March 28, 2012
Helen, in this case study, is a third year student at a leading University who was sexually harassed twice, by the same person. Her University has a policy which clearly states that any incident of alleged sexual harassment must be reported to the University so they can investigate, remedy, and resolve the problem. Helen did not want to report to her University that she was sexually harassed. Instead she disclosed her victimization to a clinical psychologist issued by her University. The clinical psychologists are employees of the University and bound by all of the University’s policies. At the same time, clients who are treated by these campus psychologists are also protected by a client-patient privilege of confidentiality. Should the clinical ...view middle of the document...
If the school psychologist does not tell the University that Helen was sexually harassed, the psychologist is breaking the schools policy and it will jeopardize this psychologist’s job or face serious problems. They can also be held legally responsible for Helen’s problems because he or she would be hiding a violation that was committed on campus, therefore they can be held liable for an act of breaking or failing to observe a law, agreement, or code of conduct.
Some options to get rid of this problem are to consult a psychologist that is not a school psychologist. Though it is not always affordable for all students but it is good to know that there are other options. Also, the University can rearrange their rules when it comes to a school clinical psychologist because the client relies on the client-patient privilege of confidentiality. Also, school psychologists can remind their clients that by using their services, by school policy they must report any incidents of alleged sexual harassment must be reported to the University to prevent further harassment and to enforce this rule. Lastly, Helen can be held anonymous and still report the incident to the school to satisfy both the client’s preference and the University’s policy.
In conclusion, school psychologists should not report alleged sexual harassment to the University because their client’s privacy should not be put at risk. The University should not force their staff to provide them with others private disclosures, but since the University clearly states that all incidents of alleged sexual harassment must be reported then the psychologist should report this to the University. Therefore, the best thing to do is to report this to the University but keep Helen anonymous, this way the University can take action and help reduce any problem that involves sexual harassment.