Legal Issues in Counseling Children and Teens
Based on your experience in a counseling-related field or another professional arena, identify an incident with specific legal issues associated with the provision of counseling services to children and adolescents and describe how they were handled. Briefly describe what happened, changing specifics as needed to protect confidentiality. Based on what you have learned in Counseling Children, Morelen and Schaffer’s 2012 article, linked in Resources, and your review of the laws in your state, how well were the issues handled? What are the best practices for handling these issues?
Unit 3 Discussion 2
Ethical Issues in Counseling Children and Teens [u03d2] Unit 3 Discussion 2
For this discussion, briefly describe the hypothetical case that you have created (or are creating) for your Unit 3 assignment. Then, identify one potential ethical and one potential legal concern that you would have in mind, as you began counseling with this child or adolescent. Explain the course of action you would take in the first session in order to prevent legal or ethical problems by communicating clearly with your client while also building rapport. Use the course readings for this week to support your conclusions.
As an example, consider this scenario: Kendra, a 16-year-old student, has been encouraged by her best friend to come see you. Kendra called to make the appointment herself. She lives alone with her mother who works the night shift at a local club. Kendra says she hopes that her mother won’t have to know about her counseling because “she’s always tired,” and Kendra’s concern has to do with a boyfriend her mother dislikes. Kendra has never actually met the boyfriend; he is someone she connected with online who she’s been texting. Recently, the texts have become very sexual and Kendra has begun feeling uncomfortable, although she also finds the relationship exciting.
Based on your readings this week, what would be one potential ethical issue that would be foremost in your mind as you begin counseling Kendra? What would be one potential legal issue? How would you handle these concerns when Kendra comes in?
Now, briefly describe the hypothetical case you have created (or are creating) for this unit’s assignment.
· Identify one potential ethical issue and one legal issue that would be foremost in your mind as you begin counseling your client.
· Identify your plan for addressing those issues.
· Cite the appropriate section of the ACA Code of Ethics, linked in Resources, and at least one other relevant resource.
Post your case to the discussion area.
Unit 3 Assignment 1
Conceptualizing a Case
Developmental, Sociocultural, Ethical, and Diagnostic Considerations in Counseling Children and Adolescents
Due: End of Unit 3.
Mental Health Counselors of children and adolescents often need to communicate with appropriate individuals, such as supervisors, parents, or other counselors, about the basic facts and issues surrounding their clients. Creating a factual summary is the first step in the building a case conceptualization, diagnosis, and treatment plan.
Your assignment is to develop a case description, analysis, and treatment plan for a hypothetical case. You will first create a background sketch for your hypothetical case, following the example below. Next, you will present your analysis of the developmental, cultural, and legal aspects of the case. Then you will present your diagnosis and treatment plan for the case.
Your case description and treatment plan should be succinct in addressing each area. Counselors must prepare reports that summarize many details accurately but briefly.
Use the Conceptualizing a Case Template, linked in Resources, to develop your treatment plan.
This template will provide the correct format and structure of a brief background sketch, case analysis, and initial treatment plan.
The headings for this assignment are listed below and in the template that you will use to prepare this assignment.
Use a minimum of 5 references, including your textbook.
Your paper should be 5–6 pages in length, not including the title page or reference page. No abstract is necessary.
Background Sketch Components
You will first complete a background sketch for a child or adolescent client whom you might serve. (Use the background sketch you developed in Unit 1, with any revisions you made after peer and instructor feedback.) The background sketch will be brief. There are many examples of background sketches in the Counseling Children textbook, in the introductions to the case studies offered throughout (for example, see page 195). Here is another example:
Identification of the Problem
Sari [hypothetical name] is a 10-year-old girl in the fifth grade at Middle Valley Elementary. She is referred to counseling because the after-school staff report that she has become withdrawn recently, refusing offers for homework help or invitations from friends to join in activities.
Individual and Background Information
Academic: Staff report that Sari was previously proud of her report cards and showed them to the after school tutors. However, she would not talk about her most recent report card and was seen tearfully tearing it into pieces.
Family and Culture: Sari’s family immigrated from Turkey when she was a toddler. She is the oldest of three children, who are also in the after school program. Her mother works in the kitchen of Middle Valley Hospital. Her father drives a cab. Her parents alternate picking up the children. Sari expresses pride for her Turkish heritage, and mentions her family’s involvement with a local Turkish cultural group.
Physical: Sari is of average height for her age. She has a lean body mass and shows no signs of puberty. She rarely misses school due to illness. She has an untreated port-wine stain birthmark on one cheek and ear; she attempts to cover it with her hair style.
Social: Sari is athletic and loved playing outdoor games until her recent withdrawal from activities she previously enjoyed. She was frequently chosen by her peers to be a team member, and has several causal friendships, though she spends much of her time checking on her younger siblings in the program.
