Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy Essay Example

Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy Essay Example
Give an explanation of how legal and ethical considerations for group and family therapy differ from those for individual therapy. Then, explain how these differences might impact your therapeutic approaches for clients in group and family therapy. Support your rationale with evidence-based literature.
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Legal and Ethical Considerations
Give an explanation of how legal and ethical considerations for group and family therapy differ from those for individual therapy. Then, explain how these differences might impact your therapeutic approaches for clients in group and family therapy. Support your rationale with evidence-based literature.
It is undeniable that group and family therapy faces greater ethical and legal challenges when compared to individual therapy with the existing codes of ethics and conduct offering little help to resolve the situation. It would seem that the existing principles are not specific enough to attend to the ethical and legal issues facing group and family therapy. Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy Essay Example. The most significant difference occurs in the appreciation of context where group and family therapy relies on the foundational premise that social pluralities (in the form of groups and families) are systems. This means that while individual therapy may not focus on relationships, family and group therapy focus on relationships that are interpreted as existences that multiply the plural system (Bitter, 2014). Besides that, the values and issues that are held about relationships are closely linked with historical and social context that influence interpretation of the effectiveness and pathology of relationships. This means that therapists handling groups and families must develop a unique view of relationship complexities and respond effectively. They must hold the relationship in mind over and above any contributions made by individuals (Welfel, 2013). Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy Essay Example.
There are three specific ethical considerations that family and groups therapists must reflect on when making decisions. Firstly, the therapist must be competent enough to handle the plurality and promote beneficence to always act on behalf of the clients. Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy Essay Example. It is not enough that the therapist be generally qualified. Rather, he or she must be specialized enough to handle the complex issues surrounding relationships that include disruption of severe attachment, betrayal, infidelity, concerns about sexuality, family law issues, abuse and violence. Minus core training, the therapist has high potential to breach duty of care (Welfel, 2013). As such, the therapist must be competent enough to group and family needs.
Secondly, the issue of informed consent comes into play a lot. When a client approaches a therapist and is asked to congregate the other members of the family for a session, the very act of gathering other family members can be construed as a form of ‘social coercion’. It is undeniable that each family member has a different level of opportunity and power with some being at the core and capable to making decisions on behalf of others (for instance parents and guardians) while others are excluded from decision making (for instance children and other dependents). In essence, there are informed consent complexities across circumstances and ages, and about how the therapist would get the clients to attend a session Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy Essay Example. As a therapist, it is prudent to ask if the persons with the highest level of opportunity and power the best gatekeeper for others since failing to do this would result in people attending the session with no idea about their presence (Bitter, 2014).
Finally, the issue of confidentiality comes into play. When individual members present information away from others but in relation to the session then it raises some difficulties. This is typically seen when assessing abuse of power dynamics such as child or spousal violence or when making disclosures that are significant to shaping future sessions. Additionally, issues of privacy and confidentiality can be disordered when the therapist is unsuspectingly compromised and silenced through assurances made in good faith. In fact, it is not rare for well-intentioned therapists to breach confidentiality when they juggle many agendas. Although there a confidentiality principles in place for handling therapy, they are not articulated with accessible rules for situations involving groups and families thus leaving the therapist to make independent decisions on a case-by-case basis (Bitter, 2014). Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy Essay Example.
In addition to the ethical considerations, there are legal needs that each jurisdiction would present to define a therapist’s responsibilities in relation to professional practice. This mostly applies to the issues of training and education, competence and professional identity, informed consent, harm, abuse and confidentiality. Based that, there a general federal guidelines that must be considered (such as HIPAA) that deal with federal limitations and validations. Although professional ethics should be foremost in therapy, the applicable legal requirements (whether state or federal) should ultimately be considered as foremost (Hecker, 2010) Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy Essay Example.
References
Bitter, J. (2014). Theory and Practice of Family Therapy and Counseling (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Hecker, L. (2010). Ethics and Professional Issues in Couple and Family Therapy. New York, NY: Routledge.
Welfel, E. (2013). Ethics in Counseling & Psychotherapy (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole. Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy Essay Example.

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