Forcing a Child Into a Therapy Coursework Sample

Posted on October 9, 2023

Paper Instructions

Academic level – Undergraduate 1-2
Type of paper – Coursework
Topic Title – Forcing a child into a therapy

Children are sometimes involuntary “patients” when they are brought to a psychologist or psychiatrist for treatment.

  • What are the ethical implications of “forcing” a child to receive treatment, especially when the child opposes treatment for principled, rational, and articulate reasons?
  • What special problems might this produce for the therapist?
  • At what age does a child have the right to refuse treatment or have a different idea of what the treatment target or concerns are?

Coursework Sample

Working with a child whom the parents have forced into treatment has several noteworthy ethical implications. A therapist is responsible for respecting the client’s privacy, but this goal contradicts the parental wishes when working with a minor. Furthermore, it creates a conflict of interest between a child and their caregivers, who view the particular rational behaviors as problematic. It puts therapists in a position that directly contradicts their goal of caring for the patient and allowing them to be in power throughout their treatment. It partially violates the principle of non-maleficence and beneficence if a child has no significant issues to address.

The following situation can create problems between a therapist and a client or between a client and their family. Treatment by forcing a child will inadvertently lead to resentment and poor counseling outcomes. A therapist may have a deficient level of influence on the client’s state. Even more, the child might develop aggressive opinions about their parents, leading to more disruptive and damaging behaviors. Parents in such cases can also be too invasive and require knowledge of the entire treatment process, even though it is typically required for parents to respect the boundaries (Do’s and don’ts, 2023). Ultimately, it may entirely disrupt the therapeutic process and harm the child more than provide any benefit to the family.

The age during which a child can determine whether or not they want to continue the treatment varies across states. In the U.S., the age gap is wide: it is from 12 to 18, with the latter being the most common age of consent (The age of consent, 2023). The diverse attitude to consent produces specific legal issues for the counselor if they decide to act in the child’s interests but not their parents. A child may seek other types of emancipation before the described age, but mental and financial resources are draining.

Do’s and don’ts when your kid is in therapy. Cleveland Clinic. (2023, February 7).

The age of consent for mental health treatment by state. ICANotes. (2023, June 2).

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