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Unread 05-16-2008, 08:41 PM   #1
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Default Ethics of Therapists who Are Mentally Ill

I recently saw a post on another forum from a young female who went to a therapist for bulimia, only to get there to recognize that the therapist was "extremely, anorexic thin." Whether the therapist truly had an ED or not, who knows.....

However, that leads to this......

Personally, I find it shocking when therapists who are actively battling eating disorders, addiction, self-harm, uncontrolled mood disorders and personality disorders are practicing and dealing with clients daily.

How can a therapist model good health and self-care to a client when the therapist can not do it themselves?

It is similar to a physician telling a patient to lose weight, when the physician is obese. What kind of model is that?

Even if they hide their behaviors or symptoms, what is the ethical obligation to the clients?

I have seen several MDs lose their licenses when battling terrible genetic illnesses, such as ALS or MS. The Board has said, you are not safe for your patients.
In medicine, it can be quite difficult to get licensed to practice if the MD is ill or presents with a possible danger/harm to a patient.
For example, a psychiatrist who has severe PTSD symptoms may be prevented from being licensed by the board, for fear that the psychiatrist may do harm to their patient.

Psychology does not say that. This is frightening.
 
Unread 05-16-2008, 09:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ethics of Therapists who Are Mentally Ill

This feels like a very mean spirited post.

You should spend some time worrying about yourself.
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Unread 05-16-2008, 09:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ethics of Therapists who Are Mentally Ill

Rip, what we have to remember is that not all therapists follow the APA guidelines for ethics, nor are they required to. I personally think it's very clear the guidelines to follow when having personal problems:


2.06 Personal Problems and Conflicts
(a) Psychologists refrain from initiating an activity when they know or should know that there is a substantial likelihood that their personal problems will prevent them from performing their work-related activities in a competent manner.

(b) When psychologists become aware of personal problems that may interfere with their performing work-related duties adequately, they take appropriate measures, such as obtaining professional consultation or assistance, and determine whether they should limit, suspend, or terminate their work-related duties. (See also Standard 10.10, Terminating Therapy.
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Unread 05-16-2008, 09:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ethics of Therapists who Are Mentally Ill

Freud himself was terribly depressed his entire life - even to the point of taking crack to deal with his symptoms (i just studied him last term).
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Unread 05-16-2008, 09:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ethics of Therapists who Are Mentally Ill

There are many wounded healers out there, and they have made some of the best therapists ever. They heal with a depth that no others can.

((((((((((((Wounded Healers))))))))))))))))

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Unread 05-16-2008, 10:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ethics of Therapists who Are Mentally Ill

</font><blockquote><div id="quote"><font class="small">Quote:</font>
MissCharlotte said:
This feels like a very mean spirited post.

You should spend some time worrying about yourself.

</div></font></blockquote><font class="post">

This is not. I am making a point. If you choose not to be able to critically evaluate issues, then don't bother reading posts dealing with these type of things.

If all you want to do is give support, then don't read posts containing information regarding the discussion of intellectual issues pertaining to the topic of this forum, PSYCHOTHERAPY.

I am sick of this crap where people who bring up intellectual issues to discuss are told they are being "mean-spirited" or not supportative. And it has not just been me.

I am trying to make people think, critically.

And this does have to do with me. Because I have some of those issues, so when I think about what I need and want in a T, it is for sure someone who has dealt appropiately with their issues, so they can help me.

 
Unread 05-16-2008, 10:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ethics of Therapists who Are Mentally Ill

Yes, that's true. Freud's legacy will be one of being a pioneer in the science, but not for what he did.

June 2006 | 123 » Essays » After Freud
On his 150th anniversary, Freud's legacy is being dismantled by the ideas of his greatest challenger, Aaron Beck.
Alexander Linklater
Robert Harland

When early patients of Freud's complained to him that nothing could change the original circumstances which made them unhappy, he agreed—with a caveat: "Much will be gained if we succeed in transforming your hysterical misery into common unhappiness." This is one of Freud's most celebrated remarks, though it appears in Studies in Hysteria, which was published in 1895, before he had developed the full psychoanalytic method. But it captures the pessimism—or realism—which threads its way through all Freudian practice.

http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/a...ls.php?id=7457

His fatalistic view permeated everything, IMO that stemmed from his depression. (err hysteria.)
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Unread 05-16-2008, 10:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ethics of Therapists who Are Mentally Ill

The whole site is basically for support of others, and not intellectual discussions (believe me, I would love that too!) IDK if it's advantageous to blatantly expose any therapist that shares "too much" (whatever that is) about himself, carte blanche in one fell swoop.

I think as we read the posts, and find something that might not be quite ethical, then members gently nudge the person posting to talk about it with their T. We all generally agree that unethical Ts are not good for healing, but as noted, the level of sharing is left up to the T him/herself with each patient.
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Unread 05-16-2008, 10:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ethics of Therapists who Are Mentally Ill

</font><blockquote><div id="quote"><font class="small">Quote:</font>
Riptide said:
I am making people think.

</div></font></blockquote><font class="post">I don't think you're making people do anything. People choose what they want to do.

If people don't want to read another person's posts, one option is to put that person on "ignore." To do that, simply click on the person's name and it will take you to their profile. Then click on "ignore user" in the lefthand menu.
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Unread 05-16-2008, 10:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ethics of Therapists who Are Mentally Ill


I know very little about my T's personal life. I don't know if he self-harms, has an eating disorder, has an addiction, etc. I DO know that during the 50 minutes that he spends with me, he is present, empathetic, supportive, and is finally the person who is helping me heal. He leaves his personal life outside of the room, and is completely there for me. That's what matters.
 
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