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talk next about objectively resolving conflicts of interest in the therapeutic
relationship regarding the focus of your session. Focus, of course, refers to
your skills in concentrating both your efforts and your client's efforts on the
significant aspect of a situation that requires work, and in retaining that focus
until some conclusion has been reached. Session focus involves thorough consideration
and may be applied to understanding one aspect of the problem under study or one
alternative for solution.
When he asked what my annual income was, I realized the focus of the session was creating a conflict of interest with goals he had set in prior sessions. I then refocused the session by stating, "Why don't we get back to the anger you feel toward your son." At a later point in time I used his avoidance of dealing with deep issues as a learning tool.
Conflict # 2 - Shifting Focus & Content
Or in the future, is this creating a possible scenario where an ethical boundary could be crossed? Is the focus of the session too narrow, only considering one aspect of the situation, or is it too broad and not focused? How much do you let the client control the session content? And at what point and how do you get the client to focus?
Conflict # 3 - Client Self Determination
A way for you to resolve this issue is to wait for, what professionals in education would call, the "teachable moment." I use my gut level instincts to look for a time when it feels right to shift the focus of the session to the suggestion of considering other alternatives. The best indicator is during a low emotional depressed time, when the client indicates what they are doing isn't working. The context of "behavior not working" is often my cue to shift focus and suggest alternatives.
3-Step Technique: Partialization Boundaries in a Crisis Situation
an example of how I use partialization related to a crisis situation in such a
way as to minimize conflict of interests in the therapeutic relationship. In crisis
intervention, I help a client start partializing a problem to reduce the client's
strong anxiety reaction or panic which in an extreme form, as you know, this panic
can become self-perpetuating and even physically dangerous.
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Ethics CEU Answer
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