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Inappropriate Behavior and Sexual Misconduct by Counselor, Case Study Example

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Case Study

This is a case between a client and a counselor. The counselor who is in solo practice was involved in a sexual relationship with a client who sought his help for treatment. The client decided to terminate the treatment and seek from another different counselor. The client was suffering from severe mental and emotional pain and suffering, shame, depression and guilt. The second counselor helped the client in getting justice for what she was made to go through.

The parties involved here include;

The first counselor accused of causing harm to the client. The counselor is accused of negligence, malpractice, sexual misconduct, breach of fiduciary and several others.

The client who needed treatment and therapy

The second counselor who helped the client get justice for what she experienced with the first counselor

There is no significant information missing because enough information necessary to make judgments is provided. The offences the counselor is alleged to have committed are indicated. The impact of the malpractice is also mentioned as well as the on goings at the justice department and what transpires thereafter.

The person involved who is the counselor acted the way he did because of his selfish needs. It is only for selfish gains that another individual can take advantage of the other. The counselor was supposed to provide help, which could enable the client solve her problems. She was able to confide in the counselor about the problems she was facing. Instead of providing help, the counselor went ahead to satisfy his own selfish needs. When the client decided to leave, he showed no concern and did not even bother to help her get another counselor. His needs had been satisfied and he saw no use of the client anymore. Many such cases appear in current counselor client relationships, which need elimination in order to promote justice in the medical system.

The legal issue represented in the case is; was the client justified in pursuing legal justice against the counselor for the actions he did?

According to the case, the arguments are made against the counselor who is the defendant. The reason here is the counselor exceeded the boundary limits. He went against the code of conduct that does not require the professional to have any connection with the client outside the treatment sessions. The actions show that the counselor did not provide proper care and instead mishandled the transference phenomenon. The arguments that make the allegations more persuasive is the fact that the counselor did nothing to deny or confirm the sexual relations. The counselor declined to discuss the issue and the relationship leaving us to believe one side of the story. The arguments are also more persuasive because the accused was facing other criminal charges. People in such professions should have their client’s best interest at heart and should also be trusted (Reamer, 2001, p. 60). This only holds for those who are really professionals. Thus, the client was justified in suing the counselor for his actions in order to give a warning to others playing the same tactics to their clients with an intention of satisfying their bodily pleasures.

The counselor could see his license canceled so that he may not be able to practice anymore. Such actions are not allowed especially in the medical field and the counselor could face dire consequences. A number of such professionals named in ethics lawsuits and complaints try to defend their contacts with their clients. One argument that they give is that the sexual affairs were essential and legitimate for the therapy (Reamer, 2001, p. 60). The professionals usually claim that they were only trying to help the client. The counselor could also argue that the relationship was done outside the treatment sessions. Even if that was the case, the counselor should not have taken advantage of the client (Reamer, 2001, p. 61). He could argue that they were able to separate their professional relationship from their sexual involvement.

Despite the arguments that could set the counselor free, it was not right for the counselor to act the way he did. The duty of the counselor is to provide the patients with medical examinations and not take advantage of their situations. Such counselors need their licenses revoked to set an example to the rest of those in the same field. This will promote codes of conduct and in turn improve the care administered to clients. The counselor is the one in power and hence, it was his duty to set professional limits. He would have ensured that the boundaries are enforced and followed to the latter. The case can be considered a HIPPA case because of the requirement of quality service providence. The counselor did not adhere to the rules stipulated by their code of conduct. What the counselor should have done was to administer the therapy and leave the client to make her own decisions. Even if the client had chosen to go with him, it would be solely her decision and the decision would have been made at the right state of mind.

References

Reamer, F. (2001). Tangled relationships: Managing boundary issues in the human services. New York: Columbia University Press.

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