View Poll Results: Regarding mandatory reporting therapists (select all that you believe apply)

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  • 1.) I am/was a therapist, or student of therapy (etc.); I am for mandatory reporting

    1 25.00%
  • 2.) I am/was a therapist, etc. and I am for mandated non-reporting

    0 0%
  • 3.) I am/was a therapist, etc. and I am for optional reporting

    0 0%
  • 4.) I am/was a therapist, etc.; many people distrust therapists due to mandatory reporting

    0 0%
  • 5.) I am/was a therapist, etc.; few people distrust therapists due to mandatory reporting

    0 0%
  • 6.) I知 a not a therapist, etc.; I am for mandatory reporting

    1 25.00%
  • 7.) I知 a not a therapist, etc.; I am for mandated non-reporting

    0 0%
  • 8.) I知 a not a therapist, etc.; I am for optional reporting

    1 25.00%
  • 9.) I知 a not a therapist, etc.; many people distrust therapists due to mandatory reporting

    2 50.00%
  • 10.) I知 a not a therapist, etc.; few people distrust therapists due to mandatory reporting

    0 0%
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Thread: Manditory reporting for non-medication-prescribing therapists

  1. #1
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    Manditory reporting for non-medication-prescribing therapists

    From what I have learned thus far from the differing sides of this issue, some therapists believe mandatory reporting (reporting to authorities when a client is likely to be a harm to him/herself or others) can cause clients to distrust clinicians and can even deter some individuals from seeking help. This side believes that because those who do not want to be reported either do not seek therapy, or do not disclose certain information during therapy, mandatory reporting is largely unnecessary. They also believe that more people would seek therapy and likely receive the help they need if there were not mandatory reporting. Overall, this camp believes that more harm than good can come out of mandatory reporting for non-medication-prescribing therapists.

    The other side argues that few clients are deterred from therapy due to mandatory reporting. This side believes that mandatory reporting for therapists would likely do more good than harm as more harmful incidents could avoided. They believe that clients can still get the help they need without disclosing information that would cause a report and that not many people are deterred from seeking therapy due to mandatory reporting. Some in this camp also believe that it is too great a burden to place on therapists if reporting where not mandatory.

    So I am wondering where everyone stands on this issue?

  2. #2
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    Re: Manditory reporting for non-medication-prescribing therapists

    I am a therapist and I am for mandatory reporting. Does it deter some clients from disclosing certain information? Probably. However, there are several important reasons why I believe mandatory reporting is important. The first, and this is in no particular order, is self-protection. I remember walking into the last class I ever took in graduate school. It was a class on ethics, and on the board, the professor had written three huge letters: CYA. He told us that, in today's sue-happy society, it is important to cover your ass and make sure you err on the side of caution when it comes to mandatory reporting. Secondly, the mandatory reporting edict takes some of the subjectivity out of certain situations. A therapist does not have to struggle with keeping confidentiality of a client, verse safety concerns. It may sound a bit like passing the buck, but saying, "I'm sorry, but ethically, I am required to report this" can be very helpful, both in assisting the therapist in making a difficult decision, and in not completely ruining the therapeutic relationship. Thirdly, mandatory reporting protects individuals either from harm, further harm, or self harm. Not only does this assist in public safety, but it helps prevent someone from harming themselves while they are in the throws of significant distress, whereas if this distress is alleviated, they might make a different choice.

    I have some specific parameters that I use, and I inform my clients what these parameters are in the very first session. I have had to break confidentiality on a few occasions and report things I have heard.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Manditory reporting for non-medication-prescribing therapists

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    I am a therapist and I am for mandatory reporting. Does it deter some clients from disclosing certain information? Probably. However, there are several important reasons why I believe mandatory reporting is important. The first, and this is in no particular order, is self-protection. I remember walking into the last class I ever took in graduate school. It was a class on ethics, and on the board, the professor had written three huge letters: CYA. He told us that, in today's sue-happy society, it is important to cover your ass and make sure you err on the side of caution when it comes to mandatory reporting.
    OK, I'm going to play the devil's advocate here ...

    So, is that a problem with mandatory reporting or is that a problem with the legal system? I am not asking whether one should follow the mandatory reporting laws or not .. I am asking whether laws need to be changed to protect therapists' would be right to full confidentiality ... ?

