Judgment plays several important roles in therapy. Most traditional psychotherapists are trained to be judgment free as it relates to our stance toward our therapy clients. It is widely accepted that being therapeutic and forming a bond with clients involves not placing negative judgments on others.
Next one of the important indicators of someone’s mental status is whether or not they demonstrate good judgement. We pay attention to our client’s ability to make good sound decisions. So we have to form some opinions about client’s decision making in order to do that. Is their reasoning sound? Do they make decisions that put themselves and others at risk?
Life and Death
Next, people depend on us as psychotherapists. Therefore we need to demonstrate good judgment and make sound decisions. The decisions we make with regard to effective diagnosis and treatment are very often life and death decisions. Even if our work does not directly effect life and death in the moment, all of our decisions regarding our clients and treatment involve quality of life.
The decisions we make during this global pandemic are life and death decisions. So if you are making decisions that reflect a belief that you are somehow invincible and that your desire to sit in an office face to face in person supersedes the safety of your clients and the public at large, then you are demonstrating poor judgment. If you make a decision to do that, then you will be judged for putting your clients in harm’s way intentionally. Your belief that wearing a mask, wiping down surfaces and using hand sanitizer will protect you while front-line health care workers are sleeping away from their families despite wearing head to toe protective gear is telling.
Take Advice from Experts
If you believe that not following the advice of the nation’s leading public health officials and epidemiologists is in any way justified you are wrong. I hope that you and the people you serve do not pay with your lives or diminished quality of life. If you work in a capacity where you can and have been seeing people at a distance, you should continue to do so. If you decide to put people at risk, you are also risking your professional reputation. You may also risk your liability coverage and support should you be sued as it relates to your decision during this time. I am grateful that no one I refer too is demonstrating poor judgment at this time. If that changes I will adjust my referral listing accordingly.
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