In this article, we answer some pressing questions with regards to what the law says about various child-related issues that may pop up in your practice. Parental consent, best interest of the child and limitations of confidentiality are discussed. We also, very briefly touch on how to safeguard yourself when it comes to payments of your sessions.
It is heartbreaking that many people judge the psychology world by the picture that Hollywood has painted for us. In countless movies the psychologist is portrayed as a know-it-all guru who traps people in an extended, dependency driven relationship. There is a big fluffy couch where the patient will lie down and share their story, while the distracted ‘shrink’ continuously asks “how do you feel about that” and bluntly stops the session the moment time is up. In many movies the client never resolves issues and is just told to come back next week.In light of this I am overjoyed to tell you that most counsellors sees this portrayed image and goes out of their way to break and correct this view of the counselling world.
So your child comes to you and tells you he is gay or she is lesbian. You feel that the earth has dropped out from under your feet. You look at them and try to read their faces. A million questions go through your mind. You look at them and wait, are they joking? Your mind screams, “Please just laugh and say I’m only joking”. It does not come. You realise this is real. You feel for a moment you’re in a Mexican standoff.
Oh, but the TIREDNESS. I will never forget. Never ever, ever, ever!! It lasted for 18 years (sorry my dearest sisters). One night I woke up and I couldn’t find my sweetheart last born - oh my freak! She was lying on the carpet! What was happening to me? How did she land there? Was I going to be arrested for child abuse? I could just see the headlines: “Social worker abandons newborn on floor”.
It is easy for a platonic friendship to evolve into an emotional affair. All it takes is time, emotional investment and a little denial. Make sure that you and your spouse have very clearly defined boundaries when it comes to friendships and stick to these and respect them.