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Managing Confidentiality

Three Things I Learned from My Small-Town Practice

Daniela Gitlin • 1 Comment

By Daniela Gitlin - When you practice in a rural town, sometimes it can feel like everyone is connected to each other. Instead of worrying about boundary and confidentiality violations, I've learned a strategy that embraces the dilemma instead of avoiding it.

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January Quandary: Should I Keep One Partner’s Secret in Couples Therapy?

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford • 3 Comments

By Chris Lyford - Mark and his wife, Nicole, have been in couples therapy for almost six months. But Mark recently requested an individual session, where he revealed he recently shared a kiss with an old girlfriend and has plans to rekindle their friendship. He's asked his therapist to keep the whole thing a secret. Here's how five clinicians say they'd tackle the situation.

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October Quandary: My Clients and I Use the Same Dating Apps!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford • 1 Comment

By Chris Lyford - A therapist recently joined a few online dating apps after finding herself newly single. She's seen several clients come up in these apps, and suspects they've seen her too. This puts her in an awkward position with these clients. Here's how five therapists say they'd tackle the situation.

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September Quandary: My Client Invited Me to a Family Barbecue!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford • 1 Comment

By Chris Lyford - A therapist recently moved to a new town and discovered that his client's daughter attends the same school as his son. The client recently invited his family to a barbecue, but he feels uncomfortable attending. Here's how five therapists say they'd tackle the situation.

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When Guiding Turns to Flirting

A Therapist Shares Her Story

Mary Jo Barrett • 1 Comment

By Mary Jo Barrett - Before it happened to me, I had never heard even my closest colleague talk about falling in love with a client. In our consultation group, the subject was once broached purely theoretically, and everyone became uncomfortably quiet. Yet, I want to break our conspiracy of silence so that we can get help when we need it. And believe me, when it came to Scott, I did.

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Keeping Secrets When Everyone Already Knows Them

A Therapist in Small-Town America Struggles with New Ethical Dilemmas

Jan Michael Sherman • No Comments

By Jan Michael Sherman - When my wife and I moved to a place in the Yukon so small that when someone sneezed at one end of town, someone at the other end reached for the Kleenex, I quickly found that practicing therapy could get pretty tricky. Not only did everyone know everyone else's business, everyone was in everyone else's business.

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VIDEO: Bill Doherty on the Rewards of Civic Commitment

Creating Space for a Conversation About Civic Commitments

William Doherty • No Comments

Sometimes our clients have commitments to groups or causes that enrich their lives and social connections. But very often, says couples therapist Bill Doherty, therapists don't inquire about these elements of our clients' lives. In fact, he adds, there seems to be a bias against doing so. In the following clip from his 2017 Networker Symposium Keynote address, Doherty explains how exploring civic commitments can also advance therapy.

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When Ethical Standards Hold Us Back

"Forbidden" Acts May Be Among the Most Powerful Methods at Our Disposal

Ofer Zur • 1 Comment

By Ofer Zur - Currently, the field is so deluged with dire warnings of imminent professional ruin that many therapists practice under a cloud of fear. Should they accept a gift of home-baked cookies from a client at Christmas? Should they acknowledge a client in a grocery store or synagogue? The problem is that many of these "forbidden" acts may be among the most powerful therapeutic methods at our disposal.

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Thinking Outside the Gift

A Story of Navigating a Tricky Ethical Issue Creatively

Lisa Ferentz • 1 Comment

By Lisa Ferentz - Sometimes, clients give us the gifts they want for themselves but don’t feel worthy of receiving. And sometimes, by helping them see the attributes in themselves that they admire in us, we can help them reconnect with those qualities.

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From Good Person to Ethical Professional

Mitch Handelsman on the Effectiveness of Ethics Acculturation

Rich Simon • 6 Comments

There’s a big difference between being a generally nice person with good intentions and an ethical professional. So how do we bridge that gap?

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