Case Study Analysis


For counselors, the ability to make sound ethical decisions in the client’s best interest is paramount and can be challenging, especially in a dilemma situation. However, counselors are expected to respond in a way that reflects the best ethical fit and practice. Based on principles such as autonomy, justice, fidelity, nonmaleficence, and beneficence, the ethical codes that counselors espouse play a pivotal role in the therapeutic process.

For this case study, there are elements of ethical implications; you will describe the key elements of the case that must be addressed and identify how ethical codes apply. Using this information, you will formulate and justify a plan of action based on the application of an ethical decision-making model and historical precedents.

Case Study

You are assigned a new client at your agency. Dave is a 39-year-old middle-class Caucasian man who has been mandated to attend counseling. Upon intake, Dave states that he is angry about being made to attend counseling. Four months before that, he and his wife had an altercation in which law enforcement was called. He was subsequently arrested for domestic violence, and the Department of Children and Family Services intervened because his two children (a seven-year-old boy and a ten-year-old girl) were present at the time of the fight. He has been ordered to successfully complete substance abuse counseling because he was under the influence.

When prompted about his anger, Dave tells you that he is angry that he had to leave his home and attend treatment. He states that his wife had equal blame. Further, he states that he never wanted children in the first place and feels trapped because of them. Now he feels as though his freedom has been taken away because he lost his job, his house, and his ability to enjoy a few drinks because he will lose the children he never wanted. Over the next month, Dave is compliant with attending counseling, but he seemed resistant and guarded during his sessions.

Over the weekend, you go to a local bar with your friends and notice your client is drinking at the bar. You proceed with your plans and do not acknowledge him. Over the next hour or so, you watch him become increasingly intoxicated. What do you do?


For this homework, you will analyze the case study by conceptualizing the case and applying a decision-making model that is appropriate for the situation.

Specifically, the following  critical elements must be addressed:

Case Conceptualization

  1. Describe the  key components of the case study that are essential in conceptualizing the case. (In this section, include each of the Key Components (presenting issues, maladaptive patterns, predispositions, and triggers).
  2. Identify the  ethical codes that are relevant to working with this specific case in a professional counseling capacity. (Refer to the ACA Code of Ethics to help identify ethical codes that are relevant to working with this case study. You should summarize the code using the letter/number and title identifiers of each code and law in this section)

Decision Making

  1. Choose an ethical decision-makingmodel  that is appropriate for conceptualizing this case.
  2. Using  historical precedence, explain why you chose this course of action.
  3. Apply the components of your chosen decision-making model to the case to determine the ethical and legal  considerations that need to be made. (Refer to the ACA Code of Ethics to help determine the ethical and legal considerations that need to be made).

III. Reflection Based on your personal counseling philosophy, discuss how this case influences professional counseling practice in our society.

What to Submit

Your case study analysis should be 3 to 5 pages in length and should use double spacing, one-inch margins, and 12-point Times New Roman font. Sources should be cited according to APA style.

Last Updated on August 12, 2023

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