June 24, 2015
First, to mention is that many children in the United States have mental or behavioral issues, which some of them are not even diagnosed, and that is why they are untreated. In the article from Jane Koppelman from 2004 is indicated that one out of five children endure behavioral and emotional issues that fall into the category, which can be diagnosed (Koppelman, 2004). There are some children they are not as fortunate as others. About five percent have severe mental or behavioral disorders. In this study, people can see that an estimate of "70 to 80 percent of children with mental disorders goes without care" (Koppelman, 2004, p. 3). However, in today's discussion the author wants to elaborate about a 13-year-old boy who is having a bar mitzvah and has invited his mental health practitioner. The practitioner has doubts but would like to go to avoid any repercussions he or she ask a reputable source for professional advice (Argosy University, 2015).
It is hard to see children that age already having to deal with any mental health issues. In this case, the recommendation would be not to go. Do to the fact that the 13-year-old is the client of the mental health practitioner could lead to boundary issue. If the practitioner goes to the bar mitzvah, the parents or other family members of the client can treat him or her differently in a matter of both ways. They either treat the practitioner good or bad and down the road this could make the practitioner bias. There will be most likely always issues if there are multiple relationships between the both. The "American Psychological Association (APA) ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct" (American Psychological Association, 2010) explains in the "Standard 3.05 (a) (1) Multiple Relationships" (American Psychological Association, 2010). This does not have to be in any kind of way in sexual nature. However, the non-sexual friendly relationship with any client, in this case, the 13-year-old could result in a possible boundary violation. Often there are gray areas people have to look out for because boundary violations are not always black and white. Living in a small town has its good and bad sides because family members and friends can be close but the downside of it is that patients and their family may be friends or the other way around. In this case, the mental health practitioner has to think about the welfare of his or her patient and not use the knowledge learned about the patient to his or her advantage. In the case of using that knowledge, it would be a breach of confidentiality, which is known in APA as "4.01 Maintaining Confidentiality" (American Psychological Association, 2010). Furthermore, the relationship between the mental health practitioner and the patient should stay on a therapeutic basis. Therefore, therapeutic boundaries are very important. Those boundaries are in the code of ethics as the “Standard 2.01 (a) Boundaries of Competence" (American Psychological Association, 2010). That means the psychologist is there to provide services on the level of his or her capability and maintain the developed competence "2.03 Maintaining Competence" (American Psychological Association, 2010). The issue on hand will be different if the therapy sessions the 13-year-old is receiving at this point are done. However, there are still rules and regulations following a concluded therapy, which has to uphold at least two years after the therapy. Those rules include, but are not limited to non-sexual as well as sexual relationships (Pipes, 2002). No matter what type of mental health professional is involved the situation would be the same. The APA code of ethics and the specialty guidelines still have to be honored and followed because they are made exactly for that reason to protect both the mental