Demosthenes Lorandos & William Bernet
Professional malpractice and discipline proceedings, always difficult to litigate, are particularly troublesome when it comes to psychiatrists and psychologists, as the professional standards that guide each discipline are fraught with hidden complexities, terms of art and degrees of interpretation not well known outside of the particular professions.
This Professional Standards for Clinical Psychiatry and Psychology chapter demystifies these standards of care for the evaluation and treatment of mental conditions for both fields. With comprehensive coverage of the standards articulated by the various professional organizations, as well as leading scholars and practitioners in each discipline, this chapter prepares attorneys, judges and experts for the arduous task of navigating malpractice litigation and professional disciplinary tribunals. Particular topics covered include:
The American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct that establishes both general as well as ethical standards of conduct
The American Psychological Association’s Guidelines for Practitioners that establishes standards for working with particular populations and practice areas
The standards for obtaining informed consent
The standards for documentation and maintenance of records of professional and scientific work
The standards for establishing an effective therapeutic relationship
The standards for terminating treatment
The American Psychiatric Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics with Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry
The American Psychological Association’s Clinical Practice Guidelines that establishes standards of treatment for particular disorders or conditions
The standards for conducting psychological/psychiatric assessments, both generally and for specific concerns such as suicidality and violent behaviors
The standards for establishing an effective treatment plan
The standards for group therapy, including family and couple therapy
Discussion of discredited theories, including some treatments for dissociative identity disorder
In addition to identifying the requirements (and pitfalls) for meeting the standards of care in psychiatry and psychology, this chapter also provides a variety of judicial decisions that illustrate: (1) when professional standards were properly articulated and/or met; (2) when professional standards were not met, but were properly addressed by the tribunal; and (3) the myriad of problems that can result when professional standards are ignored and difficult situations are allowed to fester, despite court involvement.
Together with its thorough literature review, the Professional Standards of Care in Psychiatry and Psychology chapter is a must-have resource for litigators, jurists and other professionals called upon to address charges of professional psychiatric and/or psychological misconduct.
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