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Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy

Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy.

 Respond  by suggesting strategies to address the legal and ethical  considerations your colleagues discussed. Support your responses with  evidence-based literature.

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Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy

Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy differ from those for Individual Therapy.

So  far, we’ve explored “talk cure” or psychotherapy introduced by Sigmund  Freud, which helped and treated clients suffering from a variety of  mental health issues using individual therapy. The skills learned in the  above therapy are now applied to group and family therapy. In other  words, we use the experience from a unit and expand it to a group, or  from an element to a set, in order to multiply it benefits. Some legal  and/or ethical implications related to counseling clients in an  individual therapy session is the right to confidentiality, which is  extended when we are in a group, since “what is said in the group stay  in the group.” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2014).  But we should go without ignoring that in group therapy, there is a  challenge of maintaining the confidentiality and the disclosure of  private information without client consent can harm the therapeutic  relationship (McClanahan, 2014).

In  individual therapy, the client is in a private session and receives  one-on-one attention from the therapist, who develops an individualized  approach to helping him/her. The therapeutic alliance is strong, and the  client develops self-awareness, self-exploration, and identifying  boundaries. In group and family therapy, more than one client treated at  the same time by the therapist(s). Here, the principle of universality  of Dr. Irvin Yalom is validated where the members of the group are  allowed to realize that they are not alone and that other individuals  share similar problems and struggles. Members receive support from  others, get many different points of view, and develop communication and  socialization skills. This group allows members to learn how to express  their issues and accept criticism from others. Some members can model  successful behaviors of others’ individuals as they learn by copying or  imitating others’ actions (American Addiction Centers, 2019). Group  therapy is affordable to clients without insurance and enables the  therapist to see many clients in a shorter amount of time (Wheeler,  2014, p.415).

These Differences might Impact the Therapeutic Approaches for clients in Group and Family Therapy.

Since  group therapy is affordable to clients without insurance, the tendency  is to choose this option for treatment. So, group therapy is the ideal  choice for many clients due to its cost-effectiveness. To manage time,  the therapist prefers to use the traditional 90-minute group therapy  session to treat many clients instead of using many individual sessions  (Wheeler, 2014, p. 415). Insurance companies encourage and reimburse  clients who choose group therapy options. Depending on objectives, the  therapist might create a group to help improve the clients’ ways of  interacting with and relate to others and draw on the group’s strength.  Then organize a family therapy to improve the functioning of the current  and future generation Laureate Education (2017). Other focus of the  approach would dictate the theoretical orientation to psychodynamic,  cognitive-behavioral, or person-centered (Wheeler, 2014, p. 410).


American Addiction Centers. (2019). Psychotherapy guide: Group therapy vs. individual therapy. Retrieved from https://americanaddictioncenters.org/therapy-treatment/group-individual

Laureate Education (Producer). (2017). Introduction to psychotherapy with groups and families [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

McClanahan, K., K. (2014). Can confidentiality be maintained in group therapy? Retrieved from https://nationalpsychologist.com/2014/07/can-confidentiality-be-maintained-in-group-therapy/102566.html

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2014). HIPAA Privacy Rule and Sharing Information Related to Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/special/mhguidancepdf.pdf

Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice. New York, NY: Springer.

Legal and Ethical Considerations for Group and Family Therapy

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