Psychotherapy holds out the promise of help for people who are hurting and in need. It can save lives and change lives. In therapy, clients can find their strengths and sense of hope. They can change course toward a more meaningful and healthy life. They can confront loss, tragedy, hopelessness, and the end of life in ways that do not leave them numb or paralyzed. They can discover what brings them joy and what sustains them through hard times. They can (...) begin to trust, or to trust more wisely. They can learn new behaviors in therapy and how to teach themselves new behaviors after therapy ends. They can question what they always believed was a given. They can find out what matters most to them, and how to stop wasting time. They can become happier, or at least less miserable. They can become better able, as Freud noted, to love and to work. They can learn how to accept and love themselves just as they are and accept others who are different from them. Our ethics acknowledge and affirm our profession's responsibilities. This book was written to help strengthen, deepen, and inform ethical awareness and the sense of personal ethical responsibility. Its job is to help you hold onto the ideals-including ethical ideals-that called you into the profession to begin with, to help you develop and fulfill those ideals. There will be so much-trust us on this-that tends to dull ethical awareness, to make ethics drift out of focus, to create barriers between you and your ideals, to replace ethics with pseudo-ethics and ethics placebos. Fatigue, endless paperwork, unrealistic expectations, illness, family crises, not being able to make ends meet, burn out, threats of job loss, insurance coverage that doesn't come close to meeting the needs of our clients, biases that have not been addressed, and so many other forces can pressure us into cutting ethical corners. This book is intended to help you develop a strong and healthy resistance to such forces, to help you weather them without losing your ethical awareness and ideals. (shrink)
The comprehensive guide to ethics "An excellent blend of case law, research evidence, down-to-earth principles, and practical examples from two authors with outstanding expertise. Promotes valuable understanding through case illustrations, self-directed exercises, and thoughtful discussion of such issues as cultural diversity."--Dick Suinn, president-elect 1998, American Psychological Association "The scenarios and accompanying questions will prove especially helpful to those who offer courses and workshops concerned with ethics in psychology."--Charles D. Spielberger, former president, American Psychological Association; distinguished research professor of psychology, University (...) of South Florida The authors draw on their professional experience, empirical studies, and case examples to examine the ethical responsibilities that confront psychotherapists and counselors in their day-to-day practice. They offer insights into contending with the sometimes competing demands of clients' needs, formal ethical principles, personal values, and evolving legal standards in a range of areas--including fees, informed consent, sexual concerns, confidentiality, documentation, and supervision. (shrink)
A survey form sent to psychologists (Pope, Keith-Spiegel, & Tabachnick, 1986) was adapted and sent to 1,000 clinical social workers (return rate = 45%). Most participants reported sexual attraction to a client, causing (for most) guilt, anxiety, or confusion. Some reported having sexual fantasies about a client while engaging in sex with someone other than a client. Relatively few (3.6% men; 0.5% women) reported sex with a client; training was related to likelihood of offending, though the effect is small and (...) complex. An analysis of eight national studies (data from 5,148 therapists) found significant effects for gender (more male offenders) and year of study (about 10% annual decrease in reported offenses since 1977) but not profession (i.e., no difference among psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers). Most social workers reported no graduate training whatsoever about sexual attraction; only 10% reported adequate training. (shrink)
A dual relationship in psychotherapy occurs when the therapist engages in another, significantly different relationship with the patient. The two relationships may be concurrent or sequential. For both sexual and nonsexual dual relationships, men are typically the perpetrators and women are typically the victims. This article presents examples of dual relationships, notes the attention that licensing boards and other agencies devote to this topic, reviews the meager research concerning nonsexual dual relationships, and discusses common strategies that promote both sexual and (...) nonsexual dual relationships. (shrink)
A profession's values - including its ethical values - are reflected in the degree to which its structures are accessible to people with disabilities. The profession expresses its values through the decisions of its members to effectively address barriers to access or to maintain those barriers through action or inaction. What barriers can block access to the field for psychologists and psychology students with disabilities? What barriers can block access for people with disabilities to the services that psychologists provide? This (...) brief editorial notes three major kinds of such barriers. (shrink)
A national survey sent to 450 female and 450 male licensed psychologists (return rate = 42%) found that about 73% of the participants reported encountering at least one patient who claimed to recover previously forgotten memories of childhood sex abuse. About 21% of the therapists concluded that, for at least one patient, the memory was false; about 50% of the therapists reported that at least one patient had found external validation for the abuse; about 12% of the therapists reported at (...) least one client who later decided that the memory was false; and about 15% of the therapists reported that at least one client who recovered memories filed a civil or criminal complaint. About 15% of the therapists reported encountering at least one patient alleged to have sexually abused a child who later recovered previously forgotten memories of the abuse. About 21% of these therapists concluded that, in at least one case, the memory was false; about 6% of the therapists concluded that, in at least one case, there appeared to be external validation for the memories; about 1% reported that, in at least one case, the person recovering the memories concluded that the memories had been false; and about 6% of these therapists reported at least one case in which a civil or criminal complaint had been filed against their client. Findings were analyzed in terns of therapist gender, patient gender, and theoretical orientation. (shrink)
Twelve-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous invite members to trust that what is said in meetings remains confidential. However, the New York Times, a prominent and influential newspaper, has breached that confidentiality, offering both a precedent and a rationale to other media including newspapers, cable news programs, internet news blogs, and so on. This prominent breach may influence not only other news media but also the trust that 12-step members have in their programs.