Based on your understanding of the ethical code of your profession, for this task you will describe how you think the therapist in the following situations should respond. Refer to the specific parts of the code to support your thinking. Note any sections that may remain unclear or in which personal judgment might play a role.
You are group leader of a men’s group. Tom, one of the participants in the group, wants to help others get involved and invested in therapy. To show them how effective therapy can be, he reveals that a few years ago he had inappropriate sexual thoughts toward a minor. He never acted on them, but they caused him great distress. After more than a year of group therapy with other people who had similar issues he was able to get rid of these obsessive thoughts.
After the session, Lee, another member of the group, comes up to you for advice. Tom’s daughter and Lee’s niece are in the same class at school. His niece has recently been invited to a sleep over at Tom’s house. Now he wonders if he should advise his brother against letting his daughter attend the sleepover. He knows it is wrong to reveal anything that was discussed in the group outside the session, but doesn’t feel comfortable having his niece at Tom’s house in a sleepover situation. He asks for your advice.
- What ethical principles are involved here?
- Is it appropriate for you to discuss Tom outside of the therapy group?
- How much of what takes place in the session can Lee share with his brother in this situation?
- Does it make a difference that Tom says he never acted on his inappropriate thoughts?
- How would you deal with this situation and observe ethical principles at the same time?
Lena has been placed in group therapy as part of a court order. She must attend the therapy sessions or enter a detention facility. She shows little interest in the session, and even less interest in sharing anything personal or doing any work on herself. Another group member, Becca, comes into the group one day, obviously distressed and distraught. She reveals that her father beat her in an alcoholic outburst. She further adds that this is not a rare occurrence for her. After the session, you find Lena taunting Becca in the school yard, mocking her about her father in front of other girls.
- How would you, as group leader, react to this scenario?
- What type of rules would you have put in effect for someone like Lena (who is an adolescent and forced to attend)?
- Would you expel Lena from the group for this behavior? Why or why not?
- What other steps might you take?
- What are your ethical responsibilities toward Lena?
- What are your ethical responsibilities toward Becca?
In a paper, address the questions in both of the scenarios listed above.
Support your analysis with at least three articles published in peer-reviewed journals in the past five years.
Length: 5-7 pages
Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.
Ethical Code is the American Psychological Association (APA) and the direct website is: