Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Research Project on Counseling and Ethics

What should a therapist do when the obligation of confidentiality conflicts with the rights of others to be protected from harm?

This is one of the issues to be explored by Robert L. Schmitt, Ph.D., who has recently received a grant from the Center for Applied Ethics to examine ethical issues faced by counselors and therapists today. Dr. Schmitt, who teaches in the Santa Clara Graduate School of Counseling, Psychology, and Education, will be inviting counselors, licensed therapists, and a lawyer to relate cases which have left them with ethical dilemmas. Based on these first-hand reports, Schmitt will develop a collection of case studies, identify issues important to counselors, and suggest strategies for ethical decision-making.