Mental health professionals have to follow certain rules when they treat vulnerable patients. Should they overstep their boundaries—and even abuse their clients—they should be held to account for their behavior.
If a therapist misused their position of authority and abused you or a loved one, a Miami therapist abuse lawyer with Jenner Law could help you seek financial compensation for the harm you suffered.
Types of Therapy Abuse
Many people who work in the therapy field have the best interest of their clients or patients. Unfortunately, some professionals misuse their position of authority, treat patients inappropriately, or exploit the individual’s vulnerability. These actions could be grounds for a therapy abuse claim.
When a therapist has any type of sexual relationship with a patient, they have likely violated the state rules of conduct that govern their profession. Because having sexual relations with a patient violates those regulations, there is no such thing as a consensual sexual relationship between a patient and a mental health professional. However, romantic relationships are not the only ways a therapist might act inappropriately.
Here are some other examples of things that can be therapy misconduct:
- Speaking about sexual topics unnecessarily
- Touching a client inappropriately or sitting too close to them
- Invasion of privacy
- Psychological abuse
- Financial exploitation
- Abuse of transference
- Encouraging dependence on the relationship with the therapist
- Breach of professional ethics
- Improper prescription of drugs and other substances
When Therapists Violate Clients By Exploiting Transference
Clients reveal a great deal of themselves during therapy, assuming that the therapist is a safe person to work with who has their best interests in mind. The client may even start to feel as if they have a close, intimate, or romantic attachment to their therapist. When a client projects these feelings onto a therapist, this is known as transference.
Therapists should know how to ethically handle these feelings. Unfortunately, some therapists exploit transference. After all, the therapist is aware of the power dynamic between themselves and the client. They may manipulate a client’s feelings to control them financially, sexually, or emotionally.
In some situations, the therapist may even have their own experience with transference during therapy. When a therapist starts to project their own emotional needs and challenges onto the client, this is called countertransference. Of course, this is not the goal of therapy. The client deserves a safe space to share and constructively manage their mental well-being—not a space for a therapist to take advantage of their vulnerability. If your therapist abused you, our Miami attorneys know how to help.
Other Possible Responsible Parties in a Therapy Abuse Case
The above examples of therapist misconduct and abuse apply to the individual who commits those acts. Sometimes, another party can be liable for the actions of the professional who is guilty of therapy abuse.
Hiring incompetent staff or care providers who do not have the required credentials or training can subject a healthcare provider or organization to liability. Also, if the employer does not use proper hiring protocols, like performing sufficient background checks, the employer can face liability.
Finally, the healthcare provider or organization should establish and follow procedures to guarantee appropriate supervision and prompt responses when they know or should know about a problem.
For a free legal consultation with a therapist abuse lawyer call,
We do Not Charge Upfront Legal Fees for Therapy Abuse Claims
We handle personal injury cases, like therapy abuse, on a contingency-fee basis. With this type of fee arrangement, you do not pay us any upfront or out-of-pocket legal fees. We will work on your therapy abuse case and wait until the end of the matter to get paid.
At that point, we receive a portion of the settlement proceeds or jury award as our legal fees. We do not get paid unless you win.
The Settlement Value of a Therapist Abuse Claim
Every therapy abuse case is different, so we cannot say how much you might receive from your claim until after we talk to you and investigate the situation. There is no typical amount of compensation in these cases. The types and amount of damages you could recover will depend on the facts of your case.
Here are some examples of the kinds of money damages we have won for our clients:
- Past and future medical bills: If you needed medical treatment as a result of the therapy abuse you experienced, we can include the reasonable cost of that treatment in your therapy abuse injury claim.
- Lost income: If you missed time from work because of the harm you suffered and did not get paid your usual income during that time, you could recover lost wages, salary, self-employment, and other forms of regular income.
- Lost earning potential: If you cannot make as much money as before because of the harm your therapist caused, you might be able to seek damages for your future lost wages.
- Pain and suffering: Therapy abuse can involve physical discomfort and psychological distress.
If you lost a loved one because of therapist abuse, we might be able to pursue additional compensation on behalf of their beneficiaries. Also, you might have other losses that we could include in your therapist abuse injury claim.
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There Are Deadlines for Taking Legal Action for Therapist Misconduct
The law imposes deadlines for taking legal action for the harm you suffered at the hands of a therapist. Sometimes, we have to go through administrative processes before filing a lawsuit in court. The time limit for some administrative complaints can be as short as several months.
If you miss the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit, you could be barred forever from holding the liable party financially responsible. However, if you get an attorney with our firm involved in your case early, we can work to ensure you meet all corresponding deadlines.
What to Do if You Think You’re Experiencing Therapy Abuse
It may be difficult to take those first steps while you’re still trying to make sense of your situation. Our abuse attorneys can guide you with these steps and more during your case. However, here are some preliminary steps to follow if you believe you’re facing abuse by your therapist:
- Call for emergency help. If you are in immediate danger or if you’ve suffered injuries or financial losses as a result of your abuse, contact your local police. Their investigations may assist our own for your therapy abuse case.
- Report your therapist. Mental health practitioners are heavily regulated by their licensing boards. You can file a report with the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling.
- Save records of your communications. If your therapist has been communicating with you over text or email, save copies of every conversation. It may also help to write down what they say to you over the phone or in person.
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How We Treat Our Therapy Abuse Clients
When you have a therapist abuse lawyer on our Miami team advocating for you, they will:
- Gather evidence
- Take witness statements
- Communicate with respective parties
- Lead your settlement negotiations
- Quantify your damages
- Represent you in a trial, if necessary
You can count on your attorney to answer all of your questions, keep you updated on your case, and respond to your phone calls and emails. We put our clients first here at Jenner Law. Look at what some of our former clients had to say about partnering with us:
- “The people here are very polite and they take the time to speak with me and answer all my questions.” — [Identity Hidden]
- “Great law firm.”— [Identity Hidden]
- “Highly Recommended! Great communication throughout each step in the process. Frequent updates provided. Questions were answered within a days time. Explanations were clear and concise. Professional and friendly staff.” — [Identity Hidden]
How to Get Help with Your Miami Therapy Abuse Case
At Jenner Law, we make it easy for you to find out how we can help you. We offer a free initial consultation with no obligation. You can reach out to us today to get started.
Call or text (888) 585-2188 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form