other Counterparts

Through communicating with another counselor close to him, would help develop more and better option on how to deal with the situation. Moreover, through this alternative, James can compline deferent alternatives that could broaden his idea concept as well as expound his professional career. However, the limiting issues are that if the approach is implemented the chances are that the client’s information is likely to like, which would breach his moral and ethical responsibility to maintain privacy for his client’s information.

The American Counselling Association

Abiding by the American Counselling Association act seems to be the best option to implement because it takes less effort plus the act provide a reference point if he fills guilty about his acts. However, if he were to communicate the information to the authorities, the client would fill betrayed as well as he would lose his relevance as a professional counselor because it is the first assignment ever to undertake. On the other hand, is the client takes the approach positively, the healing process would be attained faster than expected since the guilty aspect that is causing the depression from Lisa will be eliminated (American Counseling Association, 2015).

Addressing the Client

Another option is to communicate his options with the client, which is achieved through holding a meeting with the client. The only limitation is how to make the client understand that he has the best interest at heart for all the alternatives that he thinks fit the situation. This is because is the client is unable to comprehend James point of view positively, the situation could escalate the depression and with the withdrawal problem, as explained by Kaplan, Tarvydas & Gladding, (2014).

The Best Alternative to Implement

After evaluating all the possible alternatives that James as well as the code of ethics that he is prescribed to follow, it is sure that he has to break the confidentiality aspect of his client Lisa. According to Capuzzi and Stauffer (2016), the best alternative to implement is to comply with the American Counselling Association code of conduct. This is because the expected counseling responsibilities, ethical practices as well as the legal requirements of the profession are documented. As a result of the code provides a reference point for every alternative meaning that is James was questioned about his intentions or act towards his client’s problem, he would be in a better position to defend himself. On the other hand as a newly qualified counselor, James should follow the required guidelines for all of his practices, this is because of the limited counseling experience that he has. Conclusively, the by following the code of conduct, it exposes him as a good counselor as well as the option bares fewer disadvantages as well as uncertainties compared to other available alternatives.

The Ethical Decision-Making Model

According to Ford, and Richardson, (2013), the following is the ethical decision-making model

1: Identify the problem. – At this point, one identifies and evaluates the issue, with regards to what is expected and the reality at the time.

2: Seek out relevant assistance- after the problem is identified, at this point one looks for guidance and support on how to solve the problem. For example friends or professionals in the field

3: Identify alternatives- based on the support team one takes note of all the developed opinions and ideas on how to solve the issues at this stage.

4: Evaluate the alternatives- as a result of the available opportunities one evaluates all the strengths and the weakness of every alternative possible at this point.

Step 5: Make the decision- based on all the options, at this level one chooses the best option to implement with regards to its benefits as well as the limitations that could develop.

6: Implement the decision- once the best alternative is arrived at, the implementation process binging’s at this stage.

7: Evaluate the decision- after the decision is implemented, one evaluates how effective the decision made was and its achievements in solving the problem


American Counseling Association. (2015). The ACA encyclopedia of counseling. John Wiley & Sons.

Capuzzi, D., & Stauffer, M. D. (2016). Counseling and psychotherapy: Theories and interventions. John Wiley & Sons.

Chung, J., & Wickham, N. (2015). Navigating Ethical Dilemmas in Child Sexual Assault Counselling and the Legal System. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 36(4), 524-531.

Ford, R. C., & Richardson, W. D. (2013). Ethical decision making: A review of the empirical literature. In Citation classics from the Journal of Business Ethics (pp. 19-44). Springer Netherlands.

Kaplan, D. M. (2014). Ethical implications of a critical legal case for the counseling profession: Ward v. Wilbanks. Journal of Counseling & Development, 92(2), 142-146.

Kaplan, D. M., Tarvydas, V. M., & Gladding, S. T. (2014). 20/20: A vision for the future of counseling: The new consensus definition of counseling. Journal of Counseling & Development, 92(3), 366-372.

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