Ethical Decision Making in Therapy: Feminist Perspectives

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9780898620894: Ethical Decision Making in Therapy: Feminist Perspectives

How can clear but abstract ethical principles be applied in the real world of therapy? What is the ethical course when two or more principles conflict? What are ethical approaches on issues not addressed in traditional professional ethics codes? This volume grapples with these and related questions and offers an innovative feminist model that acknowledges the importance of affect in ethical decision-making. Case scenarios raise ethical dilemmas typical of everyday practice and experienced feminist therapists explain how they might respond. "A major goal of this volume," write editors Rave and Larsen, "is to sensitize therapists and therapists-in-training to ethical issues affecting women and girls in therapy."

Recognizing that women still comprise the majority of clients in most therapy settings, each section of the book begins with a context-setting discussion on why the issue is important to women. Topics include:
* Labeling and diagnosis
* Money issues (including those which arise in managed health care)
* Client/therapist overlapping relationships
* Violence against women
* Health and reproductive issues
* Special concerns in treating children and older women
* Balancing therapist self-care with clients' needs

At least two therapists respond to each ethical dilemma, applying the Feminist Therapy Institute's Code of Ethics (developed in 1987) as well as traditional ethical codes of the mental health professions. The discussions offer clear and practical guidelines for recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas, encouraging readers to compare their own philosophical viewpoints and ethical approaches. Each section concludes with a discussion of implications and references.

Differences and diversity in race, ethnicity, and sexual preference are integrated throughout the scenarios and responses. The editors and contributors to this book, who are from Canada and the United States, also represent these diversities as well as a range of disciplines and professions.

Ethical Decision Making in Therapy: Feminist Perspectives will be of lasting importance to psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, and nurses, regardless of setting or theoretical orientation. Because ethics education, minimal until recently in many mental health training programs, is an essential component in training and continuing education, this volume serves as a text for students and a resource for professionals.

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About the Author:

Carolyn C. Larsen, Ph.D., is Senior Counsellor Emeritus and formerly Director, University Counselling Services and Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, The University of Calgary, and is in private practice as a partner with Alberta Psychological Resources, Ltd. She coauthored A Woman's Choice: A Guide to Decision-Making, and collaborated in developing the Ethical Guidelines for Counselling/Therapy with Women and Therapy and Counselling with Women: A Handbook of Educational Materials for the Canadian Psychological Association of which she is a Fellow. A founding member of the Feminist Therapy Institute (FTI) she was on the Steering Committee for 10 years, serving as Committee Coordinator and co-chair of the Ethics and Accountability Committee which facilitated the development of the Feminist Therapy Code of Ethics. Carolyn has contributed as author and section editor to three previous books sponsored by FTI.

Elizabeth J. Rave, Ed.D., is professor emeritus of school psychology and women's studies, University of Northern Colorado. She served as coordinator of the School Psychology Programs and was a member of the Women's Studies governing committee. Her research, presentations, and publications have been on anti-racism, ethics, violence against women and children, play therapy, gender and ethnic effects on perceptions of behavior, and supervision ethics. As one of the founding members of the Feminist Therapy Institute she has served on the Steering Committee and been Committee Coordinator and Co-Chair of the Ethics and Accountability Committee, charged with developing the Feminist Therapy Code of Ethics. She is presently living in Seattle, learning about ageism, completing an internship in Senior Services, and developing a consultation practice.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1. Context of Feminist Therapy Ethics, Larsen and Rave 2. A Feminist Model for Ethical Decision Making, Hill, Glaser, and Harden 3. Feminist Therapy Code of Ethics 4. Naming the Issue, Ballou 5. Monetary Issues, Parvin and Anderson 6. Overlapping/Dual Relationships, Biaggio and Greene 7. Violence against Women, Contratto and Hassinger 8. Reproduction/Health Issues, Webster 9. The Medical Model, Liburd and Rothblum 10. Conflicts in Care: Early Years of the Lifespan, Conoley and Larson 11. Conflicts in Care: Later Years of the Lifespan, Sonderegger and Siegel 12. Therapist Self-Care: A Proactive Ethical Approach, Porter 13. Looking toward the Future, Rave and Larsen

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