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Treating Patients with Memories of Abuse : Legal Risk Management
Samuel J. Knapp and Leon VandeCreek
American Psychological Association / Softcover / 1997-08-01 / 1557984417
Trauma
price: $18.95 (may be subject to change)
197 pages
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One of the most litigious areas of practice in psychology today involves the treatment of adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse--particularly concerning patients who recover memories while in treatment. This volume advises practitioners on therapeutic strategies and interventions that help to heal these vulnerable patients while minimizing the risk of ethical and legal violations. According to the authors of this volume, ethical therapy is effective therapy.
Patients claiming childhood sexual abuse are among the most traumatized of any practitioner�s clients, and psychotherapists working with these patients face unique challenges. Some patients are conflicted about what to believe or how to interpret their memories. This volume begins with a presentation of the current knowledge base about memory and the accuracy of recovered memories. The authors then provide a review of ethical and legal challenges that have been made against psychotherapists--both by patients and by the parents of patients--because therapists need to be aware of the types of charges that may be made against them. The volume also analyzes methods currently in use by therapists to aid in memory retrieval (e.g., body work, guided imagery) and comments on the extent to which these techniques place therapists at risk for ethical or legal challenges. Therapeutic techniques that have been shown to be both therapeutically sound and ethically acceptable are highlighted throughout. The authors also provide straightforward advice on documentation, language for note-taking, and consultation and supervision practices.
Written in easy-to-read nonlegalese, this volume is essential reading for any practicing psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist who works with patients struggling with recovered memories of abuse.
This book is part of the Psychologists in Independent Practice book series, which is produced collaboratively by APA's Division of Independent Practice (Division 42) and APA Books. Series Editor: Leon VandeCreek.
Contents:
PREFACE
Chapter 1: The Scope of the Problem
Threats to Psychotherapists
Placing the Threats Into Perspective
Chapter 2: Liability Risks of Psychotherapists
Types of Complaints
Litigation Arising from the Recovery of Memories of Childhood Abuse
Determining Professional Standards
Chapter 3: Scientific Basis of Memory
Fundamental Information About Memory
Status of Scientific Knowledge About Memory of Traumas
Chapter 4: Risk Management: Diagnose Carefully
Standards for Identifying Past Abuse
Overidentification of Past Abuse
An Alternative View of Diagnosis
Child Abuse and Later Psychopathology
Patients Who Request Help in Recovering Memories
Special Problems in Diagnosing Dissociative Identity Disorder
The Psychology of Clinical Judgment
Chapter 5: Risk Management: Conduct Good Psychotherapy
Maintain Proper Boundaries With Patients
Choosing the Right Intervention
Outcomes with Memory Retrieval Techniques
Cautions When Using Memory Retrieval Techniques
Other Treatment Procedures
Obtain Informed Consent (Patient Participation)
Show Concern for Family Relationships
Chapter 6: Documentation, Consultation, and Supervision
The Use of Routine Documentation
Using Consultation and Supervision Properly
Chapter 7: Public Policy Considerations
Shortcomings of the Mental Health Consumers Protection Act
More Adequate Controls Over Psychotherapy
Chapter 8: Conclusions
Competent Psychotherapy Is Safe Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy Should Be Based on Behavioral Science
Greater Public Protections Are Needed
References
Appendix A: Risk Management Checklist
Appendix B: Statements That May Reflect Substandard Practices
Appendix C: Sample Informed Consent Form
Appendix D: Signals That May Suggest Distorted Memories
Appendix E: Statement by the American Psychiatric Association
Appendix F: Final Conclusions of the APA Working Group on the Investigation of Memories of Childhood Abuse
Appendix G: Statement by the British Psychological Society
Appendix H: The Australian Psychological Society Limited, Code of Professional Conduct and Guidelines Relating to Recovered Memories
AUTHOR INDEX
SUBJECT INDEX
ABOUT THE AUTHORS

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authors
Knapp, Samuel J
VandeCreek, Leon
other lists
American Psychological Association
Psychologists in Independent Practice Series
Trauma