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Ethics for Marriage and Family Therapists

The Process of Pursuing Ethical Standards

1. When pursuing ethical standards, experts recommend certain assumptions that marriage and family therapists should be aware of, including each of the following EXCEPT:

A. Ethics is a continuous, active process in which all clinicians must engage, but each clinical situation is different

B. The clinician should allow the client to set the boundaries in their relationship, with guidance when necessary, as this will help empower the client in therapy and beyond

C. While standards and codes of ethics often tell us what to do, they don’t but not always tell how to do it

D. Counseling and therapy involve fallible human beings who make mistakes, as well as unique people with individual characteristics, needs and issues

Boundary Crossings vs. Boundary Violations

2. While a boundary violation is harmful or potentially harmful to the patient and the therapeutic relationship, a boundary crossing is a deviation from classical therapeutic activity that is harmless, non-exploitative, and possibly supportive of the therapy itself.

A. True

B. False

Multiple Roles

3. As a therapist faces a dilemma with multiple roles or dual relationships, such as Roger does in the vignette, the most important considerations are whether or not there is a potential for exploitation, damage, or disruption, as well as if the relationship could actually have some benefit to the therapeutic process.

A. True

B. False

Informed Consent

4. Integral parts of an informed consent agreement are what to expect from the therapeutic process, services offered, confidentiality factors and limits, and:  

A. Practices relating to release of information and recordkeeping

B. Fees, payment, and cancellation policies

C. A summary of the professional’s credentials

D. All of the above


5. Which of the following is NOT a general exception to maintaining confidentiality that most professionals must adhere to?

A. Those related to child, elder, or dependent adult abuse

B. When there is a legal mandate to disclose information

C. If any past criminal activity involving a child is revealed

D. If there is threat of harm to self or others

Confidentiality with Minor Clients

6. Although confidentiality issue with minors are often complicated, each of the therapists that evaluated the vignette involving Susie and Mark agreed that the level of risky sexual behavior that Susie was exhibiting warranted informing her parents in order to protect her safety.

A. True

B. False

Professional Competence and Integrity

7. According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, domains for MFTs that fall under the professional competence subdomain include facilitating therapeutic involvement of all necessary participants in treatment, and recognizing issues that might suggest referral for specialized evaluation, assessment, or care.

A. True

B. False

Professional Boundaries in Supervisorial Relationships

8. When MFTs serve as supervisors to other professionals or students, they are expected to maintain the same standard of professionalism they exhibit as therapists, which includes avoiding exploitation and acting in a way that establishes and preserves trust.

A. True

B. False

Financial Arrangements

9. Therapists should have a clear statement about financial responsibility in their informed consent agreement or their disclosure statement, and must make financial arrangements with clients that are:

A. Reasonable

B. Straightforward

C. Scrupulous

D. Typical

Cultural Competence

10. Although culturally competent therapists have self-awareness, knowledge, skills, and framework to make sound, ethical, and culturally appropriate decisions, conflicts may arise when their beliefs are in opposition to values and practices of other cultures.

A. True

B. False

11. In the clinical vignette involving Janine and Han, Janine clearly violates an ethical and professional responsibility when she sees marks and bruises on Han’s shoulders and fails to immediately contact child welfare services.

A. True

B. False

12. The term ____________ is used to acknowledge that while we may never truly understand the experiences of another cultural group of which we are not members, we will have a respectful attitude and approach toward different points of view.

A. Culural correctness

B. Cultural obedience

C. Cultural humility

D. Cultural resignation

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