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Topic - Ethics

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

February Quandary: My Clients Are Asking Personal Questions!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford • 2 Comments

By Chris Lyford - A therapist works from his home office, which means clients sometimes observe elements of his personal life. He's had clients ask about his electric car in the driveway, his dog, and where his kids go to school. He's gently asked these clients if they can stay on topic, but worries about seeming callous. Here are five creative examples of how other therapists have dealt with this.

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When Therapy Calls for a Boundary Crossing

A Story About When Professional Helping Meets Human Concern

Dea Silbertrust • 5 Comments

By Dea Silbertrust - After 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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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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A Rare Moment of Self-Disclosure

Revealing Ourselves to Clients

Deborah Buckwalter • 2 Comments

By Deborah Buckwalter - The first time I saw Michael, I could barely distinguish his form as human.  A young man in his 20s, Michael had been the sole survivor of a plane crash. The sight of him was unlike anything I’d witnessed before, as was his question that left me confronting everything I'd come to believe about therapist self-disclosure.

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December Quandary: I Accepted a Gift from My Client!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take on What to Do Now

Chris Lyford • No Comments

By Chris Lyford - Asha recently gave her therapist a homemade necklace, which he accepted, thinking it innocuous enough. Now, she brings it up almost every session, asking why he's not wearing it and if he still likes it. Asha has a history of attachment issues, and her therapist worries his response might offend her or cause her to quit therapy. Here's how five therapists say they'd respond.

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The Wonder of an Unexpected Alliance

A Therapist's Surprise Connection With Her Client

Christina Emanuel • 2 Comments

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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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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The New Realities of Dying

A Daughter Struggles with the Medical System's Epidemic of Overtreatment

Katy Butler • 3 Comments

By Katy Butler - Although many doctors assume that people want to extend their lives, many do not. I believe that my father’s doctors did their best within a compartmentalized and time-pressured medical system. But in the absence of any other guiding hand, there is no doubt that economics helped shape the wider context in which doctors made decisions.

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

Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls

Janine Roberts • 3 Comments

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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