Psychotherapy Ethical Issues

Good Essays
Topics: Child abuse
Ethical Issues in the Legal System

Sexual abuse of children refers to sexual behavior between a child and an adult or between two children when one of them is significantly older or uses coercion. The perpetrator and the victim may be of the same sex of the opposite sex. Child sexual abuse has been reported up to 80,000 times a year, but the number of unreported instances is far greater, because the children are afraid to tell anyone what has happened, and the legal procedure for validating an episode is difficult. The long-term emotional and psychological damage of sexual abuse can be devastating to the child. Child and adoscelent psychologists can help abused children regain a sense of self-esteem, cope with feelings of guilt
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In most jurdistications, reporting requirements override both confidentially and privilege associated the physician patient relationship. When the evidence of abuse comes from the suspected abuser in the course of psychotherapy, difficult ethical issues arise from which authors of reporting legislation have often dismissed too lightly. Despite criticisms, it is clear that all states have determined that mandated reporting of perceived abuse is necessary. Of course the breach of confidently against reporting an individual may come into effect, but if the suspected victim is the one treated there is no breach in confidently since no therauptic relationship has been established. The requirement to report suspected past abuse places therapists in an ethical dilemma between suppressing the evidence of possible abuse and breaking confidence by reporting their suspicions. A system proposed in many states, clearly states the reporting of abuse of any child under eighteen that is currently receiving treatment or has received abuse in the past that may require therapy. The system would provide all the protections for victims currently available under the various state statues without requiring therapists to break confidentially beyond these situations in which professional ethical guidelines already require such …show more content…
These errors are made by interviewers with various levels of training and also with various levels of familiarity with the child. The errors include the omission of details (forgetting) and the commission of details (inserting facts that were not stated), as wells as misreporting the degree to which the child's answers were spontaneous or the result of suggestive techniques. In addition, interviewers often cannot recall the source of their hearsay statements; they cannot remember whether the child originally made the statement, whether the interviewer originally made the statement, and in some cases, whether another child made that statement. The last error is most likely to occur when investigators interview a number of children during the same investigation.(Allen N.

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