Read the following case study and answer the proceeding questions:
Frank is a 29-year-old male client with a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Frank has entered counseling to achieve sobriety. Frank reports his battle with drugs and alcohol began in college. While attending college, Frank would often go to parties and/or bars and use drugs or drink excessively. Frank admits he often would “black-out” and wake up in random places and in “strange” women’s beds after a night out drinking. After college Frank continued to binge drink and use drugs. Frank also admits his “black-outs” continued and he would often “pick up” women while he was out “partying.” Frank has tested positive for several sexually transmitted diseases (STDs); however, he has continued to engage in unprotected intercourse under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Frank reports he often “dates” multiple women at one time and combines binge alcohol drinking, drugs such as cocaine and sex to numb the depression he feels over his past actions. Frank is not sure if he can stop his previously mentioned actions because they have been “an intricate part of his life for so long”. Additionally, Frank reports he does enjoy himself when he is drinking and doing drugs even if it brings him depression later on. With that said, Frank understands he needs to stop his unhealthy lifestyle because his actions are putting his health, and the health of others, in jeopardy.
Several weeks pass and Frank makes positive progress with his drug and alcohol addiction, although he reports he is still having trouble refraining from unprotected sex with multiple partners. As time progresses, Frank continues to tell his social worker, Jonathan, stories about his past drinking episodes and drug abuse. Jonathan listens carefully to Frank’s reports and picks up several details which peak interest. Several days later, via social media outlets, Jonathan discovers that a close friend is romantically linked to Frank.
Although Jonathan is not certain of the details regarding the relationship between the close friend and Frank, he is concerned for the health of both parties. Stuck in the middle of loyalty to a friend and professional obligations to Frank, Jonathan is not sure how to proceed with the professional information obtained through counseling sessions with Frank and the observations made via various social media outlets.
1. Identify the dilemma.
2. Who is Jonathan obligated to protect? Why?
3. How can Jonathan continue to work with Frank AND protect his friend while holding to his professional responsibilities?