Running scared: therapists' excessive concerns about following rules.

W. Bernet,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law 23(3): 367-74, 1995.
Mental health professionals sometimes excessively follow rules and regulations to the point of neglecting or even injuring their clients. Five vignettes are presented that illustrate how this problem might occur in clinical or administrative decisions. The vignettes involve confidentiality, informed consent, reporting of sexual abuse, and other issues. Several specific recommendations are made that emphasize common sense and clinical reasoning, rather than relying merely on legal reasoning.