Parent rights for knowing content of minor counseling sessions

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Parents are the stewards of their children, and as such, they have the right to know what their children are being taught in any session, not just therapy sessions (haley, 2013). Some counselors may wreck the morals of the children or be very harsh on the stuff that they deliver to the youngsters, necessitating some intervention. It is therefore each parent's responsibility to be worried about what their children are being taught in therapy sessions.  The first right of the parents is the right in the code of ethics (ACA, 2014) which states that there are several provisions which relate to giving parents or guardians the free will of attending or reviewing the sessions of their minor clients (McNeil, 2013). The code insists that there is need to have a balance in the minor clients’ rights and that of their parents and/or guardians to be involved in the decision making process of the minor clients (Visher, 2013). The parents’ rights regarding the welfare of the minor clients are also to be respected even by law since the minor clients are too little to make decisions for themselves.

The second code of ethics (ACA, 2014), reports of the helpfulness of the inclusion of parents where their children are involved. The conduct also includes other family members apart from the parents and/or the guardians. The act also reinforces the belief that the parents or the guardians can be very valuable allies during the whole process of counseling. Another standard B.5.b., ensourages the counselors to work on establishing there are collaborative relations between them and the guardians or parents (Geldard, 2013). This move allows the counselors some latitude of using their judgment professionally to determine the time and the condition when the parents and guardians should be involved during the process of counseling. To ensure there is no conflict over supremacy and struggle for privacy, there is need for counselors to approach parents as allies.

In some reviews however, there are claims that counselor should give the children a free will to choose what they want to do or what they want to be done though this is not allowed by the law (Gottman, 2013). There are also some claims that adolescents and some children have the obligation to share information with their counselors to ensure that the clients have an active role to play in their own treatment. This claims were all under the context of respect for the minor clients in making them feel better and accepted and also making them feel responsible for their decisions.

The counselors are in most cases tossed between a rock and a hard place when it comes to choosing on either to respect the role of the parents in the process of counseling or to keep the confidentiality of the minor clients (Milne, 2015). It is this decision that raises a bone of contention between the parents or the guardians and the counselors. The counselor is entitled to any harm that may accrue to the minor client as a result of not sharing information if he/she decides to hide anything from the parents of the client.

The court might however have jurisdiction over the secrets of the minor client if the information might be offensive in light of the law (Corey, 2015). The parents might sue for the information but it would be very expensive all for the sake of some information which might even prove not to be of any help to the parents. The conflict can however be avoided if the minor client agrees with the counselor to conceal the information. It is however wise to draw lines before the sessions begin on whether or not to conceal the information to the parents. This may also be a conflict resolution technique as it would ensure that the decisions of all the parties before the commencing of the session are respected (Fallon, 2015). Written documents may also be a source of evidence to help in avoiding the conflicts. It is therefore the decision of the counselors to decide on whether to respect the ethical clients’ rights, their consent to counseling, and finally the parents’ rights and responsibilities on making decisions on behalf of their minors.

There are some steps provided by the law that could be of help once the parents demand for information in cases where the counselors cannot provide information concerning their minor clients (Friedburg&McClure, 2015).

There are however challenges when the client of the counselor is a child whose parents are divorced. It is always the case for both parents to want the counselor to take their side so as to win the custody of the child. This way, the parents involve the counselor into their conflicts (Shapiro, 2015). The counselor should however be firm in his rightful decisions and refuse to favor any parent as far as decision making is concerned.

In conclusion, it is very advisable for parents to know their rights when it comes to the information they are supposed to receive concerning their minor parents. In this, they should know that it is not always that they will be given the green light and the support by law in their right to receive the information.


Corey, G. (2015). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. Nelson Education.

Falloon, I. R. (Ed.). (2015). Handbook of behavioural family therapy. Routledge.

Friedberg, R. D., & McClure, J. M. (2015). Clinical practice of cognitive therapy with children and adolescents: The nuts and bolts. Guilford Publications.

Geldard, K., Geldard, D., & Foo, R. Y. (2013). Counselling children: A practical introduction. Sage.

Gottman, J. M. (2013). Marital interaction: Experimental investigations. Elsevier.

Haley, J. (2013). Leaving home: The therapy of disturbed young people. Routledge.

Hembree-Kigin, T. L., & McNeil, C. (2013). Parent—child interaction therapy. Springer Science & Business Media.

Milne, D. (2015). Training Behaviour Therapists (Psychology Revivals): Methods, Evaluation and Implementation with Parents, Nurses and Teachers. Routledge.

Shapiro, J. P. (2015). Child and adolescent therapy: Science and art. John Wiley & Sons.

Visher, E. B., & Visher, J. S. (2013). Therapy with stepfamilies. Routledge.

April 19, 2023

Family Health



Subject area:

Parents Children Therapy

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