Therapists speak about latest in MENTAL HEALTH | RELATIONSHIPS | SELF CARE
“Can you see my [mom, dad, best friend, kid, etc] for therapy, too?”
This is a good question and surprisingly, a pretty common one for therapists. I am always so honored and grateful when my clients can confidently recommend me to their loved ones. (I care about all my clients and as an extension of my clients, I care deeply about their loved ones as well!) This brings me to the next question that comes up for me (and all therapists) when I’m approached to do therapy with a client’s loved one- “What decision would ensure the best clinical outcome for both clients?”
There’s a few different answers to this question.
It’s different for every case. There are many factors to consider, but here’s a few that come to mind right away- what the client’s presenting problems are and if they are related/impact one another, risks related to client confidentiality, the treatment status of both client and potential client, potential risks, the feelings the client(s) have about sharing a mutual therapist, potential benefits, and the amount of cross-over that occurs between clients.
“The 2014 ethics code prohibits engaging in counseling relationships with family members with whom the counselor cannot remain objective. In earlier versions of the ethics code, this language was more restrictive, forbidding counselors from treating all family members at all. The latest iteration of the ethics code allows counselors to treat their relatives in certain circumstances. As long as the counselor maintains objectivity, it may be permissible for him or her to treat a relative.” (Natwick, 2017.)