Hypothesis of a Counseling Session


Martin is a 43-year-old Hispanic man. He lives in an extendedfamily, supporting his parents, wife and son. He comes from a lowearning background. Martin works as a heavy goods vehicle driver.During the counseling session, he confesses that he is addicted todrinking. The problem has escalated to the extreme that hesporadically drinks at work. He is optimistic that by attendingcounseling he will be able to deal with the problem. Martin hasrequested confidentiality, to avoid losing his employment. AlthoughMartin is making steps forward, the ethical dilemma arises on whetherto disclose his addiction to his employer or remain silent.

The dilemma presented when working as a counselor for Martin,depicts the intricate globe where counselors work. Ensuring ethicalaccountability is the keystone of good practice (Ungar, 2011).However, the opposing demands of diverse working backgrounds leavethe counselor feeling confused on what to do. In the case of Martin,there are several contemplations. As a counselor, one is accountablefor guaranteeing that the client has a safe and suitable space to airhis worries (Ungar, 2011). Also is the peril he might cause to othersdue to drinking bearing in mind the nature of his job. Martin’scase presents a familiar ethical dilemma, especially when dealingwith addictive conduct, which jeopardizes the lives of others.Triumphant counseling frequently gets to a point where the clientconcedes the extreme of the hardship prior to behavior alteration(Shallcross, 2010). This is the initial step towards healing. Anethically conscious client should not hastily breach theconfidentiality created between client and counselor, in such a case,since the client has conceded their problem and is ready to change(Miller, 2010).

The first step to solving a dilemma involves evaluating what hashappened and reflecting on the eventualities (Ungar, 2011). Thecounselor, when faced by a dilemma, should evaluate the levels ofperil, bearing in mind the graveness of any harm, which may arise andthe possibility of the harm (Lo, 2013). In Martin’s scenario, theharm may be dangerous since it is highly possible to cause accidentswhen drunk and driving. Martin is aware of the intricacy of theproblem, which may have encouraged his disclosure as progress towardschange. He probably has sought counseling as an opportunity to avoidlosing his job, and at the same time solve his drinking problems. Theethical reaction to the dilemma entails supporting Martin in stoppinghis addiction.

To ensure that he does not cause harm to others, the counselor mayask him to take an off from work. Martin needs to join supportgroups, where he will interact with other alcoholics recovering fromtheir addiction. Meanwhile it becomes possible for the counselor toreview whether Martin is making any progress through counseling.During his off days, both client and counselor work towards ensuringthat he does not drink any amount of alcohol. The more hedemonstrates efforts to stop drinking, the more the counselor shouldmaintain confidentiality of the issue. Confidentiality can only bebreached when Martin fails to demonstrate concern for others whendriving while drunk (Rauhvargers &amp Bergan, 2008). Nevertheless,prior to a breach, the counselor should communicate about the dilemmaand inform of the actions about to be taken. If is also fails inchanging Martin’s behavior, then the employer should be informed.


Lo, B. (2013). Resolving ethical dilemmas: A guide for clinicians.Philadelphia: W olters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams &amp Wilkins.

Miller, G. (2010). Learning the Language of Addiction Counseling.Hoboken: John Wiley &amp Sons.

Rauhvargers, A., &amp Bergan, S. (2008). New challenges inrecognition: Recognition of prior learning and recognition in aglobal context. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.

Shallcross, L. (2010). Managing resistant clients. CounselingToday, 1-1.

Ungar, M. (2011). Counseling in Challenging Contexts: Working WithIndividuals and Families. Belmont: Brooks/Cole, CengageLearning.