Posted: September 17th, 2017
“A female client, born and raised in Nigeria and a recent immigrant to the United Kingdom who is struggling with issues related to drug use and subsequent HIV infection, discloses that she has been having a secret affair with a married man who has three children.”
Through the course of your work with this client, you begin to suspect that you may know the client’s male lover and that you may be acquainted with this man’s wife through a mutual friend at the church that you all attend. As the client discloses more and more details related to the man’s life and his family, the more certain you become regarding the man’s identity. Despite the fact that the client has chosen not to use her lover’s real name in your sessions, you are convinced that you know the man and his family.
Your client has told neither her husband nor her lover of the HIV infection although she claims that she is very concerned that she does not infect either of them.
Referring to appropriate ethical codes (e.g. BPS, BACP, UKCP) and their associated ethical principles, clearly identify and discuss the ethical dilemmas (for the client, for the therapist and/or for both parties) involved in this scenario. What potential actions might you, as therapist, take and how might they affect the therapeutic relationship and process? Justify your chosen actions with specific reference to those ethical principles that are upheld and/or discounted.
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