The mental health field has been known for its ability to support people during their most vulnerable times. We have the education and experience to guide our clients ethically and with positive regard. Each client we come in contact with will have a story to share. Our role is to help clients foster an understanding of their experiences and pain. This can be a difficult journey, but we work to establish a relationship that is based on trust and support. When the relationship boundaries are compromised, the therapist and client can present with a variety of concerns. If our clients believe they have been maltreated, they have the right to act as they please. Clients must be aware of their options when they would like to report for malpractice. This is a wonderful topic to include in a consent form.
At each level of the mental health system, there are set guidelines and regulations in place to minimize the possibility of unethical behavior. Malpractice is common among mental health domains (Smith, 2003). For example, healthcare providers can breach care, offer poor advice, miscommunicate treatment, inadequate notes, boundary-crossing, etc. Providers must be aware of the necessary precautions needed to support their business, themselves, and their clients. In my understanding, the best move is to increase our awareness surrounding the pitfalls of our profession. We can only address issues when we are aware of them. It is never fun to be blindsided. We must consider the importance of our mental health and wellbeing. When we are at our best, we are likely support out clients in the same way. Self-care and supervision are imperative for processing ethical issues.
Smith, D. (2003, January). 10 ways practitioners can avoid frequent ethical pitfalls. Monitor on Psychology, 34(1).