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Unread March 5th, 2006, 12:12 AM
sk8rgrl23 sk8rgrl23 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 53
Default When the therapist screws up

Okay, here's the skeleton of the situation. I got read the riot act by a client this week for something that I truthfully screwed up on. In a nutshell, I did a safety contract with a client, she followed through on her end, but it wasn't logged for some reason at the crisis center, I second guessed myself, and overreacted to the information I had, or didn't have in this case (apparently the client did call and check in and it was not noted) where there was a breach of confidentiality. Normally I"m really good with these situations, I have a pretty high threshold for crisis situations, and by now a fair amount of experience, and I"m honestly dumbfounded by how I dealt with the situaiton. I did meet with the client the next day, she aired her grievance with me in what I thought was an appropriate and respectful way. I didn't try to ignore her complaint and risk blowing what rapport we had left, and I didn't try to defend myself or get into a blame game, but I also didn't want to say anything that might increase liability for myself or the agency. The session ended apparently well, we discussed specific steps we would take next time there was a suicidal issue, including having every detail written down for both of us, and she seemed satisfied. I don't think this issue will go any further, and if it does I'll just have to work it out with my supervisors, one of whom I already consulted about the situation.

The client in question is on vacation next week, and I"m wondering if I should say anything more about this incident with her when she gets back, or if so, what. Mostly I just feel really bad about letting my emotions get in the way of good judgment and one thing I like to model for my clients is honesty and accountability. I also want to do everything I can to restore what has been a quality therapeutic relationship.

I don't want any "why did/didn't you" kind of feedback. What's done is done. I'm thinking everyone has some sort of moment like this in their professional lifetime, and maybe a good thread would be to talk about those incidents and how different people have handled it.
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