Assessment task 2: Case Vignettes

You have been provided with two ethical dilemmas in the unit guide. You are to work through both cases using the ethical decision making model of Steinman, Richardson and McEnroe (1998). Use the following sub-headings to ensure that all steps are taken to reach a satisfactory decision. See the marking criteria (unit guide) for further detail of each aspect. 1500-2000 words for each case, no more than 4000 in total.

Part A

  •  Step 1: Identify the ethical issue/s involved
  •  Step 2: Ethical trap possibilities (e.g., objectivity, values, and circumstantiality etc.)
  •  Step 3: Preliminary response
  •  Step 4: Possible consequences
  •  Step 5: Ethical resolution

Part B: Self reflection

  •  For each case, outline which aspect/s of this dilemma do you anticipate would be the most challenging for you to deal with? Why?


Case Studies for Assignment 2 (Term 4) Sam & Mariah

Case Vignette: Sam

Sam works as a counsellor in private practice. Sam has been seeing John for 8 sessions for relationship issues. John has sought counselling to discuss conflict with his partner of 5 years and the feelings he has been having for someone else in the workplace. Another client of Sam has attended counselling for 3 sessions to discuss their relationship, which has been strained of late, but they are very invested in making the relationship work long term. Within the space of a few days, Sam has sessions with both clients and realises that they have both reported details of a specific argument with their partner, and this clearly indicates that these two clients are in fact in a relationship with each other. Sam is not sure if either of these clients is aware that they are seeing the same counsellor, or whether John and his partner even are aware that they are engaging in counselling at all. What would an ethical counsellor do in Sam’s situation?


Case Vignette: Mariah

Mariah has started a new job as a wellbeing co-ordinator at a secondary school and she is the first trained counsellor that has been employed in this role. The principal outlines that all parents have signed a form upon enrolment allowing their child to see the wellbeing co-ordinator if they wish. On her first day, Bing, a 15-year old student drops in to Mariah’s office to work through some issues he has been experiencing with his outside of school sporting team. A good rapport develops quickly between Mariah and Bing.  In the course of discussion, Bing reveals that he is same sex attracted, and he is romantically involved with one of his team mates.  He has been experiencing relationship issues because his partner is angry that he and some of the others have been sniffing glue on weekends to “get away from their problems”. The bell rings and Bing leaves abruptly as he has an important class test to attend, leaving Mariah in her office with a racing heart. The next morning there is a message on the answering machine from Bing’s mother. Her son mentioned that he had seen you the day before, and she would like to be updated on your progress. Bing has been quite irritable at home over the last month and she is very worried that something is wrong. What would an ethical counsellor do in Mariah’s situation?


Assessment information


  • What makes a good assignment?
    • Address the marking criteria
    • Sub headings to guide the marker
    • Clear concise points and effective use of paragraphing
    • Consistent referencing using APA (6th ed)