Topic - Ethics

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We've gathered Psychotherapy Networkers most popular posts and arranged them here by topic.

When Teens Self-Harm: How to Effectively Involve Parents

Two Experts Weigh In

Victoria Kress, John Sommers-Flanagan

When working with a young client who's struggling with self-harm, how should clinicians navigate the practical, emotional, and ethical difficulties surrounding how to involve parents and caregivers?

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Managing Confidentiality

Three Things I Learned from My Small-Town Practice

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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March Quandary: Yikes, I’m Attracted to My Client

Five Clinicians Weigh In

Psychotherapy Networker

A therapist finds her client attractive and says their conversations sometimes border on flirtatious. She says she'd never act on these feelings, but worries about how it might affect their work together. She's also not sure whether to bring this up, how she might do so, and whether to refer him out. Five clinicians share how they'd handle the situation.

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When Therapy Calls for a Boundary Crossing

A Story About When Professional Helping Meets Human Concern

Dea Silbertrust

By Dea Silbertrust - After my surgery, my therapist's willingness to trade the comfort and security of her office for my apartment would be considered a boundary crossing by some. But in accommodating me, she demonstrated the difference between a boundary crossing and a boundary violation, and, more important, what it means to offer a simple act of grace to another human being.

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The Wonder of an Unexpected Alliance

A Therapist's Surprise Connection with Her Client

Christina Emanuel

By Christina Emanuel - Ryan’s reputation arrived before he did: brilliant, oppositional, angry, a general pain in the butt, and autistic. Over the years, he certainly tried my patience and tested my commitment to him. But one day, a few years into his treatment, Ryan noticed a shift in me that helped me redefine what he's capable of, and what we're capable of together.

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The Do's and Don'ts of Self-Disclosure

Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls

Janine Roberts

By Janine Roberts - When I've asked people who've gone to therapy what was most helpful, again and again, they've described times when their therapists shared something about their own personal struggles. Today, with the informality of our culture, both therapists and clients are likelier to step across previous professional guidelines.

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Can You Keep a Secret?

A Story of How One Therapist Changed Her Mind About Keeping Secrets

Evan Imber-Black

By Evan Imber-Black - Decades ago, a family walked into one therapist's office and utterly destroyed her beliefs about keeping secrets.

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Confessions of a Former People Pleaser

The Radical Act of Rethinking Your Boundaries

Alicia Muñoz

By Alicia Muñoz - I used to view boundaries as a fancy way of dressing up rejection, incompetence, and selfishness. But after a decade of working as a couples counselor, I've learned just how much they create safety in relationships. They’re guardians of our life force, energy incubators, protectors of precious emotional resources, stokers and fuelers of self-respect.

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May Quandary: Is It Ever Okay to Break Confidentially If I Know My Client Is Dating an Abuser?

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Psychotherapy Networker

Diedre was widowed about three years ago, but was excited to tell her therapist about a man she's started dating. She's very happy. As her therapist heard more, he realized this is the same man another client used to date, who slowly became controlling and abusive. Should Diedre's therapist share this info? Five therapists weigh in.

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Marijuana and Mental Health

How Concerned Should Psychotherapists Be?

Tori Rodriguez

By Tori Rodriguez - The more marijuana legalization reaches mainstream acceptance, the more the divisions of opinion within the mental health field—presumably the professionals who have the most scientifically informed perspective on the debate—become apparent.

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