ERIC Number: EJ837512
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Cruelest Cure? Ethical Issues in the Implementation of Exposure-Based Treatments
Olatunji, Bunmi O.; Deacon, Brett J.; Abramowitz, Jonathan S.
Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, v16 n2 p172-180 May 2009
Numerous studies have provided supportive evidence for the efficacy of exposure-based treatments for many psychological disorders. However, surprisingly few therapists use exposure therapy in the clinical setting. Although the limited use of exposure-based treatments may be partially attributable to a shortage of suitably trained therapists, exposure therapy also suffers from a "public relations problem" predicated upon concerns that it is cruel and at odds with some ethical considerations (e.g., first do no harm). This article provides an overview of ethical issues and considerations relevant to the use of exposure therapy. It is argued that the degree to which ethical issues become problematic in implementing exposure-based treatments is largely dependent upon the therapist's ability to create an adequately safe and professional context. Specific strategies that may be employed for avoiding potential ethical conflicts in the use of exposure-based treatments are discussed.
Descriptors: Ethics, Therapy, Allied Health Personnel, Outcomes of Treatment, Psychological Patterns
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A