Legal and Ethical Issues in the Court-Mandated Treatment of Batterers
Department of Psychiatry
Medical Subject Headings
Spouse Abuse; Domestic Violence; Law Enforcement
Health Services Research | Law | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology
In the following article, we will explore the nature of the therapeutic relationship as it relates to batterers' treatment programs. We will consider the impact of obligations created by forces outside the relationship, such as those imposed by legal proceedings. We will discuss the concepts of confidentiality, privilege, and agency and their impact on the therapeutic relationship and the extent to which the therapists' understanding of the role these concepts play may be altered by court orders that impose treatment on a client/patient. Finally, we examine the issues and choices a therapist must make when engaging in court-ordered treatment of batterers, and the implications of those choices for both therapist and client; we will also suggest guidelines to help therapists sort through the often conflicting goals of therapy and the legal process.
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Citation: Rosenbaum A, Warnken WJ, Grudzinskas AJ. (2003) Legal and Ethical Issues in the Court-Mandated Treatment of Batterers. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 7 (1/2):279-303. DOI: 10.1300/J146v07n01_12
Rosenbaum, Alan; Warnken, William J.; and Grudzinskas, Albert J. Jr., "Legal and Ethical Issues in the Court-Mandated Treatment of Batterers" (2003). Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center Publications and Presentations. 484.