Duty to Warn in Pennsylvania
Confidentiality is the most fundamental underlying principle necessary to establishing trust and rapport in the counseling relationship (Laureate Educational, Inc. 2012). However, that confidentiality can become an obstacle to the therapist and the public when a client possesses a serious threat or danger to a specific individual. The purpose of this paper will be to explain Pennsylvania case law regarding mental health counselor’s “duty to warn/protect”, and explain how in light of the resources in this course I might resolve ethical dilemmas regarding duty to warn/ protect as a future counselor.
In the wake of Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California, the mental health profession has case law and precedent requiring therapists to follow a duty to warn possible third party victims of threatening and dangerous clients. While national mental health associations have added ethical codes mandating the exceptions to counselor-client confidentiality, the legality of duty to warn/protect varies from state to state. In Pennsylvania,...