Avoiding Psychotherapist Malpractice Claims and Psychotherapist Defense With the global economic slowdown and the stock market crashing day after day taking away the savings and jobs of thousands of people in California and around the world each week, more and more people are becoming depressed and turning to psychotherapists for help. It doesn't matter where you live in California, whether it is in San Diego, CA, Orange County, Santa Barbara, Palos Verdes, Anaheim, Buena Park, Corona del Mar, Palm Springs, Temecula, Indian Wells, in Ventura, Carlsbad, Rancho Santa Fe, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, help from a psychotherapist may be needed by all of us if this worldwide economic crisis becomes much worse. Mental health professionals can commit malpractice or fail to meet the standard of care in a number of situations. However, they are accused in many more in which there is no malpractice and where they do meet the standard of care. The type of situation in which psychotherapists most clearly commit malpractice is where the mental health professional enters into a sexual relationship with the patient while the patient is still under their care. Unfortunately this claim is made by patients more times than it is true. A psychotherapist owes a patient a duty to use reasonable care in the treatment of that patient. When the psychotherapist breaches that duty and acts negligently or intentionally harms that patient, the psychotherapist is liable for damages, which under California law, can be extensive. A psychotherapist can reduce their chances of being sued for malpractice and reduce the chance of being found liable if they are sued by documenting and exercising good judgment when treating their patients. Another pitfall for the therapist is where therapists enter into business relationships with former or current patients. The theory behind why such relationships should be avoided at all cost is the unequal bargaining power between the patient and the therapist once a therapeutic relationship has been established. Using a technique without proper training is also a ripe area for malpractice. It can also be a problem if the psychotherapist has failed to obtain an adequate history, when the psychotherapist has out of office contact with the patient, and when he or she fails to obtain peer consultation. A malpractice case can be brought against a psychotherapist for violating the standard of care and negligently diagnosing or treating a patient. A psychotherapist must also maintain a boundary with his or her patient. When a psychotherapist breaches that boundary by having a sexual, social, business or personal relationship, hugs a patient for more than a few seconds, or has other physical contact other than a handshake, there can be allegations of malpractice. If you are a psychotherapist and are under investigation by your state board for complaints and accusations or malpractice suits, speak to a mental health malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Patients in psychotherapist malpractice cases who are successful can recover damages for past and future medical treatment, past and future wage loss, and pain and suffering both past and future. It is the future medical care of an abused patient that can run into the many hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. Call Attorney R. Sebastian Gibson at (800) 589-3202. Or visit our website below. Sebastian Gibson graduated cum laude at UCLA in 1972 and received two law degrees in the U.S. and the U.K., graduating with an LL.B. magna cum laude from University College, Cardiff in Wales and a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in Southern California. The Sebastian Gibson Law Firm serves all of San Diego, Orange County, Palm Springs and Palm Desert, the Coastal Cities from La Jolla and Del Mar to Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana and Irvine and up to Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. We also serve all the cities in the Coachella Valley including Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta and Indian Wells. Visit our website at http://www.sebastiangibsonlaw.com if you have a psychiatrist or psychotherapist malpractice claim and need legal defense. We have the knowledge and resources to represent you as your California Psychotherapist Lawyer or your attorney in San Diego, Orange County, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach to San Luis Obispo, Anaheim, Irvine, Carlsbad, La Jolla, Temecula, Yorba Linda, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Rancho Santa Fe, Palos Verdes, Del Mar, Malibu and Santa Monica.
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