Confidentiality Issue Case Study

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Confidentiality Issue Case Study

Counselling is a professional activity, which can be harmful if

correct procedures are not followed. Counsellors are dedicated to

respecting the rights of those persons seeking their assistance. They

must know their rights. It is part of the counsellor’s responsibility

to encourage clients to take responsibility themselves.

Confidentiality is an ethical issue, which involves keeping the

client’s personal information to yourself. Few clients will want to

share private information if they know that it will be made public.

Therefore a positive regard will be seriously hampered if the client

suspects that the information shared will be made public.

Domestic violence is a crime and according to Zimbabwean law, no

person is allowed to assault another. In this discussion we will state

how a junior officer in the army would help the major general’s wife

who is subjected to domestic violence. We will also look at

confidentiality as a complex issue, which can be affected by the law

and ethics. We will discuss the extent that the principle of

confidentiality can be applied. We also talk about what to do when

faced by dilemmas, what action to take and how to handle those


Definition of terms



ð ZOU Module CD 103 (2004:161) states that it involves keeping the

client’s personal information to self (the counsellor).

ð ZOU Module CD 104 (2000:19) says it is providing the client with

safety and privacy.

ð Welfel (1998) cited by ZOU Module CD 104 (2000:26) defines

confidentiality as the counsellor’s ethical obligation to keep the


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... counsellor-counsellor relationships. The law however overrides ethics

in certain issues such as confidentiality, when disclosure may protect

an individual or the community. Legal system is more powerful. The

laws are of the people and they should work for each of us.

One of the key qualities of an effective counsellor is a high degree

of self-awareness. In counselling practice, knowing your self and

being aware about who, what and why you are who you are is important,

it assists you to identify what constitutes a good counsellor. Good

practice assumes that you are sensitive to the professional ethical

guidelines of Counselling. It is also important to note that your aim

is to assist the client, sometimes you are forced to take risks in

helping a client. Therefore the most important thing is to consider

the outcome.
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