Therapy is a place where people should feel safe expressing their private thoughts and feelings. People are in a very vulnerable state when they are in a therapist’s office. While a therapist can bring healing to many, there are some cases where a therapist might abuse their power or influence over their clients.
At Jenner Law, we believe therapists who abuse their positions should be held accountable for their actions. If your therapist crossed an ethical boundary and betrayed your trust, a Philadelphia therapy abuse lawyer can help you receive justice.
What Is Therapy Abuse?
Therapy abuse occurs when a therapist crosses a boundary, is negligent, or fosters dependence. Per the American Psychological Association (APA), therapists should:
- Sit at a sensible distance away from their clients
- Keep all information confidential
- Refrain from contacting patients outside of scheduling appointments
- Focus only on their patient and patient’s issues
- Refrain from engaging in a sexual relationship
Violating these parameters generally means a therapist has breached their boundaries.
Negligence in a Therapeutic Setting
Therapists have a high standard of duty to provide mental health care to their patients. The goal of the therapist is to listen to your struggles and look out for your best interests at all times. However, not every professional upholds their standard of care.
Ways a therapist might deviate from their duty of care include:
- Failing to respond to suicidal comments you make in a session. Therapists are mandated reporters. If you express that you have plans or the means to harm yourself, they must report the incident to the authorities.
- Ending treatment without giving a valid reason why. While therapists can ethically end treatment in some circumstances, they cannot terminate sessions abruptly without communication. This constitutes abandonment.
- Billing you unfairly. Your therapist should be open and honest about their rates, including whether they accept insurance.
Fostering Dependence in a Therapeutic Setting
In some therapy abuse cases, your therapist might foster dependency. They may say their abusive tactics are necessary for you to work through your issues. Examples of fostering dependence in a therapeutic relationship include:
- Your therapist discourages you from making positive lifestyle changes, such as quitting drinking or smoking.
- Your therapist attempts to influence your relationships or career choices.
- Your therapist pressures you into isolating yourself from people in your life who support you, asking that you only turn to them for help.
Jenner Law Will Advocate for Your Right to Receive Compensation
At our firm, we negotiate aggressively to get you the maximum amount of compensation possible. Your therapist betrayed your trust and should be held accountable for their actions. The benefits of our firm include:
- We offer free consultations. A member of our team will review your case at no charge. We will answer any questions you have during this no-obligation conversation.
- Our lawyers work on contingency. Our attorney’s fees are contingent on whether your case reaches a positive outcome. You do not have to pay us unless we win your case. Our contingency fee will be a percentage of the compensation you are awarded. We will discuss our contingency fees before working together, so you are aware of all costs associated with our legal services.
- Easy communication. We pride the professional relationships we build with our clients. You will be able to reach us through phone, email, or text, and we will get back to you promptly.
- We will investigate your case. Every successful case has evidence. To support your compensation claim, we will use your testimony and other pieces of information to pursue what you need. If the therapist committed other offenses in the past, this could also supplement your case.
At our firm, we are trauma-informed and use this knowledge to establish a relationship with our clients where they feel comfortable. We have an understanding of what our clients are feeling after experiencing trauma. Our therapy abuse lawyers serving Philadelphia will support you through the process of holding your therapist accountable.
Frequently Asked Questions About Therapy Abuse Cases
You may have many questions about your situation – especially if this is your first time navigating the financial recovery process. Some questions that prospective clients frequently ask us include:
How Much Could My Case Be Worth?
In a therapy abuse case, it is difficult to estimate the value of your case without knowing the circumstances. During your free consultation, our therapy abuse lawyers will review your case and the damages you’ve incurred. This could help us determine what you’re eligible to recover and how much.
What Actions Should I Take if My Therapist Is Abusive?
If your therapist has made you feel uncomfortable or has shown signs of abuse, consider reaching out to our therapy abuse team serving Philadelphia. We will guide you through the process of filing a claim.
The attorneys at Jenner Law understand how traumatic it can be to be abused by someone you should trust, and we will support you throughout the claims process.
Will My Case Go to Trial?
The majority of cases settle outside of court. Our attorneys will aggressively negotiate for a fair settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached out of court, we are prepared to take your case to trial. From there, you can trust that our team will do everything necessary to reach a fair outcome.
Call Our Firm Today for a Free Consultation
A therapist who crosses a boundary, is negligent, or fosters dependence can cause significant harm. The attorneys at our firm understand the difficulties you may experience during this challenging time.
We want you to heal and move forward after such a traumatic event. If you or a loved one has been abused by a therapist, contact us today for a free consultation.