Case Conceptualization Components
Next, you will analyze aspects of this case for features that will need to be considered in deciding how to best assist your client.
Briefly apply concepts—from Piaget’s theory, Selman, Erikson, and what is known about development of the brain and physical maturation—to your case (refer to Chapter 2 of Counseling Children for a review of developmental theories). Is your child or adolescent on track developmentally, or off track in some domains?
Briefly highlight the cultural considerations that might be important for understanding and counseling your case (refer to Chapter 2 of Counseling Children for counseling considerations for children from diverse cultures).
Ecomap Assessment of Stressors and Supports
Summarize your Ecomap assessment to analyze how family, community, cultural, and societal factors contribute to the stressors and supports in your client’s life. Present your evaluation of how your child or adolescent client is supported by prevention, intervention, and education efforts or programs and networks that promote mental health, or how he or she experiences stress from the absence of support.
Legal and Ethical Issues Plan
Briefly articulate a legal and ethical issues plan, presenting the steps you will take to establish an ethical counseling relationship with your child or adolescent client. Identify potential ethical or legal issues that could arise with this client, and briefly describe how you will handle each of these, referencing specific laws and ethical codes (you may use the issues you have identified for the second discussion of this unit, after considering peer and instructor feedback).
Treatment Plan Components
Create a treatment plan for your case, including a preliminary diagnosis (use the diagnostic process you practiced in the first Unit 2 discussion). Your treatment plan should succinctly address these sections, also outlined in the Counseling Children text (pages 103–104):
Henderson, D. A., & Thompson, C. L. (2016). Counseling children (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.
· Jongsma, Peterson, McInnis, and Bruce’s e-book, The Adolescent Psychotherapy Treatment Planner.
· Jongsma, Peterson, McInnis, and Bruce’s e-book, The Child Psychotherapy Treatment Planner.
Developmental, Sociocultural, and Ethical and Diagnostic Considerations in Counseling Children and Adolescents
Author First Name Middle Initial Last Name
Developmental, Sociocultural, and Ethical, and Diagnostic
Considerations in Counseling Children and Adolescents
This is your paper’s introduction. Note, however, that it does not have a heading; its position at the beginning of the body of the paper implies that it is the introduction. Instead, include the title of your paper centered at the top of the page, not bolded; it is not considered a heading. In the body of your paper, indent the first line of each paragraph. As always, use double spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font. For the purposes of this assignment, simply replace this text with a brief paragraph in your own words stating that this paper presents a background sketch of a hypothetical child client, the results of an ecomap assessment to analyze how their family, community, cultural, and societal contexts contribute to their supports and stressors, the ethical and legal issues that could impact the case, and the steps you will take to ensure ethical treatment of your case.
Background Sketch for Case: [Hypothetical Name]
Identification of the Problem
Briefly review why this child or adolescent is being referred to you.
Individual and Background Information.
Academic: Include one paragraph about academic information relevant to your case.
Family and Culture: Include one or two paragraphs about the family of your case and their culture.
Physical: Include one paragraph about the maturational, physical, and pubertal information about your case, as applicable.
Social: Include one paragraph about the social area of your case, including friendship groups and social adjustment or challenges.
Briefly apply concepts from Piaget’s theory, Selman, Erikson, and what is known about development of the brain and neurological system and physical maturation to your case.
Briefly highlight the cultural considerations that might be important for understanding and counseling your case.
Ecomap Assessment of Stressors and Supports
Summarize your assessment of the stressors and supports that are impacting your child or adolescent, from nearby influences such as family and neighborhood factors to more distant influences such as prevention or education programs or societal factors.
Legal and Ethical Issues Plan
Articulate a brief legal and ethical issues plan that presents the steps you will take to establish an ethical counseling relationship with your child or adolescent client. Identify potential ethical and legal issues that could arise with this client, and describe how you would handle each of these, referencing specific laws and ethical codes.
Treatment Plan for Case
Write a brief paragraph here that provides a transition from the background information about the client to your treatment plan for the case. Use guidelines in Counseling Children, pages 112–113.
Write a brief description here, identifying the problem.
Write a brief description here, defining the problem; use the DSM-5 for symptom and problem terminology.
Write a brief description here, outlining the goal of counseling.
Write a brief description here of outcomes that can be measured.
Write a brief counseling plan here.
Preliminary DSM-5 Diagnosis
State your preliminary diagnosis here, stating how your client meets the criteria for a particular diagnosis, and including specifiers for the disorder, if applicable. You may diagnose more than one disorder.
(Include at least five sources that you used in your assignment. You may include your textbook. The reference below provides an example citation for an article.)