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Dorian, licensed psychologist, has a 79-year-old African-American client named Roberta who has come to counseling

at the insistence of her children. Roberta wants to maintain her own home, but her children and neighbors are convinced that she can no longer care for it properly. Roberta begins the interview by stating that if anyone forces her to move she will commit suicide because she has nothing else to live for. In the course of the session Roberta admits some problems with independent living, and seems to be distractible and unfocused in her comments. However, she does not seem disoriented or unable to meet her own needs. After several sessions, Dorian concludes that Roberta would probably be better off not having responsibility for a large home on her own. Dorian also concludes that while Roberta's mental capacities are not as strong as they once were, this woman is competent and in touch with reality. Whatever suicide risk that existed before has diminished. When the family calls Dorian to ask about Roberta's progress in counseling he decides to reveal this information to them, even though he has not received prior permission from Roberta to do so.

 

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