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Psychology: Ethical Study and Case Analysis

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For this assignment, please note the new Case Study below.  Also, if you accept the assignment, keep in mind two of the resources must be peer-reviewed sources =) Also, ALL work will be run through to check for plagiarism and originality.

Case Study:

James is a community counseling student who is interning with the College Counseling 

Center at the local university. James is a 25 year-old Caucasian male, who attended a 

private high school in a small rural town. In terms of being a counselor, James admits 

that one of his challenges is that he has not experienced much diversity in his 

relationships. He states that this is not a significant issue because he plans on opening 

a private practice in his hometown as soon as he graduates. Since he “knows the town” 

he doesn’t feel that this is a big deal. Also, in terms of finding clients, James states that 

he is sure he will be able to get referrals because his father works for the town 

newspaper and will run an ad as soon as he moves home.

James admits he has no clinical experience but is pleased, upon arriving at his 

internship site, to see that his ex-girlfriend is going to be his assigned clinical supervisor. 

Since they have not seen each other in years, James figures that meeting once a week 

will give them a good opportunity to catch up on “old times”. James also figures that 

she could continue to supervise him in private practice until he receives his license. 

James is relieved because he knows she won’t mind, since he will be graduating in nine 

months, if he puts her credential, Licensed Professional Counselor, after his name since 

she is supervising him.

After discussing private practice, James asks his ex-girlfriend if he can begin to see 

client’s right away because he is anxious to get experience and begin working on his 

practice. Since she figured he would be a pretty good counselor, she agreed and paired 

him up with Lisa, a 21 year-old Latina female.

During the first session, James was running late and was unable to fully cover all of the 

intake documents with Lisa. He put them aside and said, “We don’t really need to 

review these. It is just paperwork required by the Center. Please sign here.” As the 

counseling session continued, James thought he might have recognized symptoms 

associated with depression including decreased motivation, loss of appetite and overall 

dissatisfaction. He thought about bringing these up with his supervisor but forgot once 

he left the session. 

James continued to meet with Lisa. The first few sessions focused mainly on her recent 

break-up with her boyfriend and the resulting academic difficulties. She was very 

concerned that her career dream of becoming a lawyer may be in jeopardy. 

In the third session, Lisa casually mentioned that she began to experience depressive 

symptoms as a child when her mother’s partner began to physically abuse her at the 

age of 5½ years. Lisa told her mother about the abuse, but she did not intervene. 

Shortly after the physical abuse began, the man began to also sexually abuse her. 

Once again, Lisa reported this to her mother and also to a teacher at her school, but 

nothing was ever done. Lisa reported that when she was 7, she placed an unknown 

prescription medication of her mother’s into this man’s alcoholic drink. Later that same 

day, the man experienced a stroke and was rushed to the hospital where he later died. 

Lisa also reported learning that her mother’s partner’s stroke and subsequent death 

were related to the combination of prescription medication and alcohol. The client has 

never told anyone other than James that she had placed medication in this man’s drink. 



  • Read the case study provided and identify all three of the ethical dilemmas presented. 
  • Describe the nature and all dimensions of the three ethical issues.
  • Identify the ethical code numbers and definitions of each issue presented using both the APA and ACA codes. 
  • Discuss alternative courses of action which could be taken by the counselor to rectify each dilemma.
  • Describe the implications of each alternative action; lay out the limitations and advantages of each alternative considered.
  • Choose one course of action and provide a justification for this selection.
  • Describe the ethical decision making model (from your course materials) you used throughout the process to arrive at a final decision (i.e., Forrester-Miller and Davis).  Make sure you outline each step.

You will be graded on the process you used to arrive at your recommendations, and the reasoning behind picking a specific recommendation (and not the actual recommendation itself). 

You should utilize and cite at least two peer reviewed journal articles to include in your research. 

The body of the paper should be no less than 5 pages in length. 
Your paper should be double-spaced and in 12 point, Times New Roman font with normal one-inch margins, written in APA style, and free of typographical and grammatical errors. It should include a title page with a running head, an abstract and a reference page.

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