July 21, 2010

Boundary Violations: Therapists Need to Draw a Line

by Rush & Gransee

Many Texans, whether living in San Antonio, or anywhere in the State, require the professional services of mental health therapists. The vast majority of mental health service providers are dedicated professionals that seek to help alleviate the mental health conditions of their patients. Unfortunately, the therapist-patient relationship can become too close, and too personal, creating circumstances where boundaries are violated.
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Patients seeking help from licensed counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, or even religious pastors and clergy, often find themselves in a vulnerable position having to open their lives to these professionals. Occasionally, counselors and therapists take advantage of patients in these vulnerable positions as engage in improper sexual relationships, or take advantage financially. Victims need to know that Texas has laws protecting patients that have been the victim of boundary violations.

Chapter 81 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code provides for legal causes of action against mental health service providers that have sexually exploited their patients. Although the title of the Chapter uses the word sexual exploitation, the law also provides for legal remedies if the mental health provider causes - directly or indirectly - physical, emotional, or mental injury caused by "therapeutic deception of the patient by the provider."

If you, or someone you love, has been victimized by an individual that was supposed to be helping with mental health issues, you have legal rights that can and should be enforced. In addition, the Texas Department of State Health Services actively accepts and prosecute complaints against individuals that have violated their trust with patients. If you need legal help, contact a law firm that has experience in this area of law, and has a track record of success in helping victims of mental health abuses.