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Ethical School Counseling Dilemma And The Aca Decision Model

2529 words - 11 pages


This paper evaluates an ethical school counseling dilemma where a counselor is ultimately faced with a student’s disclosure of suicidal intentions. The setting takes place in a public high school where Lakia, a counselor decides to begin a “relationship skills” group. Lakia post advertisements drawing interest from current students through the schools counseling office. She advertised with little information regarding the mission or purpose of the group. Lakia did not request information from students interested in the group such as their interest to participate, the nature of their past and current problems or previous experiences with other groups. The first meeting began ...view middle of the document...

The ACA Decision Model tell us we must ask if the issues are ethical, legal, professional or a clinical problem. This specific school counseling situation includes a professional and three legal issues. The counselor Lakia, was unprofessional in the manner from which she recruited the nine students for her “relationship skills group”. Lakia failed to request information for each student interested in participating such as their purpose to participate, previous experiences with other groups or the nature of their past or current problems.
The ACA Decision Model also encourages us to ask ourselves is the issue related to the counselor considering what they may or may not be doing. If Lakia had requested the appropriate information as suggested she could have clearly evaluated which students could benefit the most from the groups’ purpose while pin-pointing specific concerns with each student. She could have then been able to more appropriately build a more balanced group specifically in regards to gender. This outlines Lakia’s failure to practice appropriate risk management defined by our text as the practice of focusing on the identification, evaluation, and treatment of problems that may injure clients and lead to filing an ethics complaint or a malpractice action (Corey, G., Corey, M. S., & Callanan, P, 2011).
Lakia’s actions could be warranted as professional negligence defined by our text as the result from unjustified departure from usual practice or from failing to exercise proper care in fulfilling ones responsibilities (Corey, G., Corey, M. S., & Callanan, P, 2011). If the student Robert were to successfully execute his suicide as indicated, Lakia could find herself in a malpractice situation defined by our text as a legal concept involving negligence that results in injury or loss to the client (Corey, G., Corey, M. S., & Callanan, P, 2011). Lakia now finds herself in a legal responsibility in her duty to protect and report Roberts suicidal threat.
Another question deemed helpful in the discovery process is to determine if the issue or issues at hand are related to the institution or agencies policies and procedures. I’m confident this school has an informed consent that requires Lakia to break confidentiality and report Roberts’s suicidal threat. Considering such questions discussed offer us a foundation to set guidelines to assist us as professional counselors to examine problems from several perspectives enabling us to avoid making decisions that may not yield the most positive end result.

ASCA Ethical Standards:
This specific situation requires the review of (A.6 Group Work) of the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) requiring school counselors to screen prospective group members and maintain an awareness of participants needs, appropriate fit and personal goals in relation to the group’s intention and focus. The school counselor takes reasonable precautions to protect members from...

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