Monday, 18 February 2013

The Psycho Therapist



Several states have established a duty on the part of psychotherapists to protect the public from harm caused by their dangerous patients. The Supreme Court of California initially articulated this duty in the widely discussed Tarasoff case where the court stated:

When a therapist determines, or pursuant to the standards of his profession should determine, that his patient presents a serious danger of violence to another, he incurs an obligation to use reasonable care to protect the intended victim against such danger. This discharge of this duty may require the therapist ... to warn the intended victim or others... to notify police, or to take whatever other steps are reasonably necessary...

Recent cases have sought an appropriate standard by which to measure this duty, Some courts have adopted a standard which holds that the duty attaches only when the patient makes specific threats toward identifiable victims (STIV). The two most recent major decisions, however, have applied the zone of danger (ZOD) test. According to this standard, the duty applies whenever the patient poses a foreseeable danger and it extends to all victims in the zone of danger. These courts have explicitly rejected the STIV standard on the basis of legal theory and policy analysis. While these two lines of cases differ in that the former endorses the STIV standard while the latter applies the ZOD test, they agree insofar as all accept the underlying duty of therapists to protect the public from their patients.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a general term referring to therapeutic interaction or treatment contracted between a trained professional and a client, patient, family, couple, or group. The problems addressed are psychological in nature and of no specific kind or degree, but rather depend on the specialty of the practitioner.

Psychotherapy aims to increase the individual's sense of his/her own well-being. Psychotherapists employ a range of techniques based on experiential relationship building, dialogue, communication and behavior change that are designed to improve the mental health of a client or patient, or to improve group relationships (such as in a family).

Psychotherapy may also be performed by practitioners with a number of different qualifications, including psychiatry, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, clinical or psychiatric social work, mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, play therapy, music therapy, art therapy, drama therapy, dance/movement therapy, occupational therapy, psychiatric nursing, psychoanalysis and those from other psychotherapies. It may be legally regulated, voluntarily regulated or unregulated, depending on the jurisdiction. Requirements of these professions vary, but often require graduate school and supervised clinical experience. Psychotherapy in Europe is increasingly being seen as an independent profession, rather than being restricted to being practiced only by psychologists and psychiatrists as is stipulated in some countries.

Friday, 11 May 2007

This dream snippet from last night


This dream snippet from last night, obviously motivated from the odd exchange with the Starbucks Counter Girl (detailed below, yes, you'll have to scroll down) completely slipped my mind until moments ago when a patient mentioned ordering a "White Russian" over the weekend. Jung would be so happy: my own personal scarab tapping against the window. Heh.

In essence,

I am with a group of therapists who decide to dine at the restaurant of a new hotel. We sit down, order drinks (I get a "White Russian", something I would never get during waking life) and begin small talk. The server brings our beverages, all of which are fine but mine. I attempt to explain the dilemma to him but repeatedly fail; he insists there is nothing wrong with my drink. I show the glass to my colleagues and advise them of what they should be seeing. They seem to understand but I sense some kind of resistance which is puzzling. I continue to try engaging the server in the hope he will eventually understand. He does not and walks away with a major 'tude.

I am amazed no one is following what is going on. The drink contains large pieces of asparagus, white rice and thinly sliced red peppers--not even close to vodka, Kahlua and cream/milk.
Not even close.

Not. even. close.

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Mindless drivel-sharing for a Monday.


Good lovin' gone bad after a fabulous fun-filled weekend attending various festivals and hangin' with friends not seen in a coon's age. On misunderstanding, miscommunication, language barriers, semantics and bullshit.

Me: Hi, I'd like a decaf espresso, please, with soy milk.
Starbucks Counter Girl: (blank stare)
Me: Do you have soy milk?
SBCG: Yeeaahhhhhh...
Me: Okay, that's what I want.
SBCG: Hmmm. Espresso and soy milk.
Me: Decaf espresso. Do you have decaf espresso?
SBCG: (blank stare)
Me: Is your espresso also available in decaf?
SBCG: Yes.
Me: Good. That's what I want.
SBCG: Uh, um, okay. How many do you want with that?
Me: How many do I want?
SBCG: Yeah, like one or two.
Me: D'you mean shots? How many shots of espresso do I want?
SBCG: Do you want one or two?
Me: Oh, I want two, a double shot.
SBCG: Hot or cold?
Me: Hot.
SBCG: I really don't know what you want.
Me: (now wondering about this chick-a-dee) I want a double shot decaf espresso with soy milk.
SBCG: Latte or Machiato?
Me: Latte, latte. (thinking we're on to something).
SBCG: (shaking her head looking at me as if I am from another planet and with more than an edge of blame in her voice) I don't know what this is or how to charge for it. (hands empty cup to girl making the coffee)
Me: It's a latte. Think of it as a latte. A latte with soy milk.
Starbucks Coffeemaking Girl: (looking at the scribble on the cup trying to decipher what SBCG has written so she'll know what to make) I...what is this...(turning to look at me) Do you want a double latte with soy? Is that what this is supposed to be?
Me: Yes.
Coffeemaking girl: Oh, simple. (smiling)

My best friend was in the bathroom and missed the first part of the dialogue but was in line to catch the end. I didn't know she was there to hear any of it. When I turned with coffee in hand and saw her, I walked up and said, "You see?". She burst out laughing. You so had to be there.

Saturday, 20 August 2005

Auto Accident


There has been an auto accident and a woman is injured. She is semi-conscious but bleeding profusely. I do basic first aid and the paramedics arrive. They ask me "What do you want, doc?" I bark orders, get stabilizing devices, hang IVs, "throw me an arterial cut kit" and perform minor surgery there in the street.

I have seen it in my mind. I am lying somewhere. He is holding me in his arms. Behind him, through a gauzy haze, I sense a crowd watches. I know I am dying.

I look into his eyes, pale blue doors I have entered many times, and I smile. I am so glad he is here. I am so glad it is him I will see last. I can't think of anything more I could want. I am deeply comforted.

He searches my eyes, never leaving their gaze. Every truth we've shared is making itself known. I feel his thoughts and staggering compassion. I know this is right, it has always been right. And it had to be him. Again.

_________________________

I like trees because they seem more resigned
to the way they have to live than other things do.

--Willa Cather