A Helpful Receptionist
The receptionist violated the principle of confidentiality, which is also enforced by the
ACA Code of Ethics and Utah Rule Code for mental health professionals. She
violated Section B that defines the nature of confidentiality and privacy in professional
relationships. Utah Rule 502 states that confidential communication is not intended for
anyone outside. Husbands and wives can assume the privilege for each other
unless both are adverse parties (as in this case) in civil proceedings (Retrieved from
“Utah Rule 502,” n.d.). She also violated Code B.1.b, which states that the counselor should
Respect the privacy of the client at all times and ACA Code B.2.e. states there should only be a
minimal disclosure of confidential information and patients should be part of the decision
making process to permit disclosure.

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Whose Privilege?
Confidentiality is the ethical duty of a counselor as prescribed by the ACA Code of Ethics to protect a client’s information, whereas privilege on the other hand is a legal term that explains the protection of confidential information through a legal proceeding (“2014 ACA Code of Ethics,” n.d.). Utah Rule 506 provides that privilege belongs to the counselor in this case who is acting on behalf of her patient (“Utah Rule 506,” n.d.). She refused to disclose private information because according to ACA Code of Ethics B.2. d. disclosure about the patient in court shall only be done with a client’s written permission. This is done to prohibit private information to be shared that can later on be detrimental to the client, and also the counseling relationship.

  • 2014 ACA Code of Ethics As approved by the ACA Governing Council. Retrieved from https://www.counseling.org/resources/aca-code-of-ethics.pdf
  • American Counseling Association: About Us: Retrieved from
  • Code of Ethics Resources: Ethics & Professional Standards. Retrieved from http://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/ethics
  • Continuing Education for Counselors. Retrieved from http://www.counseling.org/continuing- education/overview
  • Rodgers, C. (2006). Ethics, Conflict Confidentiality & Testifying in Court. Retrieved from www.biscmi.org/aboutus/cherylrogers.pdf
  • Utah Rule 506. Physician and Mental Health Therapist-Patient. Retrieved from http://www.utcourts.gov/resources/rules/ure/0506.htm
  • Utah Rule 502. Husband – Wife. Retrieved from http://www.utcourts.gov/resources/rules/ure/0502.htm