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Research a current issue in relation to the topic - Assignment Example

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Peer counseling has proven to be a more comfortable manner for students in dealing with their experience. With this on hand, it is essential that…
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The Importance of Legal Privilege in Peer Counselling Introduction In order to create a more trustworthy environment for sexually abused inuniversities, peer counselling was established. Peer counseling has proven to be a more comfortable manner for students in dealing with their experience. With this on hand, it is essential that this conversation remains confidential. However, according to Caroline Kitchener, in most universities, counselling between the individual and a peer-counselor does not have a legal privilege that allows the peer counselor to guarantee full confidentiality of their conversation. For this reason, the paper will dwell on the solution and the effects of the lack of legal privilege towards the male and female along with recognizing the prevailing stereotype of the issue on hand.
The Need for Confidentiality in Peer Counselling
It has been proven that college students who encountered abuse are more comfortable in dealing with their experience with their peers rather than with professionals. In this manner, it is more acceptable to these students to deal with their experience with an informal conversation with their peers (Balk 179). According to the report written by Caroline Kitchener, she cited that it has been reported that most of the universities in the United States are already offering “peer-to-peer sexual assault counselling programme.” This programme is beneficial for students, as well as for the institution. However, most of these undergraduate peer counsellors receive at most 24 hours training. This is supported by the study of Salovey and D’Andrea (264) that shows most of the peer counsellors receive inadequate training materials and programs prior to being peer counsellors. The interview of the peer counsellors suggested that there was inappropriate and synchronized training model for the peer counsellors. The problem with this inadequate training is that the peer counsellors do not have the legal privilege to make their conversations with the involved individuals confidential. Therefore, the university peer counsellors must undergo trainings which are approved by the state in order for them to practice legal privilege in terms of confidentiality. Legal privilege is given to them in order to protect the involved individuals when forced to disclose their conversations (Anderson). The lack of assurance that the conversation between the peer counsellor and the involved individual often times restricts the involved individual in being honest with the counsellor. For both men and women, they will be hesitant in sharing their vulnerable and fragile moments and feelings towards the peer counsellor. The involved individuals will eventually be trapped in their own fear, guilt, and shame without having someone who will understand their situation (Kitchener). Aside from confidentiality, the peer counsellor must also be knowledgeable on the involved individual’s acculturation and ethnic identity. In this manner, he or she will be able to understand where the involved individual is coming from and will also be able to understand his or her understanding of the situation. It is important to know these details in order for him or her to incorporate specific terms and manner of approach to the involved person (Topping and Ehly 230-231).
It can be inferred that the importance of legal privilege must be addressed by the universities in the aspect of peer counselling. For this reason, the lack of confidentiality often time deters the victims to seek the help of peer counsellors. It is important to give state-regulated trainings for peer counsellors in order for them to practice legal privilege in counselling sessions. Along with this, they must also acquire proper understanding of the culture of the person they are counselling to avoid stereotyping.
Works Cited
Anderson, Beverly, J. 2002. Confidentiality in counselling: What police officers need to
 know. Washington, DC: Gift from Within.
Balk, David, E. Helping the Bereaved College Student. New York, NY: Springer
Publishing Company, 2011. Print.
Kitchener, Caroline. “When Sexual Assault Counselling in US Colleges is Not
Confidential.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited, 11 Dec. 2012. Web. 12 Dec. 2012. .
Salovey, Peter, and Vincent J. D’Andrea. “A Survey of Campus Peer Counselling
Activities.” Journal of American college Health 32 (1984): 262-412. Print.
Topping, Keith, and Stewart W. Ehly. Peer-Assisted Learning. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence
Erlbaum Associates Publishers, 1998. Print. Read More
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