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Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) List Serve

Database of Past CMRL Messages

Welcome to the database of past Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) list serve messages. The table below contains all past CMRL messages (text only, no attachments) from Nov. 20, 1996 - December 22, 2017 and is updated quarterly.

Instructions: Postings are listed for browsing with the newest messages first. Click on the linked ID number to see a message. You can search the author, subject, message ID, and message content fields by entering your criteria into this search box:

Message ID: 8160
Date: 2009-05-26

Author:D F MCMAHON

Subject:RE: Are Therapists Potentially Dangerous?

Context has something to do with it when systems such as child welfare are involved, since statements by therapist or client find their way outside the therapy setting, and the more fingers you have in the pie the more risky this becomes. There are also different views, formally and informally, regarding the use of parental evaluations. Here the agency (public) that normally does those has pared it down to mostly formal assessment with a little bit of interviewing, but also sees the eval's purpose as solely to identify services the family would need. But caseworkers and prosecutors may take the same information and use it in unexpected ways, you have language of psychology that means something else when it gets exported out of the psychology realm, atminimum you have potential problems with the disclosure of informatioin and/or opinions arising out of the therapy. I think it is critical for therapsits to discuss their disclsures whenever possible with the colient before making them, but also for them to be aware that people/agencies receiving their disclosures may not use it in the way the therapist would have intended. I've seen therapists who pursue certain directions that may not be appropriate but reflect the mission of the agency they work for or their own professional interest. One area that comes to mind is attachment therapy, there's a gamut from theories and therapies that don't have good scientific evidence but people (professional and non-professional) are convinced about, the subjectivity that is inherent in these areas. Sheri McMahon

Context has something to do with it when systems such as child welfare are involved, since statements by therapist or client find their way outside the therapy setting, and the more fingers you have in the pie the more risky this becomes. There are also different views, formally and informally, regarding the use of parental evaluations. Here the agency (public) that normally does those has pared it down to mostly formal assessment with a little bit of interviewing, but also sees the eval's purpose as solely to identify services the family would need. But caseworkers and prosecutors may take the same information and use it in unexpected ways, you have language of psychology that means something else when it gets exported out of the psychology realm, atminimum you have potential problems with the disclosure of informatioin and/or opinions arising out of the therapy. I think it is critical for therapsits to discuss their disclsures whenever possible with the colient before making them, but also for them to be aware that people/agencies receiving their disclosures may not use it in the way the therapist would have intended. I've seen therapists who pursue certain directions that may not be appropriate but reflect the mission of the agency they work for or their own professional interest. One area that comes to mind is attachment therapy, there's a gamut from theories and therapies that don't have good scientific evidence but people (professional and non-professional) are convinced about, the subjectivity that is inherent in these areas. Sheri McMahon