VISTAS Counseling Families and Adults

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Minors’ Rights to Confidentiality, When Parents Want to Know An Ethical Scenario

Beth Brooks, Karen Fiedler, Jayme Waddington, and Katharine Zink


This paper explores the ethical scenario related to confidentiality rights of a minor when his/her parents seek information from the counseling session, in this case related to exploration of sexuality. This paper examines all facets of this ethical dilemma by using Corey, Corey, and Callanan’s (1998) decision-making model. By examining ethical codes, legal statutes, and precedents, consulting relevant literature, identifying all of the possible viable solutions, and weighing all of the consequences of these solutions, the counselor is able to make a wellinformed, justified, ethical decision. Upon fully engaging all eight steps in this decision-making model, the counselor deems that she must act on what is in the client’s best interest. In this case, the counselor decides to keep her client’s confidentiality, as this is the course of action that is in the best interest of the client and results in the least amount of harm to the client.

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