Disordered-eating symptoms are common client concerns that can escalate into significant biopsychosocial consequences, including potentially lethal medical complications. It is important for counselors to be aware of ethical challenges that can arise when assessing for and treating these concerns. The presenter will describe strategies for assessing initial client symptoms, explore risk factors, and use an ethical decision-making model to guide a discussion of challenging ethical conflicts in counseling practice.
Participants will receive information regarding the assessment of eating, weight, and shape-based concerns, and when these concerns become risk factors for full-syndrome eating disorders.
Participants will understand the significant biopsychosocial consequences related to eating disorders, how these impact treatment decisions, and how they necessitate a multidisciplinary approach to treatment.
Participants will be able to apply an ethical decision making model to managing common ethical challenges in the treatment of eating disorders: (a) issues related to counselor scope of competence when assessing initial client concerns anywhere along the continuum of eating, weight, and shape-related problems; (b) tensions in upholding client confidentiality versus parental legal rights when working with minor clients who disclose disordered eating symptoms, and (c) deciding when to prioritize a client’s right to make his or her own treatment decisions versus upholding one’s ethical duty to protect clients from harm.
Professor, Counselor Education,
Louisiana State University