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PSYC FPX 4900 Assessment 2 An Ethical Analysis of a Case Study


Capella University

PSYC FPX 4900 Psychology Capstone Project

Prof. Name


Case Study

The evaluation revolves around Hannah, a high school guidance counselor, and Adara, a Muslim-American student at Riverbend City High School. Hannah, a 36-year-old African American female, is supporting Adara, who feels isolated due to being the only Muslim-American in her friend circle and faces bullying based on her appearance. Although Adara confides in Hannah, she hesitates to seek additional counseling outside of school without parental consent. During a session, Adara reveals thoughts of self-harm, leading Hannah to share this with Adara’s family, resulting in a breakdown of trust.

Ethical Concerns and Principles

The case raises ethical concerns regarding how Hannah addresses bullying, cultural bias, and the consequences of Adara’s disclosure. Ethical standards from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) provide guidance on these issues. This paper explores the ethical principles concerning reporting bullying and self-harm, emphasizing the need for timely and sensitive intervention.

Applied Ethical Principles and Standards

Adhering to APA principles, General Principle E emphasizes eliminating biases based on age, gender, religion, and culture to respect clients’ rights and dignity. In this case, Hannah should have acknowledged and respected Adara’s cultural background to avoid biases. Additionally, Principle 4.05 allows disclosing confidential information to prevent harm. However, a more informed and less invasive approach to disclosing information could have preserved trust in Adara’s case.

Similarly, ASCA’s Principle A.9 aligns with APA principles, emphasizing the obligation to inform family and authorities when a client poses harm to themselves or others. However, Hannah’s release of Adara without proper assessment contradicts this principle.

Alternative Solutions

An alternative approach involves promptly addressing and reporting bullying, collaborating with Adara, and creating educational opportunities to combat bullying. Alternatively, a cautious disclosure approach could involve consultation with a colleague without revealing confidential information, requiring additional training and mental health support in schools.


Addressing bullying from its root cause benefits all involved. A three-tiered approach focusing on support and counseling for both victims and aggressors, as suggested by Laletas (2019), aligns with early intervention strategies, crucial in stopping cyberbullying as supported by Smith (2015). Challenges include counselor workload, addressed by creating additional mental health support positions.

PSYC FPX 4900 Assessment 2 An Ethical Analysis of a Case Study


Proactive and ethical approaches are essential in addressing bullying and self-harm concerns in schools. Immediate reporting, collaboration, and early intervention are crucial. The proposed action plan aligns with ethical principles outlined by APA and ASCA, emphasizing creating a safe environment for all students.


American Psychological Association. (2010). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved from

Eklund, K., DeMarchena, S. L., Rossen, E., Izumi, J. T., Vaillancourt, K., & Rader Kelly, S. (2020). Examining the role of school psychologists as providers of mental and behavioral health services. Psychology in the Schools, 57(4), 489-

Laletas, S. (2019). Ethical decision making for professional school counselors: Use of practicebased models in secondary school settings. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 47(3), 283-291.

PSYC FPX 4900 Assessment 2 An Ethical Analysis of a Case Study

Smith, L. J. (2015). Minors’ right to confidentiality: Addressing the issue of bullying and the ethical obligation to prevent harm. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 25(7), 746-755.

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