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Thinking about Publishing? On Seeking Patient Consent to Publish Case Material

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The onus on therapists to seek the consent of their patients before publishing clinical material may be one reason why so few decide to write about their experience. There are inevitable and unavoidable tensions in balancing the duty of care to patients with other ethical responsibilities, including the needs of the professional community for education and scientific advancement. In this paper, we explore the context and dynamics of seeking consent from couples and families to publish material relating to their therapy and propose a way to manage some of the ethical dilemmas involved in writing about patients that is in keeping with the contemporary analytic literature on the interpersonal unconscious between patient and therapist, and the interpsychic/interpersonal dimensions of therapeutic action. Throughout this paper, the term “patient” is used to designate couples and families as well as individuals.
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Keywords: CONFIDENTIALITY; CONSENT TO PUBLISH; COUPLE AND FAMILY THERAPY; DISGUISE; ETHICS; INTERPERSONAL UNCONSCIOUS; PSYCHOANALYSIS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2015

More about this publication?
  • Couple and Family Psychoanalysis Journal is a new international journal sponsored by the Bristish Society of Couple Psychotherapists and Counsellors, the Professional Association of the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships and aims to promote the theory and practice of working with couple and family relationships from a psychoanalytic perspective. It seeks to provide a forum for disseminating current ideas and research and for developing clinical practice.
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