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Ethical issues in psychotherapy

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What are the most common ethical issues and/or dilemmas are part of your anticipated (or current) profession, e.g., health, education, law, business, etc.?

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There are many ethical issues a psychotherapist may come across. What follows is a non-exhaustive list of many situations that may arise when treating someone for therapy:

Whether to treat & scope of practice: There are many professionals who specialize in various areas, but all of them are not equipped to tackle the many challenges that arise in treatment. For example, let's assume that after conducting the initial assessment the therapist discovers that a particular client has a personality disorder that the therapist has never worked with. There are obviously other therapists who would be more equipped to handle it and who specialize in specifically this area. The therapist decides to continue treatment anyway. This would undoubtedly present the client with an unfortunate situation and is unethical.

Amount of sessions: Assume the therapist is licensed and took additional course work/practiced in a specific field related to what the client presents with- how many sessions are an appropriate estimation within a given year? 10, 20, 30, over 100? The answer should obviously not be something generic which applies to everyone as each client presents with individual needs. However, the estimated course of therapy should be presented to ...

Solution Summary

This posting deals with many issues surrounding ethical considerations in treatment. Questions that are dealt with include, "who should treat the client?", "how many sessions are necessary?" "is termination a consideration?", "should this case be referred to someone more qualified?", and so on.