About this Research Topic
The multifaceted and multidisciplinary field of ethics is relevant to any practitioner of psychiatry and psychotherapy. There is hardly another branch of medicine that has, from its very emergence as a specialty, raised such profound and complex ethical questions as the fields of psychiatry and psychotherapy.
Traditional ethical issues in psychiatry and psychotherapy include the value judgments inherent in the irreducibly subjective aspects of the processes of formulating a diagnosis and setting treatment goals. Other ethical questions in psychiatry and psychotherapy are related to involuntary commitment, coercion or autonomy in patients whose psychiatric disorders may compromise decisional capacity and hence the ability to provide informed consent, the therapeutic relationship, privacy, confidentiality, therapeutic boundary violations, multiple relationships, and any form of exploitation.
In recent years, new ethical questions have arisen related to dramatic changes in treatment modalities, exponential growth in neuroscience, and major shifts in social attitudes toward mental health and its most distinctive and essential values. These novel ethical challenges facing psychiatrists and psychotherapists range from the uses of new techniques, such as deep brain stimulation and the impact of evolving concepts of psychiatric genetics, to the role of online interventions, clinical palliative care for individuals with mental illness, or peer support in treatment.
These are just a few examples of ethical issues in psychiatry and psychotherapy, and we welcome contributions from the whole range of the field. We welcome empirical, theoretical, and philosophical and clinical approaches to papers on ethics in psychiatry and psychotherapy.
Keywords: ethics, psychotherapy, therapeutic relationship, informed consent, capacity
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