Counselling Dilemma: Parenting Decisions
James is a 13 year old teenager in Grade 7 at school. His parents have recently divorced and share custody of James. His father Brett has noticed a shift in James’s behaviour over the last few weeks. During conversations, James is abrupt, curt and tries to avoid conversation. Most recently, James’s English teacher at school requested a parent-teacher interview because James has been caught lying about why his homework wasn’t completed. When his father (Brett) asks James about it, he just says: “Mum knows about it, so why should I talk to you about it?” When asked about why he has responded that way, James ignores his father and storms into his room. James’s father (Brett) has spoken James’s mother (Doreen) recommending James speak with a professional counsellor.
Doreen disagrees and believes that he’s just going through a stage and that it’s more likely due to his father’s poor parenting skills. James parents both have opposing views on the subject. James’s Dad (Brett) decides to take action without Doreen’s knowledge and books an appointment for James to see a therapist.
As the counsellor in this scenario, what would you do next? What ethical and legal issues would you consider?