Psychotherapy Blog


The Death of Privacy

Posted by Richard Makover on 11/21/17 - 12:53 PM
Nowhere is privacy more important than in the mental health field. We psychotherapists have always insisted on the highest standard of confidentiality for our patients. We want to be more protective than HIPPA and outdo the CIA in insisting on need-to-know. Even without the absolute protection the law gives attorney-client relationships, we resist whenever possible any intrusions from courts and from government investigators. This effort has become even more important as privacy has disappeared from our society. People seem increasingly willing,...
Filed under: Law & Ethics

Statistics Don't Lie...Except When They Do

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 9/22/15 - 2:27 PM
As I was working on my doctorate I became interested in home stereo amplifiers. Armed with a fellow doctorate student who possessed infinite knowledge in this area I began the search for the perfect amplifier. My interest rapidly escalated into what could arguably have been diagnosed as a full-blown obsession. I visited stereo stores near and far. I read an endless stream of articles in the stereo magazines. I spoke with salesmen, saleswomen, and manufacturer's representatives. I attended stereo conventions. But...

Our Psychological Crisis: Making Sense of the American Psychological Association's Collusion with Torture

Posted by Deb Kory, PsyD on 7/28/15 - 5:38 PM
The recently released Hoffman Report, the independent investigation conducted by former Inspector General of Chicago David Hoffman into the American Psychological Association's (APA) collusion in the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo and other CIA "black sites," has sent shock waves through the psychology profession, whose members are not at all happy to be the public face of torture in America. Listservs around the country are erupting with consternation and outrage, with demands for accountability and justice and reform and cries...
Filed under: Law & Ethics

Bad Therapy: Let's Talk About Torture...Wait, What????!!!

Posted by Deb Kory, PsyD on 12/16/14 - 11:12 AM
Well, this blog got awfully serious quick. I was going to write this one about addiction and alcoholism—not the lightest topic either—but with the release of the Torture Report, also known as the Senate’s highly-redacted executive summary from the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program, I realized it would be morally remiss of me not to take this brief hot minute when the public eye is trained on this issue to share some information with...
Filed under: Law & Ethics

Ethics of Treating Two Psychotherapy Clients who Know Each Other

A question was recently posed to us about what to do when you discover in an early session with a new client that they are the former partner of another well-established client. Well, for those of you who actually stopped to think, “Oh, this may be a problem,” then you are certainly one step further away from sliding down the slippery slope of unethical behavior than those who did not recognize that this situation may pose a potential ethical dilemma....
Filed under: Law & Ethics

Ethical Guidelines: Do We Really Want What Is Best For Our Clients?

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 11/28/11 - 3:05 PM
Most therapists are familiar with the affliction of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD impacts approximately seven million people each year in America, mainly women. At one point in my career I shared a private practice office with a psychiatrist. She would use the office on some days and I would use it on others. When I entered the office for the first time I was struck by the fact that she had a phototherapy apparatus in the room. It was physically...

Receiving Gifts in Psychotherapy

What does your ethical code say about accepting gifts from clients? Is it ethical to do so? If you’re a psychologist, social worker, or marriage and family therapist, you’re probably not sure. That’s because your official code doesn’t address it. Surprisingly, there’s not a word about gifts in any of the codes pertaining to those disciplines. And yet, virtually every mental health practitioner has, or will, face a situation where some client offers a gift of some sort at some...
Filed under: Law & Ethics

Ethical and Legal Issues in Telephone Therapy

With today’s technology we are an ever mobile yet increasingly connected society. For example, a client who you have been treating in office and perhaps with a few phone sessions when he was stuck downtown at his office has now relocated out of state and wants to continue his therapy sessions. With telephone, Skype and e-mail, why not? Why not expand your practice and “see” patients across the country, especially if you have expertise in an area of treatment? ...
Filed under: Law & Ethics
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