Friday, March 15, 2013

Duty to Protect and Modern Technology: Forget HIPPA! Now texting and social media is the new stressor for clinicians!

Client/Therapist confidentiality is complex at best.  In the 1970’s there was the now famous Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California which shifted the discussion of the client’s privilege in treatment. What followed was more critical thinking along with a list of legal defines of “duty to warn” that resulted from Tarasoff-type questioning.  These law and ethical stressors that therapists face, throughout their careers, continues to open the clinical envelope.  Most recently, we have child abuse and teenagers and internet issues meshed in the new public court system.
As a therapist to any of the parties involved the age of "digitally penetrating" would be a professional nightmare.   Now someone can go to prison for a very long time without committing an act.  Are clinicians prepared to work with Cannibals or “potential” victims as the courts convict for fantasies which could (or could not) be “real?”  Separating the courts and the clinical arena might be an analytical tightrope in client support.  So the question the analyst should be asking is if he has a good clinical peer support system for quality consultation.  After that question is answered then the second question is about the quality of past and present supervision.  Read more about Dr. Strayhorn's practice and philosophy...

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