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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
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counselling policies, guidelines, in regard to making diagnosis

Resolved Question:

counselling policies, guidelines, in regard to making diagnosis and referral of clients, the limitations of the counselor, confidentiality issues when making referrals, discussions around the taking of medications, ie what should and should not be said to the client by the counselor.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.

Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr. L :

The best place to get the information you request is the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency and the Australian Psychological Association. Please see the following article on ethics as it will answer many of your questions and give you additional references.

Dr. L :

http://www.academia.edu/2578839/Ethical_considerations_for_practising_psychologists_in_Australia

Dr. L :

I await your response.

Dr. L :

Thank you.

Customer:

thank you , I do have access to these docs, however I really wanted to know; as a counselor how one discusses the issues around the taking of medications and referral to either a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist with the client.

Dr. L :

Hello...

Customer:

hello

Dr. L :

I'm not sure I understand your question about medication. Most counselors and clinical psychologists have limited knowledge about medication...but a reasonable enough knowledge to be able to suggest that a client be evaluated for medication by a physician or psychiatrist. That discussion would arise based on a client's self-report that they are unable to function because of depressive thoughts, suicidal ideation, and any number of other symptoms.

Dr. L :

A counselor should always refer to another professional if they do not have the skills and training to meet the clients need. For example, the client wants narrative therapy and you do not have that skill. You would refer out. Or, if the client exhibits mania and you don't have the skills to work with bi-polar.

Dr. L :

Confidentiality. Please check with your licensing agency about the rules of confidentiality between professionals. Here in the United States...no information can be shared without a signed Release of Information form.

Dr. L :

Can you explain more about: what should and should not be said to the client by the counselor...

Dr. L :

An example would be helpful.

Customer:

yes I agree, the question was based more around how one puts into practice guidelines the issue of discussing with the client referral and medication.

Dr. L :

If the counselor does not feel they have the expertise to work with the client, then the counselor can say, "I feel that I am not the best fit for you. I am skilled in X, but do not have the training and experience to handle Y. I would like to refer you to someone who has the experience and training to meet your needs." Or if it is about medication, "My experience suggests that having you evaluated for medication would be the best course of action. I would like you to set up an appointment with your physician or a psychiatrist. Is that something you would be willing to do?"

Dr. L :

Ethically, a therapist must refer out clients when they don't have the training to address the client's issues. If someone comes to you and they want marital therapy and you aren't trained..you must refer out.

Customer:

thank you, I appreciate your help, I am studying and I really have overloaded my brain with research data.

Dr. L :

I hope this has helped!

Dr. L :

Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with this evening.

Dr. L :

Thank you.

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience: Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
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