Therapists have a responsibility to care for their patients in a way that promotes personal growth and stability. To achieve these goals, therapists often know intimate details about their patients’ lives. Unfortunately, the level of intimacy necessary for a successful therapist-patient relationship makes it easy for unethical therapists to take advantage of their patients.
Any situation in which a therapist uses their position to exploit a patient can be considered therapy abuse. At Jenner Law, we handle a variety of therapy abuse cases. Right now, you can start a free case review about partnering with an Austin therapy abuse lawyer from our firm. We’re ready to seek compensation for what you need.
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Unlike other attorneys, we do not charge upfront retainers or hourly rates. Instead, we work on a contingency-fee basis––meaning some of your compensation pays for our help. We pay for your case’s consulting fees, filing costs, and other obligations.
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What Constitutes Therapist Abuse in Texas?
Therapists have a duty to care for their patients in a way that enhances the patient’s psychological health and does not cause harm. The intimacy inherent in therapist-patient relationships can lead to a phenomenon called transference, in which the patient emotionally relates to the therapist as they would to a parent.
While patients under normal circumstances would be able to recognize unethical or harmful behavior, patients experiencing transference are more likely to trust and obey their therapists without question. The uneven power dynamic created by emotional transference can lead to therapy abuse.
Recognize the Signs of Therapist Abuse
Your therapist might not have intended to harm you. They genuinely may have believed that their methods would have benefited you. However, all therapists must follow the guidelines set in place by the American Psychological Association.
Examples of therapy abuse include:
- Unprofessional language, shouting, and violence
- Unnecessary or intimate physical contact
- Violation of personal space
- Misdiagnoses and unnecessary treatment
- Prescribing incorrect medication or treatment
- Breach of confidentiality
- Contact with the patient outside a professional setting
- Sexual or romantic interactions
- Encouraging patient dependency
This is not an exhaustive list of therapy abuse. You may have suffered other adverse events than those listed here. If so, our therapy abuse lawyers in Austin are ready to hear from you.
What Damages Can I Claim in an Austin Therapist Abuse Lawsuit?
At Jenner Law, we understand that every therapy abuse case is different. This means that you may recover a different set of damages than someone in a similar situation.
Examples of compensable losses include:
- Healthcare expenses. You may have required care in a psychiatric institution or medications to help with your mental health after suffering therapy abuse.
- Pain and suffering. You might feel betrayed after placing your trust in a therapist and suffering abuse. Pain and suffering in your case could account for your mental health complications and other related hardships.
- Lost time from work. Your abuse may have caused you to miss time from work. Compensation in your case could account for your lost income, tips, benefits, and bonuses.
These are just some of the damages you could seek through an insurance claim or lawsuit. When you consult with our therapy abuse team in Austin, we can explain what other damages you can recover through legal action.
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What You Can Expect from Your Austin Therapist Abuse Lawyer?
When you partner with Jenner Law, you can trust your lawyer to:
- Gather evidence of your abuse, including your personal testimony
- Determine what your claim or lawsuit could yield compensation for
- File your case within any statutory deadlines
- Review the therapist’s treatment history for prior instances of abuse
- Keep you updated on your case’s progression
- Explain your legal options
- Manage all case-related communications
Your best interests are our best interests. We will do everything possible to resolve your case and recover compensation for what you need to move forward.
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Questions and Answers About Therapy Abuse in Austin, Texas
You may have one or more of the following questions on your mind:
What If My Therapist Refutes Any Allegations of Abuse?
If your therapist refuses to admit any wrongdoing, it’s your word against theirs. This is what makes evidence collection crucial. By reviewing the therapist’s history of treating patients, reviewing their case notes, and consulting with experts, we can support your right to damages.
Will I Need to File a Lawsuit?
Many therapists carry liability insurance to protect themselves against any allegations of wrongdoing. However, many states, including Texas, do not require therapists to carry coverage.
If your therapist has liability coverage, this could pay for your losses through an insurance claim. However, if not, you can file a lawsuit against them in civil court. You don’t have to be intimidated by litigation. You can trust that our team will manage everything your lawsuit entails from beginning to end.
What Are the Types of Therapist Abuse?
Earlier, we shared some of the signs of therapy abuse. Yet, therapy abuse can be broken down into four categories:
- Sexual abuse, where a therapist makes romantic or sexual advances toward a patient
- Physical abuse, where a therapist hits, punches, or slaps a patient––even if it’s in the name of “treatment”
- Verbal abuse, such as gaslighting, belittling, or humiliating a patient
- Financial abuse, such as charging exorbitant fees or compelling the patient to give the therapist power over their financial resources (through power of attorney, for example)
Contact the Austin Therapist Abuse Lawyer at Jenner Law
If you suffered harm due to an unethical therapist, Jenner Law’s therapy abuse attorneys are here to help. Our founding partner, Robert K. Jenner, has successfully represented victims of personal injury, medical malpractice, and therapy abuse for more than 30 years. He and his team are committed to seeking justice and compensation for your losses.
No matter how your therapist abused your trust, our compassionate attorneys will hear your case and help you decide on your next steps. Contact our Austin therapy abuse attorneys today for a free consultation.