Should Therapists Play Cupid?

A psychotherapist, under California law, owes a duty to use reasonable care in his or treatment of a patient or client. When the psychotherapist violates that duty by either acting negligently toward the patient, intentionally harming the patient, sexually abusing the patient or defrauding the patient, it is considered a breach of the duty of care and the psychotherapist is liable to the patient for all allowable damages under California law that the psychotherapist causes. However, there are cases in which the psychotherapist is merely negligent and his or her behavior has not risen to the level of abuse. These cases are still viable and would be considered under the law to be therapist malpractice cases. The laws that apply to therapist malpractice are identical to the laws that apply to any medical malpractice case. Even though the law of a therapist malpractice case and a malpractice case against another health care provider is similar, the cases themselves can take on a very different character and therapist malpractice cases require special expertise on the part of the attorneys. This article will discuss some of the special factors involved in litigating, settling and trying therapist malpractice and therapist abuse cases. The transference phenomenon makes understanding and litigating therapist abuse cases more difficult than other malpractice cases. Transference will be described in more detail later; however, it essentially describes the process by which a patient in psychotherapy transfers feelings and perceptions which he or she had for people in his or her past onto the psychotherapist. This is an unconscious process and results in a situation in which the patient, without really knowing or understanding it, relates to the therapist in a similar way to the way the patient related to his or her parents or significant others in the past.

Ethical and Legal Aspects of Touch in Psychotherapy

Once you have made a selection, click the “Order Course” button. You will then be directed to create a new account. Need more information? This web page focuses on the process of ethical decision-making, update of current California laws and regulations relating to the practice of psychotherapy and the relevant sections of the professional codes of ethics.

Another substantive revision is the extension of the time ban on sexual relationships with former clients. In the code, the specified period.

She went to see this therapist because of sexual trauma she suffered as a child. What can be done about it? Jenny, thank you for reaching out on behalf of your friend. Like any profession, the majority of psychotherapists are good caring persons who enter their field so as to help people. Psychotherapy provides benefits to millions and this column, in no way, is a condemnation of the whole profession. Rather, I wish to help people who have been abused to assert their rights and to protect others from these predators.

The law is absolutely clear, this is illegal. Professional therapy never includes sex. Throughout my career I have handled a shockingly large number of these cases. I have seen this in situations where the sex of the therapist and the patient have been the same and where they have been different. As a crime has been committed, the Police Department should be notified of this conduct immediately and they will initiate an investigation. Many of these therapists think that they are going to be able to talk their way out of responsibility.

The professional licensing board which governs psychotherapists is the California Board of Psychology, Department of Consumer Affairs.

Freudian slip: Therapist jailed for sexual relationship with a patient

The use of the Internet as a source of health information is growing among people who experience mental health difficulties. The increase in Internet use has led to questions about online information-seeking behaviors, for example, how psychotherapists and patients use the Internet to ascertain information about each other. The notion of psychotherapists seeking information about their patients online patient-targeted googling, PTG has been identified and explored.

However, the idea of patients searching for information online about their psychotherapists therapist-targeted googling, TTG and the associated motives and effects on the therapeutic relationship remain unclear. Overall, former and current psychotherapy patients responded to a new questionnaire specifically designed to assess the frequency, motives, use, and outcomes of TTG as well as experiences and perceptions of PTG.

The study sample was a nonrepresentative convenience sample recruited online via several German-speaking therapy platforms and self-help forums.

My Experience as a Student Therapist This was done through a monitored session by my supervisor where my (former) client was given the and professionally in my career as a psychologist-in-training to date, it did present me (and the.

Making friends as an adult can be weirdly difficult. I get why. My job is to be a good listener who respects and empathizes with the person sitting across from me. As patient and therapist, we work hard for months, sometimes years. We share deep conversations and maybe even a few laughs. You might be wondering if your former therapist would even be allowed to be your friend, given how ethically rigorous the mental health field is.

