Rights of clients, responsibilities of therapists

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Discusses ways in which ethical principles can be put into practice in the client-therapist relationship. Historically, ethical codes for therapists were drawn up to protect the professions from regulation by external agencies. Implicit in the ethical codes, however, is a model for the client-therapist relationship that fosters the goals of mental health. It is suggested that just as ethical codes have been given specific content in standards for providers of psychological services in human service facilities, ethical codes can be given specific content in the client-therapist relationship. It is recommended that therapists take responsibility for incorporating ethical standards into their practices so that clients' rights will be an integral part of therapy. Four illustrative situations are presented: providing clients with information to make informed decisions about therapy, using contracts in therapy, responding to clients' challenges to therapists' competence, and handling clients' complaints. (63 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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