A summary of the ethical complaint demonstrating a boundary violation


Post the following:

  • A summary of the ethical complaint demonstrating a boundary violation (e.g., what boundary violation the licensee was accused of and why) evidence, findings, decision, and disciplinary action taken/sanctions (e.g., license revoked, license suspended, license surrendered, consent agreement, supervision designation revoked, mandated supervision, mandated continuing education). Note: This information is often contained in the consent agreement made between the state counseling board and the licensee.
  • Then identify the ethical codes and laws that were violated and offer an explanation to support selection of these codes/laws.
  • Lastly, put yourself in the situation of the counselor in the ethical complaint you selected, and discuss how you would have avoided this boundary violation if you were in a similar situation.


Remley, T. P., & Herlihy, B. (2020). Ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.Chapter 9, “Boundary Issues”

American Counseling Association (ACA). (2014). 2014 ACA Code of Ethics. Alexandria, VA: Author. Retrieved from https://www.counseling.org/resources/aca-code-of-e…Section B: Confidentiality and Privacy
Section I: Resolving Ethical Issues

American School Counseling Association. (2016). ASCA ethical standards for school counselors. Retrieved from https://www.schoolcounselor.org/asca/media/asca/Et…

Hendricks, B., Bradley, L., Ballard, M., Peluso, P., & Southern, S. (2018). International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors Ethics Code. FAMILY JOURNAL26(1), 5-10.

Kaplan, D. M., Francis, P. C., Hermann, M. A., Baca, J. V., Goodnough, G. E., Hodges, S., Spurgeon, S. L., Wade, M. E. (2017). New concepts in the ACA Code of © 2018 Laureate Education, Inc. Page 3 of 5 Ethics. Journal of Counseling & Development, 95(1), 110–120. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcad.12122

Wilkinson, T., Smith, D., & Wimberly, R. (2019). Trends in ethical complaints leading to professional counseling licensing boards disciplinary actions. Journal of Counseling & Development, 97(1), 98–104. doi:10.1002/jcad.12239 

This is how you were supposed to do it. Can you please make correction

Summary of ethical violation

On September 14, 2018, Ms. Wanda Martin, a Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor was accused of potential ownership in another Behavioral Health center while working for a state ran mental health facility. On October 11, 2018, Ms. Martin admitted to having sole ownership of M&M Behavioral Health Center, which is a private mental health facility.

Ethical Codes/Laws violated

Ms. Martin failed to disclose that she had sole ownership of M&M Behavioral Health Center with her supervisor which lead to a violation of the ACA Code of Ethic C.3.d stating, “Counselors do not use their places of employment or institutional affiliation to recruit clients, supervisors, or consultees for their private practices,” which was doubted throughout Ms. Martin’s employment through the state. Ms. Martin also violated ACA Code of Ethic D.1.g. which also states, “The acceptance of employment in an agency or institution implies that counselors are in agreement with its general policies and principles,” which may have been outlined in the employer agreement since the supervisor took legal action against Ms. Martin.

Disciplinary Action

Ms. Wanda Martin agreed to resolve the legal conflict through a Consent Agreement and Order. Her license was publicly reprimanded, ordered to obtain six hours of continuing education in ethics approved by the NBCC (National Board of Certified Counselors) before October 31, 2019, as well as pay a fine of $1,200 within two years of the dated Consent and Agreement Order. Furthermore, Ms. Martin also must pay a fine of $500 within two years of the dated CAO.

How would I have avoided this situation?

In this scenario, I would have notified my employer of any other employment that I partake in. Being that both places were within the same field, I would have double checked to make sure it didn’t interfere with any conflicts of interest. Most employers require many to disclose any other jobs that one may have, so it is better to stick on the safe side and reveal any ownership or employment with another company to avoid legal action.


American Counseling Association. (2014). ACA code of ethics. https://www.counseling.org/resources/aca-code-of-e…

Disciplinary Action. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2020, from https://www.lpcboard.org/disciplinary-action

(2019, January 18). Retrieved from https://www.lpcboard.org/assets/docs/discipline/18…


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