Malpractice in Mental Health

At each level of the mental health system, guidelines and regulations are in place to minimize the possibility of unethical behavior. Malpractice in the mental health system occurs more frequently than not.

Malpractice in Mental Health
Framed Artwork by Sarafina Arthur-Williams

Malpractice Uncertainties with Practitioners

For example, healthcare providers can breach care, offer poor advice, miscommunicate treatment, inadequate notes, boundary-crossing, etc. Providers must know the necessary precautions to support their business, themselves, and clients. In my understanding, the best move is to increase our awareness surrounding the pitfalls of our profession.

Malpractice Uncertainties with Clients

This can be a difficult journey, but we work to establish a relationship based on trust and support. Clients must be aware of their options when they would like to report for malpractice. This is a beautiful topic to include in a consent form. 

The mental health field supports 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.

Supporting Clients and Ourselves

We can only address issues when we are aware of them. As a therapist, we must consider the importance of our mental health and wellbeing. We will likely support our clients similarly when we are at our best. Self-care and supervision are imperative for processing ethical issues. 

If you are not sure where to start go ahead and schedule a free therapy consultation here.

With Intention, Sarafina


Smith, D. (2003, January). 10 ways practitioners can avoid frequent ethical pitfalls. Monitor on Psychology, 34(1).