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Applied Ethics in Mental Health CareAn Interdisciplinary Reader$
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Dominic A. Sisti, Arthur L. Caplan, and Hila Rimon-Greenspan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019682

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019682.001.0001

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How Certain Boundaries and Ethics Diminish Therapeutic Effectiveness

How Certain Boundaries and Ethics Diminish Therapeutic Effectiveness

Chapter:
(p.321) 22 How Certain Boundaries and Ethics Diminish Therapeutic Effectiveness
Source:
Applied Ethics in Mental Health Care
Author(s):

Arnold A. Lazarus

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262019682.003.0022

When taken too far, certain well-intentioned ethical guidelines can become transformed into artificial boundaries that serve as destructive prohibitions and thereby undermine clinical effectiveness. Rigid roles and strict codified rules of conduct between therapist and client can obstruct a clinician’s artistry. Those anxious conformists who go entirely by the book, and who live in constant fear of malpractice suits, are unlikely to prove significantly helpful to a broad array of clients. The author argues that one of the worst professional/ethical violations is to permit current risk-management principles to take precedence over humane interventions.

Keywords:   Boundaries, Ethics, Risk Management, Gifts, Self-Disclosure, Professionalism

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