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Discuss some ways in which you can prepare clients for issues pertaining to confidentiality.

Discuss some ways in which you can prepare clients for issues pertaining to confidentiality

3.1. Obtaining Informed Consent

Informed consent refers to the process through which a counsellor ensures that the client is aware of the potential risks and benefits associated with therapy, assessment, research, and/or other activities in which they may engage. Informed consent means that the client voluntarily agrees to the counselling process, has a right to understand its implications, and has a free choice about participating. Obtaining informed consent is a cornerstone of conducting ethical therapy, research, and assessment, and is required by ethical codes.

Review what the codes of ethics have to say about this topic and incorporate this into your discussions:

  • Some may say that informed consent is really about protecting the professional from liability rather than respecting the client’s dignity and freedom. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this argument?
  • What should the client know and understand to make a decision that is indeed informed?

3.2. Protecting Confidentiality

Confidentiality is the keystone of effective counselling and psychotherapy because it allows the client to freely share experiences without fear of unwarranted disclosure to others. Confidentiality refers to the ethical principle that compels psychologists to hold secret all information about a client and to keep private any information revealed by a client in confidence unless the client consents to the disclosure of the information to a third party or the law authorize the release of information without the client’s consent.

Review what the codes of ethics have to say about this topic and incorporate this into your discussions:

  • Discuss some ways in which you can prepare clients for issues pertaining to confidentiality. What could you do to educate clients about the purposes of confidentiality and the legal restrictions on it? Examine how you would do this in various situations, such as assessment, school counselling, group work, couples and family counselling, and counselling with minors.
  • During the counselling session, Paul mentions that he is sexually active, that he sometimes engages in sexual activity that could put his partner at risk, and that he has withheld from his partner that he is HIV positive. Does Paul’s behaviour constitute a threat worthy of a warning to the potential victim? As a counsellor, if you break confidentiality to warn a potential victim, what effect will that have on the therapeutic alliance with Paul and, ultimately, on Paul’s well-being? To whom you have a primary obligation—Paul or someone whom Paul might endanger? 

Case Analysis II


Consider the following case for analysis:

Upon completing the MACP program and receiving registration with CCPA six months ago, Emily Blackman as a new counsellor decided to add telephone counselling to the services she provides to clients. One of her clients, Karen White, a 50-year-old woman who struggles with emotional and physical isolation, has a very soft voice, and Blackman has difficulty hearing her accurately even after turning up the phone’s volume. Blackman tried diplomatically to ask her client to speak louder but to no avail. Frustrated, Blackman decides to put Karen’s calls on speaker, increasing the volume to its maximum capacity. Blackman reasons that although Karen’s voice can now be heard in Blackman’s reception area, clients’ chances of hearing the conversation can be minimal because she is usually finished with Karen’s session before clients physically arrive for appointments. For this reason, Blackman decides that she does not have to inform Karen that her voice is on speaker. To do so, she believes it would be intimidating and counter therapeutic.

Answer the following questions:

  1. Discuss Emily’s decision not to inform Karen that the speaker volume is on while she talks.
  2. What are the justifications for this, if any?
  3. What are the ethical and legal ramifications of this behaviour?
  4. Discuss the suitability of using the telephone counselling or other forms of technology in counselling practice for the types of issues with which Emily is presenting.

In the assignment, you must integrate the reference to ethical principles, standards of practice, relevant practice guidelines and legislation specific to the province or territory in which you intend to practice. You may use outside research, but not to replace the material from the course. All work must be cited according to APA format, current edition. Culture/Diversity and Legal/Ethical issues must be included when relevant.  Do not type the case analysis into your assignment.

Specific requirements for formatting your Assignments #2:

The paper should be 4-5 pages, double-spaced (excluding the cover page, and the reference list), format your paper in Word (doc or docx only) and use APA style guidelines, current edition. You can write in the first person. Use the questions as headings in the assignment.

When you save your assignments on your computer, you should “save as” using the following formula: First Name Last Name -Course Number-Assignment Number (JohnDoe-PSYC6203-1).

All written assignments should have a cover page (including the title of the assignment, your name, the name of the course, and the date of submission) and be double-spaced throughout (without leaving an extra-space between paragraphs or references; make sure that the “Before” and “After” values for Paragraphs are 0 = zero).

This program uses 7th edition APA style. This is a guide for all professional communication. At the same time, please know that we have program expectations for assignments. These expectations include: 12pt text size, Times New Roman font and no running head. The reference list should only include sources that were used for in-text citations in the paper itself.

  • No abstract, introduction or conclusion sections are needed for the assignment. Please include references. Focus on using peer-reviewed journal articles to support the arguments
  • The project will be evaluated with respect to organization, clarity, and thoroughness of presentation, and justification of evaluation criteria.

Reminder: As a graduate-level course, student work should be based on critical thinking, not merely on summarizing or paraphrasing material.


The following rubric indicates those areas you should be focusing on in preparing your assignment, and how the professor will weigh these components relative to one another.

Criteria % of Assignment Grade
Presentation, Originality, Relevance, Insight (10%)

  • Originality, the relevance of references; insightful; clear and accurate citations and/or references; logical progression of ideas
Mastery of Material/Comprehensiveness (70%)

  • Identifies Dilemma(s) (10)
  • Analyzes Alternatives and Consequences (20)
  • Identifies Appropriate Ethical Frameworks for Evaluation Alternatives (20)
  • Chooses an Action (20)
Written Quality (20%)

  • Written in a clear, intelligent, and professional manner; avoid colloquialisms and texting-style shorthand – professional grammar, spelling, and style is expected; succinct; APA style
TOTAL /100

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