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The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) is one of the acts that guide the practices of a nurse when it comes to Group and Family Therapy. Ethical and legal considerations such as confidential information of a patient as defined by HIPPA is part of what psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner does. Therefore, in this discussion, the primary objective is to provide an explanation of how legal and ethical considerations for group and family therapy differ from individual therapy. The differences between the considerations significantly affect therapeutic approaches for clients depending on whether the clients are put on group or family therapy (Schiefele et al. 2018)
The differences in legal and ethical considerations for group and family therapy and individual therapy
Group and family therapists face more ethical and legal challenges than individually oriented therapists do. First, in group and family therapy, the ethical consideration is grounded in the foundational premise of the family as a system and therefore, the focus of the therapy is on the relationship. Some of the specific ethical and legal considerations that require special attention on the part of individual and group and family therapists include responsibility, informed consent and confidentiality. The first difference in ethical considerations for group and family therapy and individual therapy based on responsibility (Schiefele et al. 2018). Unlike individual therapy, group and family therapy is associated with the dilemma of multiple clients who are in the same situations and therefore, an intervention that serves one person’s best interests may be counter therapeutic to another. It means that the therapy process must consider an intervention that serves all the parties involved (Gurman & Burton, 2014). In group and family therapy, there are conflicting goals, as well as, the interests of the parties involved. It is unlike individual therapy in which the therapist encourages the client to explore potential ramifications of his or her actions. The group and family therapist is set apart from the individual therapist because of the family therapist’s ethical clear commitment to promoting the welfare of every member involved in the treatment process. It implies that group and family therapist has more responsibility than an individual therapist does for exercising judgment, which must take into account all the individuals (Gurman & Burton, 2014)
When it comes to legal consideration, informed consent is a key difference between group and family therapy and individual therapy. In treating each member’s confidences in-group and family therapy, the therapists should act as though that person were an individual client (Shaw, 2015). The information got during a private session, or a telephone call from one member is not divulged to other family members. The therapist upholds the individual client’s confidentiality to other family members (Hertlein, Blumer & Mihaloliakos, 2015). When it comes to individual therapy, one obtains only one client’s permission to use information while in the group and family therapy the permission is obtained during the conjoint sessions.
How the differences might affect therapeutic approaches for client’s in-group and family therapy
By considering responsibility as ethical considering in group and family therapy, the therapist must ensure that improvement in the status of one the member in the therapy is not occurring at the expense of another member. As part of ethical consideration, the group and family therapist should be an advocate of the family system during therapeutic process and avoids becoming an agent of any one of the members. When it comes to preservation of confidentiality, therapeutic approaches for clients in group and family therapy is such that the therapists arrange for sessions with individual family members to actively encourage the sharing of “secrets” as part of better understand what is occurring in the group or family (Shaw, 2015). When dealing with clients in group and family therapy, I will ensure that informed consent is obtained from each member in the therapy process before any information is used. If permission is not granted, all information must be kept confidential (Hertlein, Blumer & Mihaloliakos, 2015)
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