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Question
Posted by: Ethics | 2010/09/08

Psychologist Ethics

Hi Professor

What would your opinion be about the ethics of a Psychologist who does not send his children to be treated by another psycholgist in the event of trauma and other life challenges, but takes it upon himself to " educate them"  and " grow"  them through life''s challenges.

This Psychologist has also had sexual relationships with numerous women who he had previoulsy " treated"  whilst practising as a Psychologist. None of these women have however laid charges. One of the women he frequently invited over to his house when the children were still in school. She had to sleep in the " spare room"  so as to not awaken the children''s suspicion.

In my opinion this is a man wth such questionable ethics that I would not want to associate with him in any way whatsever. Am I being harsh or not?



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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I'm not sure whether this is an issue of formal professional ethics, rather than sensible ( or foolish ) parenting. It is however generally accepted practise, that a doctor or psychologist should not treat their own family, because it is so difficult to be objective when doing so.
It used to be professional practice, which I have always followed, but very few others now seem to do, to not charge other doctors, psychologists, nurses, or their families, when treating them.
Now, it is also considered bad ethical practice for a psychologist to have sexual affairs with current OR FORMER patients.
One of the reasons such liaisons are frowned on is because it is so easy for the doc or shrink to exploit the vulnerabilities of the former patient - and it is easy for him/her to persuade the former patient not to complain when perhaps she ought to do so.
You're not beiing harsh at all - I, also, would not want to be associated with someone with such a selfish and self-centred view of the world, and such a personally convenient misinterpretation of normal ethical and professional rules and practices

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Our users say:
Posted by: Ethics | 2010/09/08

Thank you Professor for your reply.

Reply to Ethics
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/09/08

I'm not sure whether this is an issue of formal professional ethics, rather than sensible ( or foolish ) parenting. It is however generally accepted practise, that a doctor or psychologist should not treat their own family, because it is so difficult to be objective when doing so.
It used to be professional practice, which I have always followed, but very few others now seem to do, to not charge other doctors, psychologists, nurses, or their families, when treating them.
Now, it is also considered bad ethical practice for a psychologist to have sexual affairs with current OR FORMER patients.
One of the reasons such liaisons are frowned on is because it is so easy for the doc or shrink to exploit the vulnerabilities of the former patient - and it is easy for him/her to persuade the former patient not to complain when perhaps she ought to do so.
You're not beiing harsh at all - I, also, would not want to be associated with someone with such a selfish and self-centred view of the world, and such a personally convenient misinterpretation of normal ethical and professional rules and practices

Reply to cybershrink

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