Topic - Ethics

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

A Rare Moment of Self-Disclosure

Revealing Ourselves to Clients

Deborah Buckwalter • 1/4/2019 • 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 • 1/1/2019 • 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 • 12/16/2018 • 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 • 11/6/2018 • 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 • 11/1/2018 • 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 • 10/5/2018 • 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 • 10/4/2018 • 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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July Quandary: My Client Uses Me in Inappropriate Hypothetical Examples!

Six Clinicians Give Their Take on This Tricky Clinical Scenario

Chris Lyford • 8/11/2018 • No Comments

By Chris Lyford - A male client uses his therapist in hypothetical examples, which the therapist finds inappropriate. Recently, when they were discussing healthy dating habits, he said, “So if you and I went to a movie, would it be okay to hold your hand afterwards?” The therapist wants to bring it up in their next session but is unsure how to do so. Here's how six clinicians say they'd tackle the situation.

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Setting Boundaries in an Age of Informality

Discussing Ethics with Clients from the First Session

Mary Jo Barrett • 8/2/2018 • 1 Comment

By Mary Jo Barrett - As the status of the therapist has shifted from that of an oversized figure with Svengali-like powers to that of an overworked and underpaid service provider at the mercy of the client-consumer who might sue him or her for some infraction, what are we to make of our traditional ethical codes?

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Confessions of a Former People Pleaser

The Radical Act of Rethinking Your Boundaries

Alicia Muñoz • 4/19/2018 • 2 Comments

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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