Dual Relationships and Psychotherapy

By Arnold A. Lazarus; Ofer Zur | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER 14
Multiple Relationships
A Malpractice Plaintiffs Litigation Strategy

Martin H. Williams, PhD

The claim that a psychotherapist and a patient had entered into a “multiple relationship” can, unfortunately, serve as an effective centerpiece for a malpractice action against that psychotherapist. Because of a long, evolving history of ethics enforcement against psychotherapists, certain “ethical problems” can appear to be gross deviations from the standard of care, or to represent gross negligence, when, in fact, they are not. The slur, “multiple relationship,” is a perfect example. Because of a confusion between that which is risk management and that which constitutes the standard of care—and because some believe that multiple relationships are reliable precursors of therapist-patient sex—some psychotherapists, plaintiffs attorneys, judges, and civil juries will find the mere presence of a multiple relationship to be unethical. That this is a conceptual error provides little comfort to the accused psychotherapist. Today, many psychotherapists blanche at the term “multiple relationship” without giving themselves a chance to carefully consider whether or not such a relationship is either unethical or a treatment problem. This chapter describes the misuse of “multiple relationships” as a slur against treating psychotherapists and explains why this slur has proven so effective in civil court, before licensing boards, and at administrative law hearings as a way to win plaintiff and prosecution cases against psychologists.

-224-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Dual Relationships and Psychotherapy
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 502

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?