Confidentiality being a counselor

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Being a psychologist requires one to be very knowledgeable about the legal concerns surrounding the entire counseling practice. Confidentiality is one legal problem that affects the career of clinical mental health counselors. Sometimes, confidentiality is interpreted incorrectly as only involving ethical concerns, but in reality, it involves both an ethical and a legal problem. The responsibility of the counseling field is to safeguard confidential client communications. (Shallcross, 2011). Because it affects the connection between him and the client he or she is seeing, the counselor must always keep confidentiality. In a situation where confidentiality has to be broken, the client must be informed unless the client is of serious harm such as he or she wants to commit suicide, if there is a case of child abuse or a dependent older adult and if there is a court order. For example, if a patient has threatened to commit suicide and there is enough evidence to it, the counselor is required by the law inform the family of the patient or the authority failure to which he may face legal sanctions.

Confidentiality has had a significant impact on the mental health counseling especially when it comes to patients who can harm others or themselves. This kind of patients need to be protected against themselves, but at the same time, the professional counselor needs to be sure they are in danger before breaking the law of confidentiality (Wheeler & Bertram, 2015). Also, confidentiality is important in the practice of clinical mental health counseling because it gives the patient more confidence to share their mental troubles that are tormenting them. If confidentiality is not made to be a law, then patients would not share as much information as they do with their counselors.


Shallcross, L. (2011). Don’t turn away. Counseling Today, 53(12), 30-38.

Wheeler, A. M., & Bertram, B. (2015). The counselor and the law: A guide to legal and ethical practice. John Wiley & Sons.

July 07, 2023

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