Ethical & Legal Considerations When Counseling Teens

Counseling teens can present a variety of unique ethical and legal considerations – from navigating informed consent requirements with resistant clients, to defining what “imminent harm” actually means from both legal and ethical perspectives, to balancing best practices with client willingness.

This can be especially challenging here in Washington state, where laws about confidentiality and related treatment issues places the age of consent for counseling at 13 years old — at least in most cases. That’s why this workshop focuses specifically on the unique ethical challenges faced by therapists who work with teens.

We’ll start this highly interactive workshop by reviewing state laws covering confidentiality and consent when counseling teens. Then, we’ll explore a variety of practical considerations related to Washington’s age of consent, ethical issues when working with mandated teens, and the special challenges of working with highly resistant adolescents and their families.

Along the way, we’ll explore and apply the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics, with a special focus on the five principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, fidelity, and justice.