Janet has been seen by you for treatment of depression. On intake, she disclosed that she was in AA and had been sober for 6 months. Janet seems to be happy with her progress, but after a few sessions, she seems to be noncommunicative and upset. After six sessions, she discontinues therapy with you. You learn that she has engaged another counselor who treats alcohol use and co-occurring disorders. This morning you received notice from your licensing board that Janet filed a complaint against you alleging that you attempted to treat Janet’s addiction to alcohol and that you did not have the expertise necessary to do so. You are a Licensed professional counselor but you have not obtained training in addictions. Based on this information, answer the following questions:
- Does Janet have a valid complaint? Why or why not?
- How would you respond to the Licensing board complaint?
- How would you avoid this type of complaint in the future?
This discussion question meets the following NASAC Standards:
15) Understand the variety of insurance and health maintenance options available, and appreciate the importance of helping clients access those benefits.
20) Understand the addiction professional’s obligation to adhere to generally accepted ethical and behavioral standards of conduct in the helping relationship.
21) Understand the importance of ongoing supervision and continuing education in the delivery of client services.
47) Inform the client of his/her confidentiality rights, program procedures that safeguard them, and the exceptions imposed by statute.
65) Apply confidentiality-related legal restrictions appropriately.
116) Demonstrate ethical behaviors by adhering to established professional codes of ethics that define the professional context within which the counselor works, in order to maintain professional standards and safeguard the client.
118) Adhere to federal and state laws, and agency regulations, regarding addictions treatment.
121) Conduct culturally appropriate self-evaluations of professional performance, applying ethical, legal, and professional standards to enhance self-awareness and performance.
122) Obtain appropriate continuing professional education.