ERIC Number: ED393038
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Aug
Developing Your Ethical Position in Family Therapy: Special Issues.
Gottlieb, Michael C.
Family therapy presents ethical dilemmas not encountered elsewhere in mental health practice. For example, who is the patient? Is it an individual, a particular dyad or the family system? If there is more than one patient, how is the therapist to maintain a posture of therapeutic neutrality? How is confidentiality to be managed? Little progress has been made in codifying these issues into ethical rules. Some conclude that family therapy practice is simply too complex to be codified by rules and principles which oversimplify therapy and place practitioners at risk for law suits and ethics charges. This is due to three issues inherent in family therapy which create fundamental limitations to further rule making: (1) ethical challenges of multi-person therapy are considerably more complex than those encountered in individual treatment; (2) informed consent among the family group and dynamics associated therein; and (3) ethical decision making and clinical judgment are not independent processes. Practitioners must be thoroughly educated regarding these matters in order to develop ethical policies applicable to their particular practice circumstances. It is recommended that each practitioner develop an ethics policy based upon particular practice situations. Contains 25 references. (JBJ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (103rd, New York, NY, August 11-15, 1995).