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Professional values

My orientation

Orientation to professional differences

  • If I differ with colleagues' ways of doing therapy I respectfully say 'I disagree' rather than claiming, 'It is unethical!'
  • I use critical thinking and contemplation before encouraging a client to file a board complaint just because the former practitioner had a different view of healing than what I believe is helpful.
  • Short of questions concerning sex or intentional harm, I engage in respectful discourse when I do not agree with another therapist's attitudes and actions in regard to issues such as gifts, dual relationships, non-sexual touch, home visit, self disclosure, bartering, and other boundary considerations.

The 'psychiatric bible'

  • I view the ICD-10 (or DSM-5) through the lens of critical thinking
  • I acknowledge that, as with its predecessor, the mental health section of the ICD is at times politically and economically motivated and at times lacks scientific grounding.
  • I keep in mind that the ICD can be helpful in understanding clients and in communicating with colleagues.
  • I keep in mind what many experts believe: the more any mental disorder can be marketed as treatable with medication (thus profiting the psychopharmacology industry), the more likely it is to be included in the DSM or ICD. Whereas, others that are more successfully treated with psychotherapy alone, tend to be excluded. Furthermore, normally occurring life experiences are sometimes pathologized in order to support the sales of certain medications.

Digital communication

  • I do my best, when appropriate, to accommodate clients who prefer to communicate via e-mail, texts, phone, chats or video-conferencin.
  • I do my best to attend to a population's, such as adolescents and young adults, comfort level with texting.

Autism

  • I do not pathologize people with atypical neurological brain architecture, such as autism, and I support others to do the same.
  • For Autistic persons in my practice, I treat the presenting issues, not attempt to 'cure' the autism.
  • I refer to Autistic people, rather than people 'with autism', since autism is not a disease.
  • I accept that neurodiversity and the variance among neurological makeups is normal and adaptive.

Custody

  • I avoid writing 'custody type' letters on behalf of the clients I treat. I leave custody recommendations to custody evaluators.
  • I consider that while many forms of multiple relationships are unavoidable, ethical, common and even mandated in some settings, acting in a dual role of a treater and a custody evaluator is highly ill-advised and may be considered unethical.

'Risk Management'

  • I work without being intimidated by the fear of attorneys, licensing boards and lawsuits, operating instead from more clinical and ethical integrity.
  • I am committed to identifying the difference between rigid or fear-based risk management practices and ethical risk management that is based on client care and clinical integrity.

The diagnosis of children

  • I stand in protest against the psychiatrists, pediatricians and mental health professionals who, inappropriately, diagnose one and two year-olds with ADHD or Bipolar disorder and then medicate them.
  • I require proof from longitudinal studies regarding the risk/benefit ratio of using such dangerous chemical interventions in children of all ages.
  • I will do what I can to protect helpless children by providing parents, clinicians and the public with information regarding the potential harm that some medications may cause as well as whether or not such medications have been approved by the FDA to be used with children.

Independence

  • I operate a fee-for-service private practice, that is not under the control of managed care companies.
  • This assists me in treating my clients according to their needs and wishes rather than carrying out treatments according to profit-motivated insurance companies' protocols.

Why all this?

These are some of my values in regards to the Mental Health profession and its practices

I have adapted this from Ofer Zur. You can see his webpage here

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