Assignment 1: informed consent and confidentiality

Similar to Module 2, your post for this module has two parts dealing with informed consent and confidentiality. Both informed consent and confidentiality are essential to the counseling relationship. Informed consent promotes respect, autonomy, and the client’s best interests in allowing them to make a rational decision regarding whether to enter into or to continue with the counseling relationship. One of the essential elements of informed consent is confidentiality or, more specifically, limitations of confidentiality. Counselors must not only familiarize clients with exceptions to confidentiality but also ensure that clients are aware of specific laws in their jurisdiction relevant to the release of confidential information.

This assignment will not only help you think through what counselors need to include in an informed consent document but will also help familiarize you with personal conflicts counselors may experience regarding mandatory or permissive reporting. This assignment is geared toward helping you not only be vigilant about client informed consent but also to allow you to give some forethought to personal feelings that might arise regarding confidentiality breeches.


On the basis of this module’s readings and research on the Internet, respond to the following in a minimum of 300 words:

Part 1: Informed consent is essential to ethical practice.

Discuss the following:

  • Explain why informed consent is of paramount importance from an ethical perspective.
  • Aside from confidentiality, discuss what elements are involved in adequate informed consent from a legal and ethical perspective and how are these accomplished within clinical practice (discuss a minimum of three legal and ethical perspectives).
  • Explain why counselors find it challenging to conduct informed consent.
  • Discuss what counselors can do to always ensure this ethical mandate is executed.

Part 2: Confidentiality between a therapist and a client is a cornerstone of the practice.

Discuss the following:

  • Analyze and discuss whether a requirement that therapists report in cases of child and elder abuse is appropriate.
  • Examine and discuss whether permissive reporting (i.e., personal or professional judgment regarding reporting) or mandatory reporting yields better results. Why or why not? When responding to this question, be sure to reference the lecture content, laws in your state, and relevant codes of ethics and articles or texts related to this topic. Do not just give your opinion.

Support your discussion with resources from professional literature in your response. Professional literature may include the Argosy University online library resources; relevant textbooks; peer-reviewed journal articles; and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu or .gov).


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