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Studies have shown that the most frequently described dilemmas in the field of therapy involve confidentiality. Of these incidents, several revealed that decisions had to be made as to whether confidential information should be disclosed and, if so, to whom (Pope & Vetter, 1993).


It is therefore necessary to clarify the term "confidentiality." It is treatment of information given in a relationship of trust with the understanding that the information will not be disclosed without permission (MedSearch). Another area to be addressed is the purpose of an infringement of confidentiality, and the third is the manner of the disclosure (Behnke, 2005). Below are selected case histories in which confidentiality created an ethical dilemma:
Problem: A colleague withheld information about a client from the therapist to whom she transferred a case on grounds of maintaining client confidentiality. Both were employed in the same agency. Should this information have been shared for the benefit of the client (Pope & Vetter, 1992, Confidentiality).
Resolution: It is possible that holding back information will do more harm than good for the client. It depends on what the information is and how important it is in the treatment of the patient. Under Ethics Code 4.07, the therapist can ask the patient's permission to pass on information to another therapist. Another option would be to follow Ethics Code 4.06 and determine the minimum amount of confidential information that would assist the patient and the therapist and share that even though the patient has not given permission.
Problem: An executive director o ...
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