    [QUOTE=CaptainCourtesy;1059800061]Secondly, the mandatory reporting edict takes some of the subjectivity out of certain situations. A therapist does not have to struggle with keeping confidentiality of a client, verse safety concerns. It may sound a bit like passing the buck, but saying, "I'm sorry, but ethically, I am required to report this" can be very helpful, both in assisting the therapist in making a difficult decision, and in not completely ruining the therapeutic relationship./QUOTE]

    I agree that this piece makes it easier for therapists .. however, I am not sure how that effects the decision to either protect of not a therapists' would be right to full confidentiality.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    Thirdly, mandatory reporting protects individuals either from harm, further harm, or self harm. Not only does this assist in public safety, but it helps prevent someone from harming themselves while they are in the throws of significant distress, whereas if this distress is alleviated, they might make a different choice.
    I am wondering where the evidence is that proves that reporting does more good than harm ... ? ?
    I understand the concept .. hopefully therapists will be able to stop people from getting hurt .. its a good intention, however, does mandatory reporting significantly reduce incidents and, if there is a very small ounce of harm reduction involved .. is that worth not being able to counsel those who do not trust therapy due to its mandated breaches in confidentiality? What if through counseling, a murderer could be counseling away from murdering? What if a rapist could be counseled away from raping .. an abuser away from abusing .. and so on. What if a therapies influence on individuals is so strong, that the world would be a much better place if all people were counseled via their own free will .. ? Somehow, I am leaning a little toward the full confidentiality side.

    Again, so do you agree with mandated reporting, or do you just follow the ethical and legal guidelines that were set in place?

    I am all for sticking to the law .. especially because it saves your own butt .. however, there are many laws (not just regarding therapy) that I do not agree with
    Last edited by MusicAdventurer; 09-16-11 at 04:34 AM.

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    Re: Manditory reporting for non-medication-prescribing therapists

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    OK, I'm going to play the devil's advocate here ...

    So, is that a problem with mandatory reporting or is that a problem with the legal system? I am not asking whether one should follow the mandatory reporting laws or not .. I am asking whether laws need to be changed to protect therapists' would be right to full confidentiality ... ?
    Even if the laws were changed so that therapist could not be sued, I would still support mandatory reporting for the other reasons that I mentioned, especially the safety one.

    I agree that this piece makes it easier for therapists .. however, I am not sure how that effects the decision to either protect of not a therapists' would be right to full confidentiality.
    In the very first session that I do, I explain the exceptions to the confidentiality rule. The client enters a contract with me when they agree to see me. If they are uncomfortable with the confidentiality rules, they are allowed to choose to not see me.

    I am wondering where the evidence is that proves that reporting does more good than harm ... ? ?
    This would be impossible to prove, since there is no control group. In other words, we cannot compare the safety of those who are under care of those who report, verses those who do not, since reporting is mandatory. Also, I have no idea how we would measure "good" and "harm".

    I understand the concept .. hopefully therapists will be able to stop people from getting hurt .. its a good intention, however, does mandatory reporting significantly reduce incidents and, if there is a very small ounce of harm reduction involved .. is that worth not being able to counsel those who do not trust therapy due to its mandated breaches in confidentiality? What if through counseling, a murderer could be counseling away from murdering? What if a rapist could be counseled away from raping .. an abuser away from abusing .. and so on. What if a therapies influence on individuals is so strong, that the world would be a much better place if all people were counseled via their own free will .. ? Somehow, I am leaning a little toward the full confidentiality side.
    Well, you'd have to understand the rules around mandatory reporting. If a client tells me, for example, "I'm thinking about killing myself", and that's all they say on the matter, I would not report. Heck, I had two clients that said that to me just today. I have the option of reporting, but the mandatory part comes in if the have ideation, means, and clear intent. Same for someone who says "I want to kill 'xxx'". What is the level of intent and seriousness. Situations are dependent on a quite a few factors and are not so cut and dry. I tend to try to err on the side of confidentiality, but there are certainly some situations where, mandatory reporting or not, ethically, I need to do something to ensure the safety of the client or another person.

    Again, so do you agree with mandated reporting, or do you just follow the ethical and legal guidelines that were set in place?
    I agree with mandatory reporting.

    I am all for sticking to the law .. especially because it saves your own butt .. however, there are many laws (not just regarding therapy) that I do not agree with
    As do I, but this one I do agree with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseone View Post
    This is what I hate about politics the most, it turns people in snobbish egotistical self righteous dicks who allow their political beliefs, partisan attitudes, and 'us vs. them' mentality, to force them to deny reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Navy Pride View Post
    You can't paint everone with the same brush.......It does not work tht way.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    See with you around Captain we don't even have to make arguments, as you already know everything .
    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalThought View Post
    Had you been born elsewhere or at a different time you may very well have chosen a different belief system.
    Quote Originally Posted by ernst barkmann View Post
    It a person has faith they dont need to convince another of it, and when a non believer is not interested in listening to the word of the lord, " you shake the dust from your sandels and move on"

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    Re: Manditory reporting for non-medication-prescribing therapists

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    Even if the laws were changed so that therapist could not be sued, I would still support mandatory reporting for the other reasons that I mentioned, especially the safety one.

