Ending Unethical Treatment By Psyhotherapist

By Beryl Dalton


Mental health professionals such as psychotherapists treat clients governed by a strict code of regulations. They are sworn to dedication to ethical and professional excellence as well as commitment to service, public participation and advocacy. Despite all these checks and balances, patients still report unethical treatment by psyhotherapist.

As a client, it is of utmost importance to fully grasp the importance of law and ethics to a mental health profession. Ethics and law is what the profession is founded on. Ethics is to therapy what gods are to religion. One cannot exist without the other. This is what makes breach of ethics a crime so despicable. Indeed, the crime is punishable by the licensing board, the professional body or the legal framework.

Unethical treatment may involve several aspects. For instance, your sessions are completely confidential and if the psychotherapist reveals anything without your consent, it is a breach of your rights. Also, if he or she makes sexual or romantic advances to you, that is completely not ethical. Also, friendships are not ethical unless it does not hinder their performance or affect you as a patient.

Inaccurate billing is also not allowed. The therapist should begin treatment by explaining to their clients how and what will be billed among other financial policies. It is ethically wrong for them to bill a service which is already covered for. Besides, he or she should not exaggerate the diagnosis of a patient or underwrite it to protect their perceived image.

It is important to confirm and be completely sure that your therapist has indeed breached your right to ethical therapy before making any move. This is because it could completely end their career; you want to make the move when you are absolutely sure of what you are doing. Consult with some friends, another therapist or even a lawyer.

If you are now sure that your right to ethical treatment was indeed violated, you can choose the way forward from a pool of several options. Confronting them and talking to them about their questionable behavior is the first option that many people prefer. Another option may be to report them to their particular licensing or professional body. If your lawyer advises so, you may also file a law suit.

Just to be clear, if you are in a crisis or your life is under threat, law enforcement officers should be involved right away. Termination is also an option as mentioned above. However, do not hide by abandoning the program or ignoring their phone calls. If you wish to terminate, confront them and say you would like to withdraw from therapy as your rights were violated.

It is difficult enough having to live with emotional wound and pain. Talking to a total stranger is also not easy; it takes courage and an enormous call for trust and that why this privacy should be protected at all cost. This is why anyone who takes advantage of their clients should not be allowed to practice. By reporting, we get rid of them one by one.




About the Author: