U05A1 Collaborating With Human Services Professionals


The case at hand involves a lady and her three children who are under evaluation for mental health counseling. The lady who has been seeing a counselor admits to feeling increasingly anxious which probably led her to drink occasionally. She is also in dire need of financial help to raise her children and she often expresses the feeling of being inadequate. The children, on the other hand, expressed behaviors of concern during their sessions with the therapist. The case has compelled a collaboration between several mental health professionals to help diagnose and treat the problems. This paper, therefore, outlines factors involved in the collaboration between the health professionals.

Roles and functions of professionals

As the counselor in this case, I have a special role of guiding other professionals by ensuring they act professionally and within their jurisdiction. First, the child therapist’s main role is to assess the behavior of the children to clarify their feelings towards the problem at hand (Keefe-Cooperman & Brady-Amoon, 2017). The therapist will also help note emotional and social disorders that the children may be suffering from silently. Additionally, the therapist should note how such disorders are affecting each child’s developmental milestones and advice on the appropriate steps to achieve a successful and fulfilling life.

After the assessment by the child therapist, the psychologist will carry further investigations and give a proper diagnosis for each child. The psychologist will also develop an individualized plan of treatment for each child. Further, the psychologist will complete a battery tests on the mother and present the final diagnosis to me. Finally, as the counselor, I will help each client individually develop an understanding of their situation and encourage them to express their worries and suggest the best way to deal with the present situation freely and openly.

Legal and ethical issues for the Interdisciplinary team

There are various legal and ethical issues that the team has to consider while dealing with this case. The American Counseling Association (ACA) provides a list of ethical considerations according to Kitchener’s five moral principles. The first ethical principle is autonomy which refers to the right of a client to make own decisions (Remley & Herlihy, 2016). This means that regardless of the opinion by either of the team members, the patient has the right to accept or reject it. Second, all stakeholders must uphold justice. The principle guides that each person should be treated fairly without discrimination. Third, stakeholders must uphold the principle of beneficence which means that all interventions must be to the benefit of the patient. Beneficence is closely followed by the ethical principle of non-maleficence which warns against inflicting harm on others (Remley & Herlihy, 2016). Lastly, fidelity is the fifth ethical consideration which calls for all stakeholders to be loyal in honoring commitments.

Further legal issues for the interdisciplinary team pertain to when a conflict arises between the client and a member of the team. ACA recommends that in such a case, a legal opinion should be considered (Remley & Herlihy, 2016). To avoid such legal conflicts, issues such as confidentiality should be clearly outlined in the contract between a client and the health provider. In cases where conflict is inevitable, the stakeholders are expected to seek the decision of a court where the outcome will be dependent on the interpretation of the law by the court.

The function of the counselor in collaborating

As the counselor, my overall duty is to analyze the assessments from the other professionals and decide on the best course of action. Under the guidance of observations from the other professionals, a counselor provides a long-lasting solution to manage the current situation (Wilder, 2018). This means that I will combine the suggestions from the other members of the team and develop a plan for them to work concurrently. This may also include providing social work services such as locating a foster home for the children if the therapist finds it unfit for them to stay in the current home.

Institutional barriers

Institutional barriers comprise procedures and policies that prevent patients from achieving the counseling goals. Some of the institutional barriers in counseling include legislation that discriminate against people with intellectual disabilities or mental health disorders (Keefe-Cooperman & Brady-Amoon, 2017). The other barrier includes cash transfer policies that deliberately segregate people with disabilities, thereby jeopardizing their chances of access services. Further, instances may exist where the procedure for registration is difficult to understand, especially for people with intellectual disabilities or mental health conditions. The ACA Code of ethics addresses such institutional barriers by emphasizing the ethical principles of justice and non-maleficence. Institutions, therefore, need to consider such principles while setting policies and guidelines in order to reduce the barriers.

Communication strategies for Legal and Ethical Issues

Dear Ellah,

This is Lee, a counselor. My client and I have decided to seek your services after a couple of sessions. The purpose of the visit will be for your evaluation and possible diagnosis. With permission from my client, I will share assessment results from the therapist, a report from the psychologist as well as my observations. After your evaluation, I would like to receive a report from you about the diagnosis and the appropriate treatment and management plan for the client. I am looking forward to a productive collaboration with you.


Lee Reign

+81 123 457 111


While collaborating human services in counseling often leads to desirable results, it calls for utmost dedication and commitment. Each of the stakeholders in the team thus needs to understand his/her roles and responsibilities to achieve the anticipated goals and objectives. Besides, to ensure the comfort of the patients, the team needs to regularly refer to the code of ethics in counseling.


  • Keefe-Cooperman, K., & Brady-Amoon, P. (2017). Psychology, counseling psychology, and professional counseling: Shared roots, challenges, and opportunities. The European Journal of Counselling Psychology6(1), 41-62. The European Journal of Counselling Psychology, 6(1), 41–62, doi:10.5964/ejcop.v6i1.105
  • Remley, T. P., Jr., & Herlihy, B. P. (2016). Ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
  • Wilder, C. (2018). Promoting the role of the school counselor. Journal of Professional Counseling: Practice, Theory & Research45(2), 60-68. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15566382.2019.1646085