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(p. 506) Dealing with Third Parties: Legal and Ethical Considerations 

(p. 506) Dealing with Third Parties: Legal and Ethical Considerations
(p. 506) Dealing with Third Parties: Legal and Ethical Considerations

Joe Scroppo

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date: 23 February 2020

This chapter provides guidance on managing the ethical, regulatory, and legal issues that arise when a third party seeks to intervene in the psychotherapist–patient relationship. The chapter reviews the concepts of confidentiality and privilege. The author identifies types of third parties that may try to impinge on the psychotherapist–patient relationship, discusses ways in which third parties can enter the relationship, and identifies reasons for such impingement. A set of guidelines that psychotherapists can apply when confronted with an attempted or actual third-party penetration of the treatment relationship is offered. The following situations are covered: when a psychotherapist is mandated to involve a third party in the relationship (mandated reporting); when a patient authorizes a psychotherapist to involve a third party; when there is a legal demand for involvement in the relationship (subpoena or court order); and when the psychotherapist or client invite a third party into the relationship.

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