Therapist-Client Relationship Term Paper

Length: 3 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Psychology Type: Term Paper Paper: #10120037 Related Topics: Play Therapy, Tort Law, Law Enforcement Ethics, Affordable Care Act
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Confidentiality and Informed Consent

Confidentiality has for a long period of time been embedded as the foundation of professional social work values. This is primarily because social workers show honesty and respect through safeguarding the confidentiality of their clients. The significance of confidentiality in social work is demonstrated in the fact that it is basis of ethical standards that govern the social work practices. The need for social workers to protect clients' confidentiality is because the nature of their work involves being provided with confidential and private information of clients. One of the events or incidents that have played a crucial role in demonstrating the significance of confidentiality in social work is the decision of Tarasoff v. The Board of Regents of the University of California. The process of informed consent and refusal play an important role in confidentiality in the therapist-client relationship.

Tarasoff v. The Board of Regents of the University of California

The California Supreme Court made a ruling in 1976 that psychotherapists have a responsibility to safeguard probable victims if their patients behaved in a manner that presented significant danger to another or made threats (Vitelli,...


This ruling or decision was made in the case of Tarasoff v. The Board of Regents of the University of California. In this lawsuit, plaintiffs i.e. Tatiana Tarasoff's parents claimed that psychiatrists at Cowell Memorial Hosptial had the responsibility to warn them of any potential danger by Prosenjit Poddar, their patient. After the Superior Court of Alameda County, California rejected the plaintiff's action, they appealed the decision at the California Supreme Court. The dismissal was based on the argument that the plaintiffs failed to provide a valid claim against the defendants i.e. The Board of Regents of the University of California, the police, and the therapists ("Tarasoff v. Regents of University of California," n.d.).

The California Supreme Court made this ruling on the basis that it is more important for therapists to safeguard the public that safeguarding confidentiality in client-therapist relationship. The aftermath of this decision was the enactment of laws mandating all therapists with the responsibility of protecting probable victims from potential harm or serious danger from their patients or clients. Therapists can achieve this through providing warnings to victims directly, taking necessary measures to prevent the harm or danger, and informing law enforcement agencies and personnel directly.

Link to the Therapist-Client Relationship

The decision in Tarasoff v. The Board of Regents University of California has considerable impacts on the therapist-client relationship in relation to confidentiality. The link between the ruling and this relationship is evident in the fact the case focused on examining the degree with which psychotherapists have the duty of safeguarding third persons…

Sources Used in Documents:


Fisher, C.B. & Oransky, M. (n.d.). Informed Consent to Psychotherapy and the American

Psychological Association's Ethics Code. Retrieved November 30, 2014, from

Fisher, M.A. (n.d.). Selected Ethical Standards About Informed Consent: Counselors (from ACA

Code of Ethics). Retrieved November 30, 2014, from
Comprehensive, Digital Legal Content. Retrieved November 30, 2014, from
Vitelli, R. (2014, July 28). Revisiting Tarasoff. Retrieved November 30, 2014, from

Cite this Document:

"Therapist-Client Relationship" (2014, November 30) Retrieved August 19, 2022, from

"Therapist-Client Relationship" 30 November 2014. Web.19 August. 2022. <>

"Therapist-Client Relationship", 30 November 2014, Accessed.19 August. 2022,

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