We constantly walk a fine line in the mental health field. There are some behaviors that are obviously unethical (i.e. sexual relationships with clients) and others that seemingly fall into the gray area. What’s more, no ethical dilemma falls neatly within the textbook examples. And, there is no handbook to show us the steps to take when we find ourselves in a possible dilemma. How would you respond in the following situations?
1. A 29 year old woman comes to your office for counseling. She has a black eye which she says was given to her by her abusive boyfriend.
2. An 89 year old man reports to you that he suspects that his adult children are taking money from his banking account without permission.
3. A client (the same gender as yourself) has been seeing you for therapy for the past 4 months. She invites you to lunch with her.
4. A client has been seeing your for therapy off and on for approximately 2 years. She invites you to her college graduation.
5. The mother (who is paying for her 19 year old daughter’s therapy with you) calls to ask about her daughters’ progress.
6. A male client expresses homicidal intent towards his former boss.