Thanks for making your way to my blog! I’m super excited about this endeavor, and I hope to help many with my perspective and witty writing style. (Who said writing about ethics couldn’t be fun? I shall overpower them with my nerdiness!)

Let’s go over a couple of housekeeping items before we get started, shall we?

  1. If I have a question, how do I contact you? Please send your inquiry to ryan.aquilina.lcmhc@protonmail.com . All inquirers will have their names or any identifying details changed in order to protect anonymity.
  2. Who the heck are you and why do you think you’re an ethical authority? I’m definitely not an ethical authority, reader! I just have lots of different experiences from my time as a counselor and supervisor that give me a unique perspective. I also feel that I am nerdy enough about ethics to be able to share them. There are many perspectives out there, all valid, and I’m just adding my voice. I consult with people all the time, and ethics in counseling is something I’m SUPER passionate about. That being said…
  3. Please, please, please do not let this blog be your only ethical consultation if you find yourself in need of it. The viewpoint that I express is mine and mine alone. (I may have other people guest-post for me every once in a while, but that’s Later Ryan’s decision. Starting a private practice is HARD, y’all.) Any good consulting about ethical issues deserves WAY more than one viewpoint. There are tons of great resources, like your licensure board, colleagues, liability insurance, overall governing bodies (like the American Counseling Association or American Mental Health Counseling Association, both of which have ethics hotlines), and so many more – use them!
  4. I am not responsible for any negative implications that come from decisions you make after reading this blog. In other words, please don’t sue me.
  5. We are all counselors here. Please de-identify information to the best of your ability. Even if you do, I’ll still do it for you anyway, too. Please don’t use names or expressed genders whenever possible if you submit a question. I tend toward gender-neutral pronouns when I write, and I’m going to de-identify your information as well so that it can’t be traced back to you.
  6. I am a mandated reporter in the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Please know that if you give me information that is reportable, I will report it. I really like my freedom, I really like being a licensed clinician, I really like not paying thousands of dollars in fines, and I really, really hate subpoenas.
  7. If it doesn’t become glaringly obvious to you from the get-go, I’ll just come right out and say that I’m not by any stretch of the imagination a legal expert. Will we talk about legal issues? Of course. How can we not, when ethics and laws around counseling intersect so much? I will say things, but definitely consult your liability insurance provider, too. They’ll have way more answers and authority on what to do than I ever, ever will (or should, for that matter).
  8. There is no ethical territory too uncomfortable for me to address. We all get into spicy situations that we don’t know how to handle – from sexual attraction to clients or supervisees, to boundary issues that are difficult to navigate, to having to violate confidentiality for legal reasons. Bring it on! I want to hear all of it!
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