HBO Series "In Treatment" Inspires Psychotherapy Ethics Blog

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A new Psychotherapy Ethics blog is launched. The inspiration for the blog is The HBO series "In Treatment." Mental health professionals can share their views and opinions.

The inspiration for this blog largely emerged from the HBO series In Treatment.

Eisner Institute for Professional Studies ( announces the initiation of the Psychotherapy Ethics Blog -- Donald A. Eisner, Ph.D. J.D., Dean of Eisner Institute for Professional Studies says, "The inspiration for this blog largely emerged from the HBO series In Treatment." Psychologist Paul Weston appears as an ethically and emotionally challenged therapist. The blog will explore the legal and ethical issues that develop in the show, as well as in the field of psychotherapy.

The blog is an invitation for those in the mental health field to discuss the current controversies in psychotherapy.

Issues of professional competency arise, thus begging the question, when is a therapist too flawed to practice? In the series, Dr. Paul Weston displays what appears to be an emotional conflict of interest with his patients (some might call this countertransference). With his emotional battles on the rise, he seeks therapy with his supervisor.

There are dual relationship considerations: boundary crossings versus boundary violations are a constant source of discussion in the psychotherapy arena. A personal relationship with a current patient generally is considered below the standard of care. On the other hand, is it ok to attend a patient's wedding, and perhaps not interact with anyone?

There are several breach of confidentiality concerns: With a patient who is demonstrating self destructive behavior, but is not imminently suicidal, when if at all, should a therapist make a Tarasoff warning? How was Dr. Weston's judgment affected by his current malpractice suit?

Donald A. Eisner is a licensed psychologist and attorney, who teaches Legal and Ethical Issues and Expert Witness Testimony at Eisner Institute for Professional Studies. The online graduate school has Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) programs in forensic psychology, clinical psychology, health and holistic psychology, parapsychology and clinical geropsychology. There is a Master of Arts in Psychology that satisfies the California BBS requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. An accelerated three year combination MA/Psy.D. is also offered.

Donald A. Eisner Ph.D. J.D.
(818) 380-0185   


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