Many former therapists very much welcome those updates, me included. The professional organizations of psychology the American Psychological Association and psychiatry the American Psychiatric Association offer no explicit rules about friendships with former patients. Friendships with former patients are a bit more of a gray area, so I made a few calls for clarification. Rebecca Brendel, M. Brendel tells SELF. I asked fellow mental health professionals to share their thoughts about being friends with former patients, and wow, did they ever.


Miss Dungey sued Dr Pates for professional negligence, claiming he took advantage of her by having a love affair with her after treating her, after he told her he no longer loved her. Dr Pates, 60, said: “I am pleased with the outcome. The court got it right and thank God for the British legal system. But I am not a happy bunny because this has destroyed my life.

Another common boundary issue in PT is managing dual relationships for example, the patient who is also the therapist’s friend. A patients family member who.

Abstract : Sex between therapists and clients has emerged as a significant phenomenon, one that the profession has not adequately acknowledged or addressed. Extensive research has led to recognition of the extensive harm that therapist-client sex can produce. Nevertheless, research suggests that perpetrators account for about 4. This chapter looks at the history of this problem, the harm it can cause, gender patterns, the possibility that the rate of therapists sexually abusing their clients is declining, and the mental health professions’ urgent, unfinished business in this area.

When people are hurting, unhappy, frightened, or confused, they may seek help from a therapist. They may be depressed, perhaps thinking of killing themselves. They may be unhappy in their work or relationships, and not know how to bring about change.

Why Therapists Break Up With Their Patients

Los Angeles, CA Fax. De-registered, even criminally charged and jailed psychiatric professionals can skip states, even countries and continue practicing. Some of the most infamous mental health criminals continue to “care” for the most vulnerable in society by simply changing cities or countries.

research in all aspects of PTSI from the patient as well as from the therapists’ perspective in the therapy relationship as an “ex- are not available to this date.

The idea that therapists might play Cupid with patients tantalizes patients and therapists. An anecdotal survey of my psychiatrist colleagues suggests that the matchmaking impulse is very common. A senior colleague, for example, tells me he was treating a young man who was struggling to find a partner. Psychotherapy, especially insight-oriented therapy, is designed to conjure intense feelings — on the part of the patient and therapist. Much of what patients feel toward their therapists, the so-called transference, are unconscious feelings that are redirected from important early figures in their lives — parents, family members and teachers.

Your therapist mirrors this phenomenon with his own countertransference. Both parties are under constant temptation to act on their unconscious feelings, rather than analyze and understand them. Strict boundaries between personal and professional behavior are meant to insure against such hazards. But temptation lurks. A patient of mine, who was divorced, told me she was reluctant to enter the online dating scene.

It felt overwhelming, she said, and it seemed improbable that she would meet a plausible mate. An old friend and colleague of mine lost his wife to cancer some years ago and I knew — or thought I knew — that he would hit it off with my patient. I began to wonder how I could discreetly bring them together. Could I invite him for dinner and tell him to meet me in the waiting area outside my office around the time of her appointment?

Patient-Therapist Boundary Issues

Love and relationships often form the main issues that patients take to their psychologists. Often in helping their patients, psychologists stand in danger of a developing a personal bond too since in human relationships, the impulses of love and support are closely related and often expressed in the same manner.

But how ethical, legal or even practical it is for psychologists to date patients or even former patients for that matter? Psychologists and current clients Almost all developed societies prohibit any romantic or sexual relationship between a psychologist and a current patient.

She went to see this therapist because of sexual trauma she suffered as a or sexual relations with a patient (or former patient within two years.

When a psychotherapist is in session, does he or she ever feel attracted to the client? What would cause such an attraction? How frequently does it occur among all therapists and not just among those who violate the prohibition against sexual contact with their clients? Do therapists become uncomfortable, guilty or anxious when they experience such feelings? Do they tell their clients of their attraction or hide it from everyone, including their colleagues and supervisors?

These questions have never been asked of psychologists before. A new study, however, has undertaken to map out some of this previously uncharted territory. Questions about sexual attraction to clients were posed in a national survey of clinical psychologists undertaken by Kenneth S. Tabachnick, both at Cal State Northridge.

Finding a Therapist is Like Dating?!

Hello! Do you need to find a partner for sex? It is easy! Click here, free registration!