    In the very first session that I do, I explain the exceptions to the confidentiality rule. The client enters a contract with me when they agree to see me. If they are uncomfortable with the confidentiality rules, they are allowed to choose to not see me.
    Yes I am very familiar with this (I aught to be, after all I counsel people).

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    This would be impossible to prove, since there is no control group. In other words, we cannot compare the safety of those who are under care of those who report, verses those who do not, since reporting is mandatory. Also, I have no idea how we would measure "good" and "harm".
    Actually, a poll could be done to see how many people do not trust therapists etc.
    The terms "Good" and "Harm" are subjective, however, a definition could easily be agreed upon via a poll

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    Well, you'd have to understand the rules around mandatory reporting. If a client tells me, for example, "I'm thinking about killing myself", and that's all they say on the matter, I would not report. Heck, I had two clients that said that to me just today. I have the option of reporting, but the mandatory part comes in if the have ideation, means, and clear intent. Same for someone who says "I want to kill 'xxx'". What is the level of intent and seriousness. Situations are dependent on a quite a few factors and are not so cut and dry. I tend to try to err on the side of confidentiality, but there are certainly some situations where, mandatory reporting or not, ethically, I need to do something to ensure the safety of the client or another person.
    Again, I am very familiar with the legal and ethical positions that are currently set. I also am aware that a counselor can use good judgement on whether to report or not .. however, being a therapist does not necessarily mean one has good judgement. Finally, we do not know how many people distrust therapists and thus do not seek needed counseling (my guess is that the number is high). In fact, as you know, there are disorders that involve a level of distrust for others; mandatory reporting would surely not help these folks. It is a matter that I think should be researched and given more attention.

    So ... why, why, why, why ... ?

    Why do you agree with mandatory reporting? I have heard you explain what mandatory reporting is (I knew this already) but I have not heard your position on why you agree with it .... ?? Do you believe it does more good than harm?

  6. #6
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    Re: Manditory reporting for non-medication-prescribing therapists

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    Yes I am very familiar with this (I aught to be, after all I counsel people).
    Ok.

    Actually, a poll could be done to see how many people do not trust therapists etc.
    The terms "Good" and "Harm" are subjective, however, a definition could easily be agreed upon via a poll
    Those definitions would be subjective if they were agreed upon by a poll. The results would not be meaningful.

    Again, I am very familiar with the legal and ethical positions that are currently set. I also am aware that a counselor can use good judgement on whether to report or not .. however, being a therapist does not necessarily mean one has good judgement. Finally, we do not know how many people distrust therapists and thus do not seek needed counseling (my guess is that the number is high). In fact, as you know, there are disorders that involve a level of distrust for others; mandatory reporting would surely not help these folks. It is a matter that I think should be researched and given more attention.
    I completely disagree with your "guess" that the number of people who need counseling and who distrust therapists is high. Can you cite some sort of information/data that demonstrates this belief?

    So ... why, why, why, why ... ?

    Why do you agree with mandatory reporting? I have heard you explain what mandatory reporting is (I knew this already) but I have not heard your position on why you agree with it .... ?? Do you believe it does more good than harm?
    Yes, I believe it does more good than harm, and I have explained why I agree with it. It provides safety for the individual and for others. To me, this outweighs the potential for confidentiality breeches, considering that the parameters that allow for the breeches are pretty stringent.
    "Never fear. Him is here" - Captain Chaos (Dom DeLuise), Cannonball Run

    ====||:-D

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseone View Post
    This is what I hate about politics the most, it turns people in snobbish egotistical self righteous dicks who allow their political beliefs, partisan attitudes, and 'us vs. them' mentality, to force them to deny reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Navy Pride View Post
    You can't paint everone with the same brush.......It does not work tht way.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    See with you around Captain we don't even have to make arguments, as you already know everything .
    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalThought View Post
    Had you been born elsewhere or at a different time you may very well have chosen a different belief system.
    Quote Originally Posted by ernst barkmann View Post
    It a person has faith they dont need to convince another of it, and when a non believer is not interested in listening to the word of the lord, " you shake the dust from your sandels and move on"

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