Research the duty-to-warn laws as they relate to mental health professionals in the state where you plan to practice. Also, note your state’s guidelines for responding to subpoenas. If you reside or will be practicing in California, refer to California state law.
Explain whether the law in your state indicates if you are required or allowed to disclose. Cite the law.
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Consider the following cases:
- An adult discloses that they plan to kill a member of their family. After a thorough assessment, you deem that the threat is credible, as the client has an active intent, plan, and means.
- A child informs you that she has been abused physically and/or sexually.
- An adult female informs you that they are being abused physically and emotionally by their partner (intimate partner violence).
- A client discloses to you that they committed a crime more than 20 years ago that they are certain resulted in the death of another individual.
For each of the cases listed above:
- Describe how the law in your state applies.
- Explain your legal responsibility.
- Explain your ethical responsibilities based on the ACA code of ethics. Cite the ethical standards that you choose and explain your rationale for choosing each. Include guidelines on how to respond to subpoenas in each case, as applicable.