Ethical Query

If you had a client who confided in you and told you he had an STD and was sexually active with his partner, how would you go about the situation?


Ben's Answer:

Legally, I could not break my client's confidentiality - even if it was a serious STD. But ethically, I would confront my client very directly about this reckless behavior and would not simply ignore it. If my client revealed this to me, then he told me for a reason, and he's wanting me to respond in some meaningful way.

I would insist that he get whatever help he needed to resolve this issue and stop this hurtful behavior, just as I would respond to a man who admits he's been physically or sexually abusive to his partner.

Depending on the situation I might even make a contract with him to make a promise to engage in this behavior while we are working together in therapy.

I'm curious to know what prompted this question?

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