Confidentiality Is A Common Pledge When Disclosing Sensitive Personal Information

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Confidentiality is a common pledge when disclosing sensitive personal information to a mental health professional. In fact, Remley & Herlihy (2014) believe that, “Confidentiality is one of the most fundamental of all professional obligations in counseling” (p. 106). A breach of confidentiality could damage the trust that took years to build between the professional and their client; however, there are certain times when the professional has limited options. Providers are placed in a very difficult situation when faced with deciding whether or not a client has the potential to harm someone else. If a situation like this arises, it’s not only a legal requirement but also an ethical duty to take the necessary steps to prevent any harm…show more content…
(p. 273) Remley & Herlihy (2014) describe the Tarasoff v. Regents of University of California (1976) court case. Prosenjit Poddar was a 26-year-old graduate student who told his counselor his intentions to kill his girlfriend, Tatiana Tarasoff. His counselor, Dr. Lawrence Moore, believed that the threat was serious and had Poddar committed for a psychiatric evaluation. Dr. Moore notified campus police who then took Poddar into custody but later released him when he promised to have no contact with his girlfriend, Tarasoff. Two months later, Poddar stabbed and killed Tatiana Tarasoff. Tarasoff’s parents sued Dr. Moore for not warning their daughter of the threat (Remley & Herlihy, 2014). According to the Tarasoff v. Regents court case, as a professional; I have an obligation to protect my client’s wife, his probation officer, the police, and even himself from any foreseeable danger. Appelbaum (1985) explains three very important steps to take when predicting dangerousness in a client and assessing whether or not to protect their confidentiality or apply your duty to warn: (1.) Gather relevant data to evaluate dangerousness and make a

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