ethical legal and professional issues in counseling related to couples and families

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the DVD segment “Ethical and Legal Considerations,” with Drs. Pete and Linda Palmo. Consider the interaction between couples and family counseling and the legal system, as well as the various ethical and legal concerns facing counselors who work with couples and families.
  • Think about how adherence to the ethical and legal codes and guidelines might affect a counselor’s court testimony and/or a counselor’s work with clients that is impacted or initiated by the legal system.
  • Select two ethical, legal, and/or professional issues and reflect on how they might impact a counselor’s court testimony and/or a counselor’s work with clients

  • With these thoughts in mind:
  • Post by Day 4 a brief description of each of the ethical, legal, or professional issues you selected. Explain how each might affect court testimony from a counselor working with couples and families and/or a counselor’s work with couples and families that is impacted or initiated by the legal system.

Use the required readings listed below


  • Course Text: Wetchler, J. L., & Hecker, L. L., & (Eds.). (2015). An introduction to marriage and family therapy (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
    • Chapter 15, “Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Marriage and Family Therapy” (pp. 505-545)
  • Course Text: Thomlison, B (2016). Family assessment handbook: An introduction (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
    • For review: pp. 17-18
  • Article: Patten, C., Barnett, T., & Houlihan, D. (1991). Ethics in marital and family therapy: A review of the literature. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 22(2), 171–175. Retrieved from the PsycARTICLES database. (AN pro-22-2-171)
  • Article: Wilcoxon, S. A. (1986). Engaging non-attending family members in marital and family counseling: Ethical issues. Journal of Counseling and Development, 64(5), 323–324. Retrieved from the Academic Search Premier database. (AN 4963099)

link to video:…


password: Laurelton88

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2008). Couples and family counseling: Ethical and legal considerations. Baltimore: Author.

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