Ethical Decision Making in School Mental Health
Ethical predicaments are endemic for mental health professionals working in a host setting like schools. New interventions, evolving technologies, and a patchwork of ethical guidelines and legal codes create a constant stream of new ethical dilemmas. Quick answers and simple solutions are rare, but with the seven-stage model presented here, readers will learn to apply an ethical decision-making process that minimizes their liability while better protecting their students. Beginning with an introduction to the moral, legal, and clinical foundations that undergird ethical practice, the authors outline an ethical decision-making process to handle conundrums that includes seven major steps: know yourself, analyze the dilemma, seek consultation, identify courses of action, manage the clinical concerns, enact the decision, and reflect on the process. Each chapter describes these steps in detail, provides case examples to illustrate their application, and presents exercises that encourage readers to integrate them into their everyday practice.
This handy guide is written for the school social workers, school psychologists, school nurses, and school counselors who are responsible for acting in their students' best interests, as well as post-secondary students studying to enter one of these professions. It will be a trusted resource for school services professionals seeking clear but nuanced guidance in resolving thorny ethical issues.