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Synopsis

Gain fresh theoretical and practical perspectives of feminist ethics in psychotherapy from this groundbreaking book. The combined effect of increases in the population of minorities in the U.S. and the number of women in psychotherapy practice will have great impact on the future of the mental health profession. Psychotherapy practitioners and students must learn how to make ethical considerations concerning gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Bringing Ethics Alive is the only book of its kind that deals with the multicultural aspects of ethics in mental health services and discusses specific objectives for incorporating ethics in psychotherapy education.

Divided into two sections, Bringing Ethics alive focuses on both theoretical and practical issues of ethics in feminist therapy. The first section addresses theory by emphasizing the ethical responsibility of training programs to incorporate discussions on issues of racism, sexism, and heterosexism into the curricula. The important principles that should be included in courses on ethics in psychotherapy are outlined and include in-depth explanations of the ethics of confidentiality, professional competence, and conflicts of interest. A model for reconceptualizing boundary definitions in therapy is also provided.

The second half of Bringing Ethics Alive provides insights on a wide range of ethical considerations in psychotherapy practice. Some of the specific issues discussed include:

  • sexual abuse of clients by women therapists
  • experiences of women sexually abused by male therapists compared to women sexually abused by female therapists
  • a personal account of sexual misconduct in therapy from the point of view of the victim
  • the ethics code of the Feminist Therapy Institute and the difficulties in translating the code into practice
  • the inappropriate use of Native American spiritual practices or activities by non-Native American professionals

    Graduate students in psychology, social work, and counseling, psychiatric residents, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and counseling clergy, no matter what their level of experience, will benefit from this thought-provoking exploration of feminist ethics in theory and practice. With its multicultural viewpoint and clear definitions of ethical issues, Bringing Ethics Alive is an essential book for helping mental health professionals sort through the complex issues of ethics in feminist therapy.

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