Posted: June 14th, 2021
Respond by suggesting strategies to address the legal and ethical considerations your colleagues discussed. Support your responses with evidence-based literature.
Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy
Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy differ from those for Individual Therapy.
So far, we’ve explored “talk cure” or psychotherapy introduced by Sigmund Freud, which helped and treated clients suffering from a variety of mental health issues using individual therapy. The skills learned in the above therapy are now applied to group and family therapy. In other words, we use the experience from a unit and expand it to a group, or from an element to a set, in order to multiply it benefits. Some legal and/or ethical implications related to counseling clients in an individual therapy session is the right to confidentiality, which is extended when we are in a group, since “what is said in the group stay in the group.” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2014). But we should go without ignoring that in group therapy, there is a challenge of maintaining the confidentiality and the disclosure of private information without client consent can harm the therapeutic relationship (McClanahan, 2014).
In individual therapy, the client is in a private session and receives one-on-one attention from the therapist, who develops an individualized approach to helping him/her. The therapeutic alliance is strong, and the client develops self-awareness, self-exploration, and identifying boundaries. In group and family therapy, more than one client treated at the same time by the therapist(s). Here, the principle of universality of Dr. Irvin Yalom is validated where the members of the group are allowed to realize that they are not alone and that other individuals share similar problems and struggles. Members receive support from others, get many different points of view, and develop communication and socialization skills. This group allows members to learn how to express their issues and accept criticism from others. Some members can model successful behaviors of others’ individuals as they learn by copying or imitating others’ actions (American Addiction Centers, 2019). Group therapy is affordable to clients without insurance and enables the therapist to see many clients in a shorter amount of time (Wheeler, 2014, p.415).
These Differences might Impact the Therapeutic Approaches for clients in Group and Family Therapy.
Since group therapy is affordable to clients without insurance, the tendency is to choose this option for treatment. So, group therapy is the ideal choice for many clients due to its cost-effectiveness. To manage time, the therapist prefers to use the traditional 90-minute group therapy session to treat many clients instead of using many individual sessions (Wheeler, 2014, p. 415). Insurance companies encourage and reimburse clients who choose group therapy options. Depending on objectives, the therapist might create a group to help improve the clients’ ways of interacting with and relate to others and draw on the group’s strength. Then organize a family therapy to improve the functioning of the current and future generation Laureate Education (2017). Other focus of the approach would dictate the theoretical orientation to psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, or person-centered (Wheeler, 2014, p. 410).
American Addiction Centers. (2019). Psychotherapy guide: Group therapy vs. individual therapy. Retrieved from https://americanaddictioncenters.org/therapy-treatment/group-individual
Laureate Education (Producer). (2017). Introduction to psychotherapy with groups and families [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
McClanahan, K., K. (2014). Can confidentiality be maintained in group therapy? Retrieved from https://nationalpsychologist.com/2014/07/can-confidentiality-be-maintained-in-group-therapy/102566.html
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2014). HIPAA Privacy Rule and Sharing Information Related to Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/special/mhguidancepdf.pdf
Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice. New York, NY: Springer.
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